D'yer Mak'er

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"D'yer Mak'er"
Single by Led Zeppelin
from the album Houses of the Holy
B-side "The Crunge"
Released 17 September 1973 (1973-09-17) (US)
Format Seven-inch 45 rpm record
Recorded Stargroves, England, May 1972
Genre Reggae rock[1]
Length 4:23
Label Atlantic (no. 2986)
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin singles chronology
"Over the Hills and Far Away" / "Dancing Days"
(1973)
"D'yer Mak'er" / "The Crunge"
(1973)
"Trampled Under Foot" / "Black Country Woman"
(1974)
Audio sample
file info · help

"D'yer Mak'er" /əˈmkə/ is a reggae-influenced song by English rock band Led Zeppelin, from their 1973 album Houses of the Holy. The title is a play on a contraction of the phrase "Did you make her" and the word "Jamaica".

Overview[edit]

This song was meant to imitate reggae and its "dub" derivative emerging from Jamaica in the early 1970s. Its genesis is traced to Led Zeppelin's rehearsals at Stargroves in 1972, when drummer John Bonham started with a beat similar to 1950s doo-wop, and then twisted it into a slight off beat tempo, upon which a reggae influence emerged.[2] The distinctive drum sound was created by placing three microphones a good distance away from Bonham's drums.

"D'yer Mak'er" is one of the few Led Zeppelin songs where all four members share the composer credit. The sleeve on the album also gives tribute to "Rosie and the Originals",[2] a reference to the doo-wop influence which was evident in the song's style.

This track, as well as another song entitled "The Crunge", was initially not taken seriously by many listeners, and some critics reserved their harshest criticism for these two arrangements.[2] In an interview he gave in 1977, Page referred to this negative response:

I didn't expect people not to get it. I thought it was pretty obvious. The song itself was a cross between reggae and a '50s number, "Poor Little Fool," Ben E. King's things, stuff like that.[3]

Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones has expressed his distaste for the song, suggesting that it started off as a joke and wasn't thought through carefully enough.[2] Upon the album's release, Robert Plant was keen to issue the track as a single in the United Kingdom. Atlantic Records went so far as to distribute advance promotional copies to DJs (now valuable collectors' items). While it was released in the US, and the single peaked at No. 20 in December 1973, it was never released in the UK.[2]

This song was never performed live in its entirety at Led Zeppelin concerts, although snatches of it were played during "Whole Lotta Love" during the 1975 North American concert tour and "Communication Breakdown" at the Earls Court shows in the same year.

Pronunciation of song title[edit]

The name of the song is derived from an old joke, where two friends have the following exchange: "My wife's gone to the West Indies." "Jamaica?" (which has a similar pronunciation as "D'you make her?") "No, she went of her own accord". On 21 July 2005, Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant discussed the song during an interview with Mike Halloran, a DJ on radio station FM94.9 in San Diego. During the interview, he talked about the different interpretations and pronunciations of the name of the song.[4] The title, which appears nowhere in the lyrics, was chosen because it reflects the reggae feel of the song. Plant has said that he finds it amusing when fans completely overlook the apostrophes and naively mispronounce the title as "Dire Maker".

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Radio Caroline United Kingdom "Top 500 Tracks"[5] 1999 453

Formats and track listings[edit]

1973 7" single (US/Australia/New Zealand: Atlantic 45–2986, Austria/Germany: Atlantic ATL 10377, Canada: Atlantic AT 2986, France: Atlantic 10377, Greece: Atlantic 2091236, Japan: Warner Pioneer P–1265A, Mexico: Atlantic G–1275, Peru: Atlantic ALT 2986, Spain: Atlantic HS 987, Venezuela: Atlantic 5–001, Yugoslavia: Atlantic 26077)

  • A. "D'yer Mak'er" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 4:23
  • B. "The Crunge" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 3:17

1973 7" single (Holland: Atlantic ATL 10374)

  • A. "D'yer Mak'er" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 4:23
  • B. "Gallows Pole" (trad. arr. Page, Plant) — 4:56

1973 7" promo (UK: Atlantic K 10296, South Africa: Trutone 45)

  • A. "D'yer Mak'er" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 4:23
  • B. "The Crunge" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 3:17

1973 7" EP (Mexico: Atlantic GX 07–818)

  • A1. "D'Yer Mak'er" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 4:23
  • A2. "Over the Hills and Far Away" (Page, Plant) — 4:47
  • B1. "Black Dog" (Jones, Page, Plant) — 4:56
  • B2. "Misty Mountain Hop" (Jones, Page, Plant) — 4:38

1973 7" EP (Argentina: Music Hall 40.019)

  • A1. "D'Yer Mak'er" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 4:23
  • A2. "The Crunge" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 3:17
  • B1. "The Ocean" (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) — 4:31
  • B2. "No Quarter" (Jones, Page, Plant) — 7:00

Chart positions[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Covers[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Lewis, Dave (2004) The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9
  • Welch, Chris (1998) Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, ISBN 1-56025-818-7

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Led Zeppelin". Electric Lady Studios. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Lewis, Dave (1994). The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-3528-9. 
  3. ^ Schulps, Dave (October 1977). "Interview with Jimmy Page". Trouser Press. Iem.ac.ru. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Original full-length interview at the Wayback Machine (archived 28 September 2007). Fm949sd.com. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Top 500 Tracks – 1999". Radio Caroline. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  6. ^ CHART NUMBER 889 – Saturday, February 02, 1974 at the Wayback Machine (archived 28 February 2006). CHUM. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  7. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  8. ^ Scapolo, Dean (2007). "Top 50 Singles – February 1974". The Complete New Zealand Music Charts (1st ed.). Wellington: Transpress. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8. 
  9. ^ "Houses of the Holy – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  10. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending DECEMBER 29, 1973 at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  11. ^ RECORD WORLD 1973 at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 February 2003). Record World. Geocities.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  12. ^ (Polish) "D'YER MAK'ER – Led Zeppelin". LP3. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  13. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1974 at the Wayback Machine (archived 27 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 12 January 2014.