Good Times Bad Times

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This article is about the Led Zeppelin song. For other uses, see Good Times Bad Times (disambiguation).
"Good Times Bad Times"
Single by Led Zeppelin
from the album Led Zeppelin
B-side "Communication Breakdown"
Released 10 March 1969
Format 7"
Recorded October 1968, Olympic Studios, London
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 2:46
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) John Bonham/John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page
Producer(s) Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin singles chronology
"Good Times Bad Times" / "Communication Breakdown"
(1969)
"Whole Lotta Love" / "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)"
(1969)
Led Zeppelin track listing
"Good Times Bad Times"
(1)
"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"
(2)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Good Times Bad Times" is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, featured as the opening track on their 1969 debut album Led Zeppelin.

For the lead guitar solo, guitarist Jimmy Page passed his Fender Telecaster guitar through a Leslie speaker to create a swirling effect.[2] This type of speaker contains a rotating paddle and was designed for a Hammond organ. However, guitars could be used with it. George Harrison and Eric Clapton employed this technique on the Cream song "Badge", and Harrison used it in several of The Beatles' recordings.[3] In an interview, he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, Page explained that:

Page, also the band's producer, placed microphones all over the recording studio to capture a live sound when this song was recorded.

This song is also notable for drummer John Bonham's repeated use of a series of two sixteenth-note triplets on a single bass drum, an effect many subsequent rock drummers have imitated, and as well as keeping the hi-hat playing eighth notes throughout almost the entire song with his left foot. Bonham had reportedly developed this technique after listening to Vanilla Fudge. He was unaware that drummer Carmine Appice was actually playing on a double bass set. As Page has stated:

Bass guitarist John Paul Jones has also remarked on his own contribution to the track:

Jones says that the riff he wrote for this song was the most difficult one he ever wrote.[4]

Live performances[edit]

"Good Times Bad Times" was rarely played live at Led Zeppelin concerts in its entirety. In a few instances in 1969 it was used as an introduction to "Communication Breakdown" (as seen in Led Zeppelin (Deluxe Edition). It also appeared in almost complete form within the "Communication Breakdown" medley performed at the LA Forum on 4 September 1970, where it included a bass solo by Jones (as can be heard on the Led Zeppelin bootleg recording Live on Blueberry Hill), and several "Whole Lotta Love" medleys in 1971. It was also the opening song for Led Zeppelin's reunion show at the O2 Arena, London on 10 December 2007. The version of "Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown" released 15 April 2014, on iTunes, is from 10 October 1969 in Paris, on the European Tour of Autumn 1969.

In popular culture[edit]

The television and radio presenter Fearne Cotton has said that this is her favourite song of all time.

The song is played in the film The Fighter. This is one of the rare occasions where the band's songs are used in films. It was also used in the first trailer for the film American Hustle, directed by David O. Russell (director of The Fighter).

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Blender United States "The 1001 Greatest Songs to Download Right Now!"[6] 2003 1

Formats and tracklistings[edit]

1969 7" single (UK: Atlantic 584269, US/New Zealand: Atlantic 45-2613, Australia: Atlantic AK 2914, Canada: Atlantic AT 2613X, France: Atlantic 650 153, Germany: Atlantic ATL 70369, Greece: Atlantic 255 002, Italy: Atlantic ATL NP 03117, Japan: Nihon Gramophone DT-1105, Philippines: Atlantic 45-3734, Sweden: Atlantic ATL 70.369)

  • A. "Good Times Bad Times" (Bonham/Jones/Page) — 2:47
  • B. "Communication Breakdown" (Bonham/Jones/Page) — 2:28

1969 7" single (South Africa: Atlantic ATS410)

1969 7" EP (Mexico: Atlantic EPA 1577)

  • A1. "Good Times Bad Times" — 2:47
  • A2. "Communication Breakdown" — 2:28
  • B. "Dazed and Confused" (Page) — 6:26

1972 7" EP* (Argentina: Music Hall 186)

  • A1. "Good Times Bad Times" — 2:47
  • A2. "Communication Breakdown" — 2:28
  • B1. "Roundabout" (Anderson/Howe) — 3:27
  • B2. "Long Distance Runaround" (Anderson) — 3:30

Notes:
(*) B-side by Yes

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1969) Peak
position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[7] 64
Japan (Oricon)[8] 84
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 17
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 80
US Cash Box[12] 66
US Record World[13] 65

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Godsmack cover[edit]

"Good Times, Bad Times"
Single by Godsmack
from the album Good Times, Bad Times... Ten Years of Godsmack
Released 2007
Format CD single
Recorded 2007
Genre Post-grunge
Length 2:57
Label Universal/Republic
Writer(s) Bonham/Jones/Page
Producer(s) Sully Erna
Godsmack singles chronology
"The Enemy"
(2006)
"Good Times, Bad Times"
(2007)
"Whiskey Hangover"
(2009)

The alternative metal band Godsmack covered the song in 2007, for their album, Good Times, Bad Times... Ten Years of Godsmack. It was the only song on the album to be newly released as a single and gained moderate radio airplay on US rock stations. A music video was also created for the Godsmack version of the song, featuring live footage.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[citation needed] 124
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[14] 8
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[14] 28

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 Biography". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved 7 June 2014. "launching pithy hard-rock rave-ups like “Good Times Bad Times” and “Communication Breakdown.”" 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "1969: Abbey Road". Norwegianwood.org. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Schulps, Dave (1993). "Interview with Jimmy Page". Guitar World. Iem.ac.ru. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Long, Andy (March 2002). "Get The Led Out". Global Bass Online. Retrieved 17 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Standout Tracks from the 500 CDs You Must Own - 2003". Blender. Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  7. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  8. ^ (Japanese) "Top 100 Singles – 5 June 1969". Oricon. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Led Zeppelin - Good Times Bad Times search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Led Zeppelin – Good Times Bad Times" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Led Zeppelin – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  12. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending APRIL 26, 1969 at the Wayback Machine (archived 26 August 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Top 100 for 1969 - April 1969". Record World. Geocities.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ a b "Good Times, Bad Times: 10 Years of Godsmack – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 

External links[edit]