"The Battle of Evermore" is a folk rock duet sung by Robert Plant and Sandy Denny, featured on Led Zeppelin's untitled 1971 album. The song's instrumentation features acoustic guitar and mandolin playing.
Writing and production 
The song was written by Jimmy Page at Headley Grange while he was experimenting on the mandolin owned by John Paul Jones. As Page explained in 1977:
"Battle of Evermore" was made up on the spot by Robert [Plant] and myself. I just picked up John Paul Jones's mandolin, never having played a mandolin before, and just wrote up the chords and the whole thing in one sitting.
Musical references 
The song, like some others by the group, makes references to The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Plant felt he needed another voice to tell the story, and for the recording of the song, folk singer Sandy Denny was invited to duet with Plant. Denny was a former member of British folk group Fairport Convention, with whom Led Zeppelin had shared a bill in 1970 at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. Plant played the role of the narrator and Denny represented the town crier. Page elaborated:
[The song] sounded like an old English instrumental first off. Then it became a vocal and Robert did his bit. Finally we figured we'd bring Sandy by and do a question-and-answer-type thing.
To thank her for her involvement, Denny was given the symbol on the album sleeve of three pyramids (the four members of Led Zeppelin each chose their own symbols for the album). This is the only song Led Zeppelin ever recorded with a guest vocalist. In an interview he gave in 1995 to Uncut magazine, Plant stated:
[F]or me to sing with Sandy Denny was great. We were always good friends with that period of Fairport Convention. Richard Thompson
is a superlative guitarist. Sandy and I were friends, and it was the most obvious thing to ask her to sing on "The Battle of Evermore". If it suffered from naivete and tweeness—I was only 23—it makes up for it in the cohesion of the voices and the playing.
Live performances 
"The Battle of Evermore" was played live at Led Zeppelin concerts during the band's 1977 North American Tour. For these live performances, Jones sang Denny's vocals with Plant and played acoustic guitar whilst Page played mandolin. Sometimes John Bonham sang Denny's vocals instead of Jones. Page and Plant also recorded a version of the song in 1994, released on their album No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded. Singer Najma Akhtar sang Denny's vocal part.
Fairport Convention performed "The Battle of Evermore" with guest vocalists Plant and Kristina Donahue at Fairport's Cropredy Convention on 9 August 2008. Plant and Alison Krauss regularly performed "The Battle of Evermore" on their tour of US and Europe in spring and summer 2008.
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant perform "The Battle of Evermore" at Denver's Red Rocks
, 21 June 2008
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(*) designates unordered lists.
Studio version 
Live performances 
- Robert Plant – lead vocals
- Jimmy Page – mandolin, backing vocals
- John Paul Jones – acoustic guitar, co-lead vocals
- John Bonham – tambourine, bass drum, backing vocals
Page and Plant version 
Cover versions 
- 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
- ^ Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led ZeppelinOmnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
- ^ Steven Rosen, 1977 Jimmy Page Interview, Modern Guitars, 25 May 2007 (originally published in the July 1977, issue of Guitar Player magazine).
- ^ a b Dave Schulps, Interview with Jimmy Page, Trouser Press, October 1977.
- ^ Nigel Williamson, "Good Times...Bad Times", Uncut, May 2005, p. 57.
- ^ Robert Plant and Alison Krauss at the Birmingham NIA
- ^ "Standout Tracks from the 500 CDs You Must Own - 2003". Blender. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- ^ "150 Greatest Rock Lists Ever: Book of Rock - July 2004". Q. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- ^ "1010 Songs You Must Own! Q50 - #3: Duets - September 2004". Q. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
External links