Trampled Under Foot

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For the American soul blues and blues rock band, see Trampled Under Foot (band).
"Trampled Under Foot"
Single by Led Zeppelin
from the album Physical Graffiti
B-side "Black Country Woman"
Released 2 April 1975
Recorded January–February 1974
Genre
Length 5:37
Label Swan Song
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin singles chronology
"D'yer Mak'er" / "The Crunge"
(1973)
"Trampled Under Foot" / "Black Country Woman"
(1975)
"Candy Store Rock" / "Royal Orleans"
(1976)
Physical Graffiti track listing
"Houses of the Holy"
(4)
"Trampled Under Foot"
(5)
"Kashmir"
(6)
Music sample
31 second sample

"Trampled Under Foot" is a song by English rock group Led Zeppelin, featured on their 1975 album Physical Graffiti.

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics were inspired by blues musician Robert Johnson's 1936 "Terraplane Blues."[3] A Terraplane is a classic car, and the song uses car parts as metaphors for sex—"pump your gas," "rev all night," etc. The themes of these songs however differ; "Terraplane Blues" is about infidelity, while "Trampled Under Foot" is about giving in to sexual temptation.[4]

Production[edit]

The song was written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, and evolved out of a jam session in 1972.[5]

Much rehearsal went into perfecting the relentless semi-funk riff that dominates this song.[3] John Paul Jones has credited Stevie Wonder with the inspiration for the beat ("Superstition", 1973), which he played on a clavinet.[3][6] While both riffs are funky with a vaguely similar pattern,[citation needed] they are readily distinguishable.

Musical structure[edit]

Backed with a solid backbeat from Bonham, the song would later be sampled in dance remixes and the BBC television programme The Old Grey Whistle Test, synchronised the song with a black and white filmclip featuring dance hall girls. Guitarist Jimmy Page played wah-wah and, as producer, employed reverse echo on the recording.[3][7]

Led Zeppelin live on stage 1975
Led Zeppelin perform "Trampled Under Foot" in Chicago, January 1975. Jimmy Page is using a wah-wah pedal.

Live performances[edit]

"Trampled Under Foot" became a standard part of Led Zeppelin concerts from 1975 onwards, being played on every tour until 1980.[3] It was also performed at Led Zeppelin's reunion show at the O2 Arena, London on 10 December 2007. When the song was played live, the band would often extend it with lengthy guitar and keyboard solos, and sometimes Plant would add lyrics from the song "Gallows Pole."

Along with "No Quarter," "Trampled Under Foot" showcased Jones' skills as a keyboard player when performed on stage. A notable example is the version played at the Earls Court Arena in 1975, as featured on the Led Zeppelin DVD, which includes an extended solo by Jones on a Hohner Clavinet D6. It is also notable that Plant rarely sang all the different verses of the song live, and sang a verse (with small alterations sometimes) twice or even three times.

"Trampled Under Foot" was performed in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony as a part of a selected playlist.[8]

Radio play[edit]

"Trampled Under Foot" was frequently played on the radio when it was first released, charting at no. 38 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. One of Plant's favourite Led Zeppelin songs, he sang it on his 1988 Now and Zen tour, and also at his daughter Carmen's 21st birthday party in November 1989, with Jason Bonham on drums.

Single release[edit]

Led Zeppelin did not release any singles in the United Kingdom until 1997, when "Whole Lotta Love" was released 28 years after it was written. There were several pressings made of "Trampled Under Foot" as a single in 1975 in time for the band's Earl's Court concerts, but they were all shelved before being released, and are today highly sought-after collectors items.[3]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Melody Maker United Kingdom "Best Song of the Year" 1975 2
Radio Caroline United Kingdom "Top 500 Tracks"[9] 1999 398

Formats and tracklistings[edit]

1975 7" single (US/Australia/El Salvador/New Zealand: Swan Song SS 70102, Austria/Germany: Swan Song SS K 19402, Brazil: Atlantic ATL 1-15-101-012, Canada: Swan Song SWS 70102, Chile: Atlantic 70102, France/Holland: Swan Song SS 19402, Italy: Swan Song K 19402, Japan: Warner Pioneer P-1361A, Mexico: Swan Song G-1514, Portugal: Atlantic ATL NS 28162, South Africa: Swan Song SNS 100, Spain: Swan Song SS 45-1205)

  • A. "Trampled Under Foot" (Jones, Page, Plant) — 5:35
  • B. "Black Country Woman" (Page, Plant) — 4:24

1975 7" promo (UK: Swan Song DC-1)

  • A. "Trampled Under Foot" (Jones, Page, Plant) — 5:35
  • B. "Black Country Woman" (Page, Plant) — 4:24

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[10] 60
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 41
US Billboard Hot 100[12] 38
US Cash Box[13] 28
US Record World[14] 39

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^
    • Schuman, Michael A. (2009). Led Zeppelin: Legendary Rock Band. Enslow Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7660-3026-8. "The keyboard-driven, hard rock track “Trampled Under Foot” was popular on FM stations." 
    • Schinder, Scott; Schwartz, Andy (2008). Icons of Rock: An Encyclopedia of the Legends Who Changed Music Forever 2. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-33847-2. ""Houses of the Holy" and "Trampled Under Foot" were tightly constructed, even danceable hard rock tunes." 
  2. ^ Hunter-Tilney, Ludovic. "Led Zeppelin, O2 Arena, London". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 July 2013. "“Trampled Under Foot”, a hypnotic hard funk-rock track from 1975’s Physical Grafitti, was unexpected"  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lewis, Dave (1994). The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-3528-9. 
  4. ^ Godwin, Robert (24 August 1990). "Led Zeppelin: Alchemists of the '70s". Goldmine: 13. 
  5. ^ Godwin, Robert (2003). "Led Zeppelin: The Press Reports". Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 321. ISBN 1-896522-41-6. 
  6. ^ Snow, Mat (December 2007). "The Secret Life of a Superstar". Mojo: 13. 
  7. ^ Rosen, Steven (25 May 2007). 1977 Jimmy Page Interview (Audio/Text) at the Wayback Machine (archived 5 January 2011). Modern Guitars Magazine. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  8. ^ Heath, Sophia (19 June 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: the full musical playlist for the Olympic opening ceremony". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Radio Caroline Top 500 Tracks 1999". Radio Caroline. Radiowaves.org.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  10. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Led Zeppelin – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  13. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MAY 31, 1975 at the Wayback Machine (archived 3 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  14. ^ RECORD WORLD 1975 at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 August 2004). Record World. Geocities.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009.