Bring It On Home (Sonny Boy Williamson II song)

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"Bring It On Home"
Single by Sonny Boy Williamson II
from the album The Real Folk Blues
B-side "Down Child"
Released 1966 (1966)
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded January 11, 1963 at Chess Studios in Chicago, Illinois[1]
Genre Blues
Length 2:35
Label Checker
Writer(s) Willie Dixon
Producer(s) Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Willie Dixon[1]
Sonny Boy Williamson II singles chronology
"My Younger Days"
"Bring It On Home"

"Bring It On Home" is a song written by American bassist-songwriter Willie Dixon. The first known recording of the song was by Sonny Boy Williamson II in 1963. The song was later recorded by Led Zeppelin in 1969, and has been covered by many artists since.

Sonny Boy Williamson recording[edit]

Sonny Boy Williamson's version of the song was recorded on January 11, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois. Accompanying Williamson on vocals and harmonica were Matt "Guitar" Murphy on guitar, Milton Rector on bass, Al Duncan on drums, and either Lafayette Leake or Billy Emerson on an organ.[1]

Williamson's version was not released until three years after its recording in early 1966 when it appeared on The Real Folk Blues and was released as a single (Checker 1134).[2][3]

Led Zeppelin version[edit]

"Bring It On Home"
Heartbreaker single cover.jpeg
Cover to single released in Italy
Song by Led Zeppelin from the album Led Zeppelin II
Released October 22, 1969 (1969-10-22)
Recorded 1969
Atlantic Studios, New York
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 4:19
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Willie Dixon[4]
Producer(s) Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin II track listing
"Moby Dick"
"Bring It On Home"

In 1969, English rock band Led Zeppelin recorded a version of the song for their album Led Zeppelin II. The intro and outro were deliberate homages to the Sonny Boy Williamson song, whereas the rest of the track was an original Jimmy Page/Robert Plant composition;[5] however, Dixon was not given a lyric writing credit for the song. In 1972, Arc Music, the publishing arm of Chess Records, brought a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement over "Bring It On Home"; the case was settled out-of-court for an undisclosed sum.

In an interview he gave in 1977, Page commented:

The thing with "Bring It On Home," there's only a tiny bit taken from Sonny Boy Williamson's version and we threw that in as a tribute to him. People say, "Oh, 'Bring It On Home' is stolen." Well, there's only a little bit in the song that relates to anything that had gone before it, just the end.[6]

Plant's harmonica part was recorded in Vancouver. The band went on tour with the master tapes from Led Zeppelin II and now and then stopped into a studio to record parts.

Led Zeppelin frequently performed this song live at Led Zeppelin concerts, first appearing as an encore on the band's 1970 UK tour. When played live, the song exhibited sharp interplay between Jimmy Page's guitar, John Bonham's drums and John Paul Jones' bass. This can be seen on the Led Zeppelin DVD, which features a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970. Another version dating from 1972 is included on the live release How the West Was Won which listed the song as a medley on the cover. "Bring It On Home" was credited to Dixon, while the middle section, newly named "Bring It On Back", was credited to Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant.

From 1973, the song was dropped from the band's live set list. However, the middle section riff was retained and served as the introduction to "Black Dog" on the band's 1973 tour of the United States, as documented in the concert film The Song Remains the Same.

"Bring It On Home" was played at the reunion of surviving Led Zeppelin members staged at Jason Bonham's wedding reception in May 1990.[5]


Other cover versions[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


  1. ^ a b c Chess Blues 1947-1967 (CD liner). various artists. United States: MCA Records/Chess. 1992. CHD4-9340. 
  2. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  3. ^ "45 discography for Checker Records". Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  4. ^ "Bring It On Back" credited Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, ASCAP 881167796. Prior to 2003 "Bring It On Home" was credited Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Willie Dixon, ASCAP 320267038.
  5. ^ a b Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
  6. ^ Dave Schulps, Interview with Jimmy Page, Trouser Press, October 1977.
  7. ^ "Big Walter Horton & Alfred "Blues King" Harris: Title". Retrieved 2016-07-26. 

External links[edit]