Bring It On Home (Sonny Boy Williamson II song)

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"Bring It On Home"
Bring it on home single cover.jpg
Single by Sonny Boy Williamson II
from the album The Real Folk Blues
B-side "Down Child"
Released 1966 (1966)
Format 7-inch 45 rpm record
Recorded Chess Studios, Chicago, January 11, 1963[1]
Genre Blues
Length 2:35
Label Checker
Songwriter(s) Willie Dixon
Sonny Boy Williamson II singles chronology
"My Younger Days"
"Bring It On Home"
"My Younger Days"
"Bring It On Home"

"Bring It On Home" is a blues song written by American music arranger and songwriter Willie Dixon. The first known recording of the song was by Sonny Boy Williamson II in 1963. It 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. Accompanying Williamson on vocals and harmonica were Matt "Guitar" Murphy on guitar, Milton Rector on bass guitar, Al Duncan on drums, and either Lafayette Leake or Billy Emerson on 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"
Song by Led Zeppelin
from the album Led Zeppelin II
Released October 22, 1969 (1969-10-22)
Recorded Atlantic Studios, New York City, 1969
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 4:19
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s) Willie Dixon[4]
Producer(s) Jimmy Page

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;[6] 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 a 1977 interview, 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.[7]

Plant's harmonica part was recorded in Vancouver. The band went on tour with the master tapes for Led Zeppelin II and recorded parts in various studios.

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 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, and 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.[6]


Other recorded 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. ^ The original Led Zeppelin II album notes credit Page and Plant. The 2004 reissue credits Dixon.
  5. ^ The subsequently titled "Bring It On Back" middle section credits Bonham, Jones, Page, and Plant. ISWC T-914.040.241-1
  6. ^ a b Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
  7. ^ Dave Schulps, Interview with Jimmy Page, Trouser Press, October 1977.
  8. ^ Album: "Don Partridge & Friends", Sonogram Records EFG 7344 (1973)
  9. ^ Erlewine, Michael. "Big Walter Horton: Harmonica Blues Kings– Review". AllMusic. Retrieved August 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]