D'yer Mak'er

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"D'yer Mak'er"
D'yer Mak'er45.jpg
German single picture sleeve
Single by Led Zeppelin
from the album Houses of the Holy
B-side "The Crunge"
Released 17 September 1973 (1973-09-17) (US)
Format 7-inch 45 rpm
Recorded 1972
Studio Stargroves, East Woodhay, England
Genre Reggae rock[1]
Length 4:19
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin singles chronology
"Over the Hills and Far Away"
(1973)
"D'yer Mak'er"
(1973)
"Trampled Under Foot"
(1975)
Audio sample

"D'yer Mak'er" /əˈmkə/ is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, from their 1973 album Houses of the Holy. The title is a play on the word "Jamaica" when spoken in an English accent.

Overview[edit]

This song was meant to imitate reggae and its "dub" derivative emerging from Jamaica in the early 1970s. Its genesis is traced to Led Zeppelin's rehearsals at Stargroves in 1972, when drummer John Bonham started with a beat similar to 1950s doo-wop, and then twisted it into a slight off beat tempo, upon which a reggae influence emerged.[2] The distinctive drum sound was created by placing three microphones a good distance away from Bonham's drums.

This track, as well as another song entitled "The Crunge", was initially not taken seriously by many listeners, and some critics reserved their harshest criticism for these two arrangements.[2] In an interview he gave in 1977, Jimmy Page referred to this negative response:

I didn't expect people not to get it. I thought it was pretty obvious. The song itself was a cross between reggae and a '50s number, "Poor Little Fool," Ben E. King's things, stuff like that.[3]

Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones has expressed his distaste for the song, suggesting that it started off as a studio joke and wasn't thought through carefully enough.[2] Upon the album's release, Robert Plant was keen to issue the track as a single in the United Kingdom. Atlantic Records went so far as to distribute advance promotional copies to DJs (now valuable collectors' items). While it was released in the US, and the single peaked at No. 20 on 29 December 1973, it was never released in the UK.[2]

This song was never performed live in its entirety at Led Zeppelin concerts, although snatches of it were played during "Whole Lotta Love" during the 1975 North American concert tour and "Communication Breakdown" at the Earls Court shows in the same year.

"D'yer Mak'er" is one of the few Led Zeppelin songs where all four members share the composer credit. The sleeve on the first album pressing also gives tribute to "Rosie and the Originals",[2] a reference to the doo-wop influence in the song's style.

Pronunciation of song title[edit]

The name of the song is derived from an old joke, where two friends have the following exchange: "My wife's gone to the West Indies." "Jamaica?" (which sounds like "Did you make her?") "No, she wanted to go". On 21 July 2005, Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant discussed the song during an interview with Mike Halloran, a DJ on radio station FM94.9 in San Diego. During the interview, he talked about the different interpretations and pronunciations of the name of the song.[4] The title, which appears nowhere in the lyrics, was chosen because it reflects the reggae feel of the song. Plant has said that he finds it amusing when fans completely overlook the apostrophes and naively mispronounce the title as "Dire Maker".

Reception[edit]

In a contemporary review for Houses of the Holy, Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone gave "D'yer Mak'er" a negative review, calling it a "naked imitation", along with "The Crunge", as well as "easily" one of the worst things the band has ever attempted.[5] Fletcher further wrote the track is a "pathetic stab at reggae that would probably get the Zep laughed off the island if they bothered playing it in Jamaica."[5] Fletcher ended by writing the track is "obnoxiously heavy-handed and totally devoid of the native form's sensibilities."[5]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Radio Caroline United Kingdom "Top 500 Tracks"[6] 1999 453

Axl Rose cited it as a song that meant a lot to him as a teenager: "That got me into heavy rock."[7]

Chart positions[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Led Zeppelin". Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. . Electric Lady Studios
  2. ^ a b c d e Lewis, Dave (1994). The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-3528-9. 
  3. ^ Schulps, Dave (October 1977). "Interview with Jimmy Page". Trouser Press. Iem.ac.ru. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Original full-length interview". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. . Fm949sd.com.
  5. ^ a b c Fletcher, Gordon (7 June 1973). "Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "THE CHART ROOM – Radio Caroline Top 500 Tracks 1999". Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. . Radio Caroline.
  7. ^ Wall, Mick (January 2002). "Eve of destruction". Classic Rock. No. 36. p. 95. 
  8. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4978a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  9. ^ Scapolo, Dean (2007). "Top 50 Singles – February 1974". The Complete New Zealand Music Charts (1st ed.). Wellington: Transpress. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8. 
  10. ^ "Houses of the Holy – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending DECEMBER 29, 1973". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. . Cash Box.
  12. ^ "The Singles Chart" (PDF). Record World. 29 December 1973. p. 63. ISSN 0034-1622. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  13. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1974". Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. . Cash Box.

External links[edit]