German single picture sleeve
|Single by Led Zeppelin|
|from the album Led Zeppelin IV|
|A-side||"Rock and Roll"|
|Released||21 February 1972(US)|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm|
|Recorded||Island Studios, London, 1971|
|Led Zeppelin singles chronology|
The song was difficult to record, and required more takes than usual. John Paul Jones played a VCS3 synthesizer on the track. The song has an unusual time signature, featuring riffs in a mixture of 5/8 and 6/8.
The song was re-recorded by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with the Bombay Symphony Orchestra in 1972, during their trip to India, along with another track, "Friends" from Led Zeppelin III. This version featured tabla drums and sitars. The recording, titled "Four Hands" was released officially on the 2015 remastering of Coda.
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In 1994, Plant and Page had rejoined in musical collaboration as Page and Plant. On 25 August and 26, they performed the song. This new version of "Four Sticks" was also included on the album No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded. Plant played a version of the song during his solo tour in 2005, as is included on the DVD release Soundstage: Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation.
A different version of this song is included on the remastered deluxe two-CD version of Led Zeppelin IV. Listed as "Four Sticks (Alternate Mix)", it was recorded on 2 November 2 1970, at Island Studios, No. 2, in London with engineer Andy Johns and assistant engineer Tony. It lasts 4:33, while the original version is 4:45.