Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin song)

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Italian single picture sleeve
Song by Led Zeppelin
from the album Led Zeppelin II
Released22 October 1969 (1969-10-22)
StudioA&R, New York City
Producer(s)Jimmy Page

"Heartbreaker" is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1969 album, Led Zeppelin II. It was credited to all four members of the band, recorded at A&R Recording and Atlantic Studios in New York City during the band's second concert tour of North America, and engineered by Eddie Kramer.[5][6]

"Heartbreaker" opens the second side of the album and features a guitar riff by Jimmy Page. It also includes a spontaneous unaccompanied solo, using a pull-off technique, which was voted the 16th-greatest guitar solo of all time by Guitar World magazine.[6] "Heartbreaker" was ranked number 320 in 2004 by Rolling Stone magazine, in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time,[7] and number 328 in 2010.[8]


In a 1998 interview with Guitar World, Page commented that the guitar solo was recorded in a different studio, thereby giving a different sound than the rest of the song.[9] He added that this was the first recorded instance of his Gibson Les Paul/Marshall Stack combination.[9] Brett Milano of uDiscover Music rated the guitar solo as one of the 100 all-time greatest.[10]


"Heartbreaker" is one of the songs featured in Nick Hornby's book 31 Songs. Record producer Rick Rubin has remarked, "One of the greatest riffs in rock. It ["Heartbreaker"] starts, and it's like they don't really know where the "one" is. Magical in its awkwardness."[11] Eddie Van Halen once claimed the "Heartbreaker" solo as the inspiration behind his adoption of the tapping technique he later popularized. In one review with Guitar World, he said:

I think I got the idea of tapping watching Jimmy Page do his "Heartbreaker" solo back in 1971. He was doing a pull-off to an open string, and I thought wait a minute, open string ... pull off. I can do that, but what if I use my finger as the nut and move it around? I just kind of took it and ran with it.[12]

Steve Vai has also commented about it in a September 1998 Guitar World interview: "This one [Heartbreaker] had the biggest impact on me as a youth. It was defiant, bold, and edgier than hell. It really is the definitive rock guitar solo."[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Led Zeppelin Biography". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2014. their blues-rock approach on such tracks as "Whole Lotta Love," "Heartbreaker" and "Ramble On."
  2. ^ Williamson, Nigel (2007). The Rough Guide to Led Zeppelin. Rough Guides UK. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-8435-3841-7.
  3. ^ Rooksby, Rikky (2010). Riffs: How to Create and Play Great Guitar Riffs Revised and Updated Edition (1st ed.). Backbeat Books. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-4768-5547-9.
  4. ^ Led Zeppelin II (Album notes). Led Zeppelin. New York City: Atlantic Records. 1969. Inside cover. SD 8236.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  5. ^ Lewis, Dave (6 December 2016). "Led Zeppelin: The Story Behind Led Zeppelin II". Classic Rock. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ a b "100 Greatest Guitar Solos: No. 16 "Heartbreaker" (Jimmy Page)". Guitar World. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  7. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (1-500)". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 August 2006.
  8. ^ "328. Led Zeppelin, 'Heartbreaker'". Rolling Stone. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b Tolinski, Brad; Di Bendetto, Greg (January 1998). "Light and Shade". Guitar World.
  10. ^ Milano, Brett (11 September 2020). "The Best Guitar Solos: 100 Hair-Raising Moments". uDiscover Music. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Fifty Artists Pick Their Personal Top 10s – Rick Rubin: Led Zeppelin". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 11 December 2010.
  12. ^ Bosso, Joe (20 November 2008). "Van Halen: VH1". Guitar World. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011.
  13. ^ Kitts, Jeff; Tolinski, Brad (2002). Guitar World Presents the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time!. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-6340-4619-3.