Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Heartbreaker single cover.jpeg
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.[4][5]

"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.[5] "Heartbreaker" was ranked number 320 in 2004 by Rolling Stone magazine, in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time,[6] and number 328 in 2010.[7]


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.[8] He added that this was the first recorded instance of his Gibson Les Paul/Marshall Stack combination.[8] Brett Milano of uDiscover Music rated the guitar solo as one of the 100 all-time greatest.[9]


"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."[10] Eddie Van Halen once claimed the "Heartbreaker" solo as the origin behind the tapping technique. 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.[11]

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."[12]

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. ^ Lewis, Dave (6 December 2016). "Led Zeppelin: The Story Behind Led Zeppelin II". Classic Rock. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b "100 Greatest Guitar Solos: No. 16 "Heartbreaker" (Jimmy Page)". Guitar World. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (1-500)". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 August 2006.
  7. ^ "328. Led Zeppelin, 'Heartbreaker'". Rolling Stone. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b Tolinski, Brad; Di Bendetto, Greg (January 1998). "Light and Shade". Guitar World.
  9. ^ Milano, Brett (11 September 2020). "The Best Guitar Solos: 100 Hair-Raising Moments". uDiscover Music. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Fifty Artists Pick Their Personal Top 10s – Rick Rubin: Led Zeppelin". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 11 December 2010.
  11. ^ Bosso, Joe (20 November 2008). "Van Halen: VH1". Guitar World. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011.
  12. ^ 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.