How Many More Times
|"How Many More Times"|
|Song by Led Zeppelin|
|from the album Led Zeppelin|
|Released||12 January 1969|
"How Many More Times" is the ninth and final track on English rock band Led Zeppelin's 1969 debut album Led Zeppelin. The song is credited in the album liner to Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, but is listed by ASCAP as written by all four members of the band.
At eight and a half minutes, "How Many More Times" is the longest song on the album. It consists of several smaller sections held together by a bolero rhythm that pushes the piece along. At the end, the song pans between the left and right channels. Elements of this song are faintly reminiscent of previously recorded instrumental "Beck's Bolero" by Jeff Beck, on which Jimmy Page had played guitar and John Paul Jones bass guitar. This was one of three Led Zeppelin songs on which Page used bowed guitar, the others being "Dazed and Confused" and "In the Light". As with all the other tracks on Led Zeppelin's debut album, Robert Plant did not get a writing credit for this song due to unexpired contractual obligations.
In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, Page stated that the song "was made up of little pieces I developed when I was with the Yardbirds, as were other numbers such as "Dazed and Confused". It was played live in the studio with cues and nods."
It has also been reported that the "Rosie" and "Hunter" components of the song came spontaneously to the group on the night of the recording session. The "Hunter" component is taken from "The Hunter" recorded by bluesman Albert King with Booker T & the MGs. "The Hunter" was written by Carl Wells and the members of Booker T. & the M.G.'s (Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Al Jackson, and Booker T. Jones).
The title and Robert Plant's vocals contain identifiable references to Howlin Wolf's "How Many More Years" (1951), as a tribute to Howlin Wolf, who was the composer under his real name, Chester Burnett, and other blues musicians he admired at the time of recording.
On early Led Zeppelin concert tours, "How Many More Times" was often the band's closing number. By late 1969, the intro of the song would be quite extended and the band would incorporate more and more material into the song as a medley. An example of such a performance is included on the same DVD, during the Royal Albert Hall concert. During the "Bolero" section, Plant quotes Neil Young's "On the Way Home" in this version. After "The Hunter", the band typically performed John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillin'," with lyrics ad-libbed from other sources, and "Travelin' Little Mama." They would often play a snippet of "The Lemon Song" and "That's Alright Mama" as well, before returning to "How Many More Times" at the moment where they left off, the conclusion of "The Hunter." The typical medley pattern ("Boogie Chillen" followed by improvisational set of covers and finally a slow blues and a return to the main song) would later be incorporated into "Whole Lotta Love", as demonstrated on Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions and How the West Was Won.
In 1970, "How Many More Times" was dropped from Led Zeppelin's typical setlist, although they would continue to perform it on occasion until the early stages of their 1975 North American tour, when it was re-introduced in full as a result of Jimmy Page's injured finger, which temporarily prevented him from playing the more challenging "Dazed and Confused". It was also played once in 1973, on 22 January, while the band was touring the United Kingdom. Page and Plant played the song on their Walking into Clarksdale tour in 1998, releasing their Shepherd's Bush performance on a CD single.
- Planer, Lindsay. Led Zeppelin: "How Many More Times" – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- Plant was later given a songwriting credit. ISWC T-070.075.920-1
- "How Many More Times (Title Code: 380136049)". ASCAP. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9
- "Jimmy Page interview transcript". Iem.ac.ru. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
- "Albert King Biography". Musicianguide.com. 1923-04-25. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
- John Mendelsohn Led Zeppelin I Rolling Stone March 15, 1969
- Frank Reddon; Lou Anne Reddon. "J. J. Jackson Remembers Led Zeppelin: The Music and the Guys Who Made It". Books.google.co.uk. p. 42. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
- Welch, Chris (1998) Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, ISBN 1-56025-818-7