How Many More Times
|"How Many More Times"|
|Song by Led Zeppelin from the album Led Zeppelin|
|Released||12 January 1969|
|Genre||Blues rock, hard rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock|
|Writer||Page, Jones, Bonham|
|Led Zeppelin track listing|
"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 composed and 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 didn't get a writing credit for this song due to unexpired contractual obligations.
Though listed at a time of 3:30 on the album sleeve, the correct length of the track is in fact 8:28. The incorrect listing was deliberate as it was intended to help promote radio play. Page knew that radio stations would never play a song over eight minutes long, so he wrote the track time as shorter on the album to trick radio stations into playing it.
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 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, 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.
The song appeared on the soundtrack album for the 1970 coming of age film Homer.
- "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
- Interview with Jimmy Page, Guitar World magazine, 1993
- Albert King Biography musiciansguide.com
- John Mendelsohn Led Zeppelin I rollingstone.com Mar 15, 1969
- Homer soundtrack
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- Lewis, Dave (2004) The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9
- Welch, Chris (1998) Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, ISBN 1-56025-818-7