The Song Remains the Same (song)
|"The Song Remains the Same"|
|Song by Led Zeppelin|
|from the album Houses of the Holy|
|Released||28 March 1973|
|Studio||Stargroves, East Woodhay, England|
|Songwriter(s)||Jimmy Page, Robert Plant|
The song was originally an instrumental with the working title "The Overture". After singer Robert Plant added lyrics, it was temporarily known as "The Campaign" before becoming "The Song Remains the Same". In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, guitarist Jimmy Page discussed the song's construction:
It was originally going to be an instrumental – an overture that led into "The Rain Song". But I guess Robert had different ideas. You know, "This is pretty good, Better get some lyrics – quick!" [laughs] ... I had all the beginning material together, and Robert suggested that we break down into half-time in the middle. After we figured out that we were going to break it down, the song came together in a day ... I always had a cassette recorder around. That's how both "The Song Remains the Same" and "Stairway" came together – from bits of taped ideas.
Performance and releases
The band first performed this song live on their 1972 Japanese Tour. Bootlegs from this tour reveal that the song was still without a settled title, with Plant introducing it as "Zep" from the stage at Tokyo. At Led Zeppelin concerts from late 1972 through 1975, "The Song Remains the Same" was followed (just as on the original album) by direct segue into "The Rain Song". For this live arrangement, Page employed his trademark Gibson EDS-1275 double-necked guitar. "The Song Remains the Same" was the opening song for the 1977 US tour and 1979 concerts, before being dropped from the set list for the 1980 European tour. The song was also performed at Led Zeppelin's reunion show at the O2 Arena, London on 10 December 2007.
"The Song Remains the Same" was featured on Led Zeppelin's 1976 concert film (and accompanying soundtrack), as part of Plant's fantasy sequence. The title of the song was used as the title of both the film and the album.
"The Song Remains The Same (Guitar Overdub Reference Mix)", an instrumental version of the song, appears on the second disc of the remastered 2-CD deluxe edition of Houses of the Holy. It was recorded on 18 May 1972, at the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio at Stargroves with engineer Eddie Kramer and mix engineer George Chkiantz. It runs 5:30, while the original runs 5:24.
In a contemporary review for Houses of the Holy, Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone gave "The Song Remains the Same" a mixed review, writing the track is "the only other tune approaching the Zep's past triumphs" and "works solely as a vehicle for Page's guitar antics".
In a retrospective review of Houses of the Holy (Deluxe Edition), Kristofer Lenz of Consequence of Sound gave "The Song Remains the Same" a more positive review, praising every band member and writing that "as the band moves through the many changes of “The Song Remains the Same”, they are tight yet nimble, proficient yet unpretentious."
- Robert Plant – vocals
- Jimmy Page – electric guitars
- John Paul Jones – bass guitar
- John Bonham – drums
- 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
- Dave Schulps, Interview with Jimmy Page, Trouser Press, October 1977.
- 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
- Fletcher, Gordon (7 June 1973). "Houses of the Holy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
- Lenz, Kristofer (3 November 2014). "Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy [Reissue]". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 14 August 2017.