The Wanton Song

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"The Wanton Song"
Song by Led Zeppelin
from the album Physical Graffiti
Released 24 February 1975 (1975-02-24)
Recorded 1974
Genre Hard rock[1][2]
Length 4:10
Label Swan Song
Songwriter(s) Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
Producer(s) Jimmy Page

"The Wanton Song" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their sixth studio album, 1975's Physical Graffiti.

Recording and production[edit]

The song came about as the result of a jam session at rehearsals and features a sharp, aggressive riff from guitarist Jimmy Page, which, like "Immigrant Song," found Page switching back and forth between two notes one octave apart. Lyrically it is mainly about sex, specifically sex with a "wanton woman".

For his solo, Page employed a backwards echo (where the echo is heard before the note), and also put his guitar through a Leslie speaker.[3] This was a technique Page had himself used as far back as his work with The Yardbirds, and faced serious opposition from audio engineers when he tried it on the earliest Led Zeppelin recordings.[3]

Live performances[edit]

"The Wanton Song" was played live during some of the Led Zeppelin's European and American concerts in 1975, but was then dropped.[3]

The song was played live extensively as an opening number during Page and Plant's tours in 1995 and 1998. The duo also played it while they were on Later... with Jools Holland on 8 May 1998.[3]

The song was played live a few times when Jimmy Page teamed up with The Black Crowes in 1999.


Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello has often cited "The Wanton Song" as a major influence for the verse riffing for "Vietnow".


Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Linhardt, Alew (23 June 2004). "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  2. ^ Miller, Jim (27 March 1975). "Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Lewis, Dave (1994). The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.

External links[edit]