When the Levee Breaks

84superchamp

Gold Supporting Member
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31,881
I think I first heard that drum beat on the opening to the 1st Beastie Boys record. I hadn't become a Zep fan as of then...I was only 11 though
I was not a big Zep fan in the beginning, in spite of all my friends going gaga but when Levee came out, i was in.... also including "rock n roll" helped, their best rocker IMO. What a tremendous intro. Lots of really good variations here. :cool:
and i'm wondering: did Alvin Youngblood Hart do a version?
 
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doghouseman

Member
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3,047
If I remember right, the drums for that song were recorded in some kind of court yard area???, I think using a mobile recording van? So Page had JB set up his drums in this courtyard-like room/area, because he thought the acoustics would be killer. Page was right.
 

Heinz W

Genuine '66 Relic
Platinum Supporting Member
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2,408
If I remember right, the drums for that song were recorded in some kind of court yard area???, I think using a mobile recording van? So Page had JB set up his drums in this courtyard-like room/area, because he thought the acoustics would be killer. Page was right.
I believe Bonham's drums were set up in the foyer of Headley Grange, the old manor Zeppelin rented out for the songwriting/recording of their fourth album. The cavernous foyer was huge, two or three stories tall, and Jimmy had a mic dropped in from above. The acoustics (reverb?) made the drums sound huge.
 

doghouseman

Member
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3,047
I believe Bonham's drums were set up in the foyer of Headley Grange, the old manor Zeppelin rented out for the songwriting/recording of their fourth album. The cavernous foyer was huge, two or three stories tall, and Jimmy had a mic dropped in from above. The acoustics (reverb?) made the drums sound huge.
YES, I figured someone would chime in and set the record straight.

 

zep41

Member
Messages
3,062
If I remember right, the drums for that song were recorded in some kind of court yard area???, I think using a mobile recording van? So Page had JB set up his drums in this courtyard-like room/area, because he thought the acoustics would be killer. Page was right.
It's in the foyer room of the Headley Grange underneath a staircase with a high ceiling but you get the idea.

Page didn't necessarily know before hand that the acoustics would be so reverberating in that spot. It was when Bonham's tech set up the drums in that area and was tuning them that Page noticed it would be a really huge sound to just keep the drums in that spot and distance as much as they could to capture the reverb. Levee is one of a handful of Zep tracks where the drums were recorded here.
 

stanshall

Member
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2,242
greatest song on one of the very greatest albums in rock ... the most psychedelic blues ever laid down to my ears

not possible to overstate the majesty and power of the Zeppelin version of When the Levee Breaks

love that Memphis Minnie was always credited ... maybe somewhere somebody is mad because Kansas Joe McCoy didn't get his name on the record but it ain't me babe
 

shane8

Member
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31,162
there's quite a few zep tunes that are more than the sum of their parts …..

misty mountain hop … nothin to it really but it's huge

the combo of great musos, production, arrangements & bonzo make otherwise ordinary stuff epic
 

Ken Whisler

Member
Messages
591
Open G. But the recording was slowed a half step (and then possibly more at some parts), and we hear it as F#.

The few times they played it live, open G as well.
Nope. FAcfac. Very simple tuning. It all comes together very quickly when playing with the studio version in that tuning. Use a cheap guitar with single coils strung with light strings, and put a glass slide on the pinky, and you got it.
 

Guitarist64

Member
Messages
189
Confession: I purchased a Tube Screamer, associating it with the sound that Jimmy got on that track, while playing slide on the end of the song. A tube screamer has nothing to do with the song...but for me, it sounded like a Tube weeping. Lol
 

zep41

Member
Messages
3,062
Nope. FAcfac. Very simple tuning. It all comes together very quickly when playing with the studio version in that tuning. Use a cheap guitar with single coils strung with light strings, and put a glass slide on the pinky, and you got it.
What is your source for this info? I was led to believe for decades that its a 12 string tuned to open G.

I've played it hundreds of times, open G is what works best. There is no doubt it's a 12 string as well. Likely Page's Fender XII.
 




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