Jimmy Page is responsible for creating some of the most enduring classic rock music. The Led Zeppelin guitarist and founder helped deliver classics such as “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and “Immigrant Song” (the latter of which secured a $2 million paycheck almost 50 years later). The guitar legend gave the world several memorable songs, but Page once called one Led Zeppelin song his “baby.”
Jimmy Page speaks highly of several Led Zeppelin songs
It’s hard to discuss Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin without mentioning their defining song. The soaring guitar solo remains one of the greatest of all time, but Page said “Stairway to Heaven” has a powerful, everlasting quality because each band member is in top form on the song.
“Stairway to Heaven” is a classic, but it might not be the band’s signature song. Page and singer Robert Plant say “Kashmir” is the definitive Led Zeppelin song. The mix of Page’s stair-stepping lead guitar, Plant’s fantastical lyrics, John Paul Jones’ masterful orchestration, and John Bonham’s powerful drumming make eight-minute classic the centerpiece of the 1975 double album Physical Graffiti.
Yet it was orchestration of another sort on a different Physical Graffiti track that made Page call that Led Zeppelin song his “baby.”
Page called the Led Zeppelin song ‘Ten Years Gone’ his baby
Led Zeppelin made fans wait nearly two years between 1973’s House of the Holy and Physical Graffiti. It was one of the longest gaps between studio albums in the band’s career. The wait was worth it, as the double album contained some of the quartet’s best work.
After some heavier moments on sides one and two — “Kashmir” and Page’s guitar swagger on “The Rover” — side three took things down a notch. The instrumental folk of “Bron-Yr-Aur” and the languid pace of “Down by the Seaside” lead into “Ten Years Gone.” Page said that song was his baby more than any other Led Zeppelin song (per Centennial Media’s Legends of Music Spotlight: Led Zeppelin):
“It’s really my baby because I worked it out note for note at home. At one point, there were nine guitars going on all the harmonies. I lived in the countryside in Sussex, and it was a really interesting house. At the top of the house, I had a multitrack studio, and it gave me a chance to experiment with different textures. I had the whole of ‘Ten Years Gone,’ all of the guitar orchestration, prepared in that house.”
Jimmy Page describes the Led Zeppelin song “Ten Years Gone”
It might not have a classic solo or the red-blooded muscle of some Led Zeppelin songs, but “Ten Years Gone” might be the most guitar-centric Zep tune.
It starts with a quietly strummed lead-in then incorporates different guitar tones throughout the song. Page picks some notes, gently strums the strings, and hammers chords at various points in the song. A headphone listen makes it clear a lot of thought and hard work on “Ten Years Gone.” Unsurprisingly, Page called it the Led Zeppelin that was truly his baby.
Zep played ‘Ten Years Gone’ live a few times, and Page joined another band to play it in concert
“Ten Years Gone” has several intricate guitar parts that Page orchestrated in his home studio. It might not have been the easiest song to play live, but Led Zeppelin didn’t leave it in the studio.
The song didn’t make the cut for the live album The Song Remains the Same, but a handful of videos of Zep playing it live pop up in a YouTube search. Page joined The Black Crowes for a live rendition of the song (via YouTube).
Other tunes in the catalog might stand out more, but given the intricacy and orchestration of “Ten Years Gone,” it no wonder Jimmy Page called it the Led Zeppelin song that was truly his baby.
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