Have you ever done something that you really had no idea how much trouble it would get you into? How much effort would it take to try and unpick the unpredictable mess you'd gotten into? I suspect the members of Led Zeppelin might have since 1969 regarding 'Bring It On Home', the closing track on their second album.
The backstory is that the song was written by Willie Dixon in the early 1960s, and Sonny Boy Williamson recorded the song in 1963 though that version wasn't released until 1966. You may have heard that version featured in David Lynch's 2001 masterpiece Mullholland Dr.
Led Zeppelin recorded the intro and outros of the song as a homage to Williamson - there are even elements of a vocal imitation by Plant. The middle section is either the meat of the song or the filling of the sandwich.
Given that the song's credits have historically moved from "Medley contains 'Bring It On Back' (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant/John Paul Jones/John Bonham)" on 2003's live album How The West Was Won but by 2014's re-issue of the studio album the credit simply says, Dixon. By this point, the matter had been settled with Dixon and his estate, an area they had some experience in
The song itself is considered unremarkable in Led Zeppelin's back cannon, maybe due to the song writing, bruhaha (Though there are almost two dozen songs mentioned in this article). Still, I've only ever seen it ranked as high as 35 in a Led Zeppelin best songs countdown and often didn't make the top 40 or 50 out of the 100 or so that the band recorded.
When Page, Plant and Jones played at Jason Bonham's wedding reception in 1990, they performed the songs along with 'Celebration Day' and 'Black Dog.' So you can imagine the band held an amount of reverence for the track.
The riff is probably underrated in their cannon, as is the battle between Bonham and Page, and it is yet another early Led Zeppelin song that points in the direction of the whole genre of Heavy Metal. It is a shame that the lack of credit to Dixon for the intro and outro has ultimately detracted from the original middle section. On How The West Was Won is billed as 'Bring It On Back', and in isolation, that part displays much of the volcanic power of the band and Plant's stratospheric vocals that they would hone and perfect over the next few years into a template Led Zeppelin sound.
A template for their middle period and subject to song writing credit lawsuits? Maybe it is more atypical a Led Zeppelin song than others would have you think!
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