+ scroll down for Black Dog by John Farnham
9 November 2023: A music industry mystery has been solved after a researcher stumbled across the original photo pictured on the cover of LED ZEPPELIN IV. The man has been identified as a thatcher in Wiltshire named Lot Long, who died in 1893. Led Zeppelin IV went on to become the band’s best-selling album.
More: Man featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin IV identifed as Wiltshire thatcher, decades after the album’s 1971 release
Australian singles chart:
Black Dog entered the Kent charts on 17 January 1972 and peaked at 10. The song was #59 on the Top 100 of 1972.
The songs is on Led Zeppelin IV which entered the Kent album charts in Australia on 20 December 1971 and peaked at #2.
John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
Record label of Australian release:
Black Dog live at Madison Square Garden in 1973:
BONUS TRACK BELOW: sensational version by John Farnham
John Paul Jones, who is credited with writing the main riff, was inspired by Muddy Waters’ controversial 1968 album Electric Mud. He added a winding riff and complex rhythm changes, that biographer Keith Shadwick describes as a “clever pattern that turns back on itself more than once, crossing between time signatures as it does.” The group had a difficult time with the turnaround, but John Bonham’s solution was to play it straight through as if there was no turnaround. In live performances, Bonham eliminated the 5-4 variation so that Plant could perform his a cappella vocal interludes and then have the instruments return at the proper time.
Read more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Dog_(song)
The title Black Dog does not appear in the lyrics, and has nothing to do with the song itself. The band worked up the song at Headley Grange, a mansion in Hampshire, England that is out in the country, surrounded by woods. A nameless black Labrador retriever would wander the grounds, and the band would feed it. When they needed a name for this track, which didn’t have an obvious title, they thought of the canine and went with Black Dog.
Read more: www.songfacts.com/facts/led-zeppelin/black-dog
Find more songs to enjoy: Bang a Gong song finder
Black Dog by John Farnham from ‘Anthology 3: Rarities’, apparently originally recorded as a sound check
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