Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Letter: What's that noise on 'Black Dog'?

These comments originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."
More than 30 years after its creation and release, and more than 20 years after my first hearing it, "Black Dog" never ceases to amaze and challenge on both visceral and musical levels. Where is that downbeat, anyway?)

However, I could swear that during the final instrumental coda/solo,
over Page's Leslie guitar solo and Plant's panned vocal moans, I still hear some leakage voices --not unlike the leakthrough voices on "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" and "Misty Mountain Hop" (possibly an earlier guide vocal) as well as Sister Sledge's "We are Family" and Kool & the Gang's "Celebration." In this case, of course, it's not like explicit party talk, but it almost sounds like spoken leakthrough as if they had recorded the sound of the otherwise final "Black Dog" mix in the control room and heard Page, Jones, etc., speaking quietly over it...?

Thanks for the question, Jay. I don't hear it, but I did have a great time trying to keep track of how many stray clicks there are from Bonham's drumsticks. But maybe some of my other readers are hearing voices too and would like to comment.

Oh, and a special note to my next-door neighbors. (Hopefully, they're on this mailing list.) That loud music you just heard was "Black Dog." It's over for now, but don't be surprised if it comes on again before midnight. And please don't call the police on my birthday!

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