Sunday, October 10, 2010

Solomon Burke, influence on Led Zeppelin, dies at 70

Solomon Burke, the influential soul singer who performed at an after-party for the members of Led Zeppelin following their 2007 reunion concert, has died. Reports say he was aboard a flight today at the time of death. He was 70.

Burke is known for a body of work that includes the song "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," which was a regular part of the stage act for Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and the Blues Brothers.

Wilson Pickett dedicates this lively rendition of "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" to Solomon Burke, one of the song's co-writers.

The members of Led Zeppelin cover "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" at Southampton University in 1973.

But some of Burke's more intense moments are tearful songs like "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)," one of a few songs that influenced Led Zeppelin.

Here, the Deep River Quartet performs "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)," a song made famous by Solomon Burke.

Led Zeppelin's "Baby Come On Home" was recorded during 1968 sessions for the band's first album but not released until 1993, when it was included on both Box Set 2 and The Complete Studio Recordings. On that track, Led Zeppelin gives a partial writing credit to the late Bert Berns, who was producer and songwriter for Solomon Burke, because their song is partially based on another "Baby Come On Home" from earlier in 1968, recorded by Burke and crediting Berns as songwriter.

Here, Solomon Burke sings the original "Baby Come On Home," originally released in 1968 and available on The Platinum Collection from Rhino/Atlantic.

Update: One of my favorite blogs, NMissCommentor, has published a blog entry as a tribute to Solomon Burke featuring several stirring videos of him performing.

Update 2: It's been pointed out to me (thanks, Scott) that Led Zeppelin's "Baby Come On Home" may be even more influenced by the first recorded version of the song, by Hoagy Lands in 1964. A clip follows:

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