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Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Whole Lotta Love" Isolated Drum Track

Here's a really treat for all you Led Zeppelin aficionados. It's the isolated drum track from their hit "Whole Lotta Love" off of their 2nd album. This cut illustrates perfectly why drummer John Bonham's sound and style is still emulated to this day. Here are some things to listen for (the drums don't enter until :39).

1. The drum kit sounds like a single instrument instead of a series of closely related pieces. That's because that was the way recording drums was approached way back then (1969), where there wasn't enough mics or input channels to even think about miking each drum. As a result, the overall sound was more important than the individual drum sound and there's a lot of  space around the drums because they weren't close miked. Still, there's plenty of power in his kick and snare, because he played them hard!

2. Bonham plays a modified shuffle feel in the song that really makes it work. That's why you rarely hear a cover band play it as well, since most drummers never quite hear inside the beat.

3. Check out the cymbal pattern Bonzo plays in bridge. It sounds random, but it isn't.

4. You can hear him singing (grunting) along at 4:00.

5.  Bonham's fills are simple and powerful. Most drummers would flash technique in a song like this.

6. Listen for the song ending that you never heard on the record.


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Alex said...

An the reflections of the room add some 16th vibe. Hear it clear @ 4:00 onwards.

Maurice Evans said...

It's amazing that you don't hear Bonham's grunting on the release.

Gian Nicola Beraldo said...

What a song :-)


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