“Whole Lotta Love”, Led Zeppelin

Whole Lotta Love

The opening riff of “Whole Lotta Love” is just what you need sometimes.  If you’re feeling shitty, it will pick you up.  If you’re angry, it will give you a reason to scream.  If you’re feeling badass, it will give you an anthem.  And if you’re lookin’ for some lovin’, it will give you sex in tight blue jeans in the form of Robert Plant.


This is just the song I needed to hear on a Saturday night after an exceptionally exhausting week.  I’ve been feeling gross lately, so I’m trying to eat healthier.  I fell off the wagon a bit tonight when I had an assload of M&Ms and then some Doritos after a week of abstaining from meat and only having a bit of dairy here and there.  I’m still nursing a broken heart after being dumped almost two months ago.  It has been stupidly busy at both of my jobs lately, so I have been working long days where I’m barely sitting down to chill for a few minutes.  I haven’t been sleeping well, and wake up even more tired every day.  When I thought about what to blog about tonight, I knew it should be something I could write quickly and without having to intellectualize too much.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, because I fucking love to analyze songs.  But I knew I only had so much intellectual capacity to spare at this point, so I had to pick something I responded to more viscerally. 


Not that writing about feelings takes less energy, because for me that often is far more draining.  Led Zeppelin is usually a good choice for a blog post that I can just crawl up into and let it flow.  Here’s the only bit of history I’ll give you about “Whole Lotta Love:”


As so often is the case with Zeppelin songs, many of the lyrics are taken from blues songs.  They’ve been criticized for this by some who say they should credit the original writer on their albums.  In fact, Willie Dixon wrote a song called “You Need Love” for Muddy Waters, who recorded it in 1962.  The Small Faces did a cover of it in 1966.  The Zeppelin song was released in 1969.  If you listen to the Faces’ version, Steve Marriott’s style is very similar to what Plant’s would become a few years later.  And in 1985 Willie Dixon sued Zeppelin over the recording and the lawsuit was settled out of court.  Plant never denied borrowing from his idols:


“Page’s riff was Page’s riff. It was there before anything else. I just thought, ‘well, what am I going to sing?’ That was it, a nick. Now happily paid for. At the time, there was a lot of conversation about what to do. It was decided that it was so far away in time and influence that…well, you only get caught when you’re successful. That’s the game.”


As for the visceral experience of “Whole Lotta Love,” I think these words nicely summarize what this song makes me feel:


Way, way down inside

I’m gonna give you my love

I’m gonna give you every inch of my love

Gonna give you my love


Wanna whole lotta love

Wannna whole lotta love

Wannna whole lotta love

Wannna whole lotta love



Way down inside

Woman, you need love

Shake for me, girl

I wanna be your backdoor man


And as I sit here with Doritos crumbs in the corner of my mouth, I have to imagine that my backdoor man is out there somewhere.  


4 thoughts on ““Whole Lotta Love”, Led Zeppelin

  1. You never know hun. You never know.
    Because way down, I said, way down, i said way down inside…..I said way down inside…you need……yeah …(John Bonham drum roll…) …


    (Led Zep were influenced by many…but they took it to the next level. Take that to the Battle of Evermore and smoke it haters!)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.