• Writers: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones
  • Producer: Jimmy Page
  • Recorded: 1971 at Headley Grange, Hampshire, England with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio
  • Released: November 8, 1971 (album)
    December 2, 1971 (single)
  • Players:
    Jimmy Page–guitar
    Robert Plant–vocals
    John Paul Jones–bass
    John Bonham–drums
  • Album: Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album (Atlantic, 1971)
  • Also On:
    Led Zeppelin (boxed set) (Atlantic, 1990)
    Remasters (Atlantic, 1992)
    The Complete Recordings (Atlantic, 1993)
    BBC Sessions (Atlantic, 1997)
    Early Days: The Best Of Led Zeppelin, Vol. 1 (Atlantic, 1999)
  • The chaotic “Black Dog,” which became a Led Zeppelin staple and one the band’s most instantly recognizable tunes, opens the group’s untitled fourth album.
  • “Black Dog” got its name from a black mutt that had been wandering around the Headley Grange studios during the song’s recording. The canine was, apparently, nameless.
  • The single reached Number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • John Paul Jones, whose initial wish was to “try an electric blues with a rolling bass part,” developed the song’s complicated turn-around time signatures.
  • After grappling with the song’s unusual shifting time, drummer John Bonham chose to ignore it by applying a steady 4/4 beat as if there was no turn-around. “That was the secret,” says Jones.
  • Guitarist Jimmy Page‘s riff-fest was actually accomplished by overdubbing four separate guitar tracks.
  • Page later admitted that the song’s memorable a cappella verses were inspired by the Fleetwood Mac song “Oh Well.”
  • Lead singer Robert Plant sampled “Black Dog” (as well as “Custard Pie,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and “The Ocean”) for his 1988 hit “Tall Cool One,” and for the 1990 track “Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night.”


  • Page and Plant’s 1994 reunion led to the No Quarter album, and subsequent tour, during which the duo presented a reworked version of “Black Dog.”
  • Following the death of drummer John Bonham on September 25th, 1980, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin chose to break up the band rather than continue on without him.
  • Page, Plant, and Jones have reunited for special occasions, such as Live Aid in 1985 and the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert in 1988.
  • Plant and Page hooked up for an “unledded” tour, during which the duo presented a reworked version of “Black Dog.” The tour paved the way for the albums No Quarter and Walking Into Clarksdale.
  • The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
  • “Rock And Roll” has been used as the theme music for Cadillac advertising — a rare commercial use of the band’s music, which was agreed upon by all three surviving members. They reportedly were paid “a ridiculous amount” for the rights to the song. Plant even showed up at Cadillac headquarters in downtown Detroit in August 2002 to help the company celebrate its 100th anniversary.
  • Page played a handful of shows with the Black Crowes in late 1999 that led to the album Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes: Live At The Greek.
  • Jones has released two solo albums and toured in recent years.
  • Page and his wife Jimena are active in trying to help Brazilian street children. That work earned the guitarist the honor of being named an Officer Of The Order Of The British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Led Zeppelin received the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 Grammy Awards.
  • Plant recently scored a hit album with bluegrass artist Alison Krauss, called Rising Sand, which opened at Number Two on the Billboard album charts.

The band regrouped for a single show on December 10th, 2007, at London’s O2 Arena, with Jason Bonham on drums, at a tribute to the late Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.