Led Zeppelin – ‘Rock & Roll’
  • Writers: Led Zeppelin
  • Producer: Jimmy Page
  • Recorded: Summer 1971 at Headley Grange, Hampshire, England, with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio
  • Released: November 8th, 1971
  • Players:
    Jimmy Page — guitar
    Robert Plant — vocals
    John Paul Jones — bass
    John Bonham — drums
    Ian Stewart — piano
  • Album: Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album (Atlantic, 1971)
  • Also On:
    The Song Remains The Same (Swan Song, 1976)
    Led Zeppelin (Atlantic, 1990)
    Remasters (Atlantic, 1992)
    The Complete Studio Recordings (Atlantic, 1993)
    Early Days: The Best Of Led Zeppelin, Vol. 1 (Atlantic, 1999)
    Early Days & Latter Days: Vol. 1 & 2 (Atlantic, 2002)
    How The West Was Won (Atlantic, 2003)
  • Led Zeppelin‘s untitled fourth album is one of the biggest-selling albums in American chart history (not including greatest-hits sets) — it has been certified for sales of 23 million copies. Only a few blockbusters like the EaglesTheir Greatest Hits (1971-1975), Pink Floyd‘s The Wall and Michael Jackson‘s Thriller contend with it in terms of sales.
  • Unlike much of the band’s blues-influenced output, “Rock And Roll” has its roots with early rockers like Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
  • The song came about in a loose jam in the recording of the fourth album, with drummer John Bonham pounding out the intro to Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Guitarist Jimmy Page jumped in with a riff of his own, and the heart of the tune was born. Luckily, the tapes were rolling the whole time and the song’s essence was captured.
  • “Rock And Roll” is one of the few Led Zeppelin songs for which all four band members share songwriting credit.
  • The lyrics reference a number of early rock songs, including “The Stroll,” “Book of Love,” and “Walk In the Moonlight.”
  • With the galvanizing opening lines, “It’s been a long time since I’ve rock and rolled,” the song was frequently used to open shows starting with the band’s 1972 tour. It maintained its set placement until 1975.
  • Singer Robert Plant‘s lyrics were a gauntlet thrown in the face of critics who were lukewarm over the band’s previous album, the experimental, acoustic-oriented Led Zeppelin III.
  • The song’s popularity has led to its inclusion in many post-Zeppelin outings and reunions. It was featured in the band’s Live Aid performance in 1985. It was also played at the May 5, 1990 wedding of John Bonham’s son Jason, who sat in on drums as his father’s bandmates played the song.


  • 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, which 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 recently 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. The band’s future plans are unknown, and the band is meeting to decide what happens next.