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Jimmy Page Says Yardbirds Experience Shaped Early Led Zeppelin

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Jimmy Page says he arrived for Led Zeppelin‘s initial sessions with a clear idea of what he wanted to do, and how he wanted to do it. He’d emerged nearly fully formed after a stint in the Yardbirds.

“I was starting to showcase a lot of the various areas that I had been involved with in my own sort of learning curve, if you like, with the guitar — all of the different styles and everything,” Page tells Absolute Radio (embedded above).

This new group, Page said, would be focused on albums, avoiding the hit song-based rat race that had consumed the Yardbirds. “I knew which way I wanted this group to go, because having played with the Yardbirds … I knew we don’t want to do singles,” Page added. “That’s the first thing I was saying.”

All that was left, at that point, was to finish shaping the host of concepts he’d brought along for Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. The results, which recently enjoyed a massive new reissue, were released in 1969 simply as ‘Led Zeppelin.’

“When the Yardbirds folded, for example, I had ‘Dazed and Confused,'” Page says. “In the way that it’s heard on the first album, that whole construction of it. ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You,’ I had a whole outline for that. ‘Your Time is Gonna Come,’ I had the chorus. ‘Communication Breakdown,’ I had the riffs and I had a chorus. I didn’t have all of the verses, because I didn’t necessarily want to be writing all of the lyrics. So, I had quite a major part of it.”

Next: Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs

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