YOU ARE HERE: zharth.net / The Roots of Led Zeppelin Project / Led Zeppelin II / Moby Dick
Song: Moby Dick
Album: Led Zeppelin II [released Oct 22, 1969 (US) | Oct 31, 1969 (UK)]
Credited to: Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones
Watch Your Step - Bobby Parker (music)
The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair - Led Zeppelin (music)
Pat's Delight - Led Zeppelin (music)
Doggone - Arthur Lee (music?)
Personal notes: This is Led Zeppelin's take on the drum solo that became a regular installation in concerts during the 1970's. Examples of other bands doing 'drum solo' songs are Cream with Toad, Deep Purple with The Mule, Ten Years After with Hobbit, and I'm sure there were plenty more. As far as drum solos go, unless you're sincerely interested in the drums as an instrument, they can tend to get a little boring at times, but in this case, John Bonham threw a lot of interesting ideas into Moby Dick, as can be witnessed during live performances. Some of those performances are downright psychedelic, I'd go so far to say. It's cool to see and [more often] hear Bonham showing what he can do, but I'd have to say I like drumming better, in general, when it accompanies the other instruments. With that in mind, I'd have to say this isn't one of my favorite exhibitions of Bonham's skill. Bonzo's Montreux, on the other hand, which is also a drum solo, has managed to keep my attention a little more than Moby Dick. But then again, Bonzo's Montreux doesn't have the absolutely killer riff that Jimmy opens and closes Moby Dick with.
Influences: This was Led Zeppelin's drum solo song, and replaced Pat's Delight, which was the band's drum solo song before this album was recorded. The riff that opens and closes this song evolved from the riff that Led Zeppelin created for The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair (available on BBC Sessions). This incarnation of the riff closely resembles the riff from the Bobby Parker song titled Watch Your Step, released in 1961. Watch Your Step was also covered by the Spencer Davis Group, and influenced The Beatles' song Day Tripper. Regarding Bobby Parker's original version of Watch Your Step, the IFMTL quotes the liner notes for the album Bent Out of Shape:
It was a takeoff on "Mantecna" by Dizzy Gillespie. I started playing the riff on guitar and decided to make a blues out of it.
Unsolved Mysteries: (Please contact me if you have any information about the following)