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The intro to Black Dog a panting dog?


butchy stubbs

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I can't believe i've heard this song probably a thousand times since bought Zep 4 like 30 years ago and i always just though it was a cool little throw away scraping guitar sound that Jimmy came up with to start the song but now I hear a panting dog. This would make sense obviously with the title of the song but also the outright horniness of Plant's lyrics. The supposed backward masking on Stairway is stupid bulshit but I think this is probably page aproximating the sound of a panting dog as best he can with a guitar. Has anyone heard this mentioned before? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdlg3Q0NzJo So yah or nay?

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It could be, I'm not sure if it's meant to sound like that but I hear what you are talking about it.

The intro to Achilles though, I'd have to do some research. I don't know if I believe that. Jimmy talks about a "guitar army" used in that song.

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I think your right. And at the beginning of Achilles Last Stand, the intro isn't Jimmy's guitar, it's actual a harpsichord B)

Never thought about it but the Black Dog intro just may be a panting dog. It does sound like one. Now the intro to ALS, not sure about that one.

The one that has puzzled me is Wanton Song. Is it a guitar solo in the middle or an organ? Jimmy has been asked this before. I read it in an interview years back. He states that it's done by guitar, but it sounds like an organ. If it is a guitar, he must have thrown some effects into it. Can anyone elaborate on this one?

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I think your right. And at the beginning of Achilles Last Stand, the intro isn't Jimmy's guitar, it's actual a harpsichord B)

Don't think so...it's guitar playing the Em, F#m progression.

The one that has puzzled me is Wanton Song. Is it a guitar solo in the middle or an organ? Jimmy has been asked this before. I read it in an interview years back. He states that it's done by guitar, but it sounds like an organ. If it is a guitar, he must have thrown some effects into it. Can anyone elaborate on this one?

It's possible that he may have played it through a Leslie speaker...

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an educated guess:

chorus of wanton song is a guitar with ettects and studio trickery, one of the effects is a tremolo pedal, it's very prominent here, gives it that in and out sound, similar to some organs (many songs had this, one that springs to mind is let it be guitar solo) black dog is a phaser and page using a long finger nail to scratch one of the strings near the bridge/saddle, again with studio twiddlings.

beginning of achilles are electric guitars, surely, imho...

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an educated guess:

chorus of wanton song is a guitar with ettects and studio trickery, one of the effects is a tremolo pedal, it's very prominent here, gives it that in and out sound, similar to some organs (many songs had this, one that springs to mind is let it be guitar solo) black dog is a phaser and page using a long finger nail to scratch one of the strings near the bridge/saddle, again with studio twiddlings.

beginning of achilles are electric guitars, surely, imho...

Yeah, I never thought the beginning of ALS was anything but.

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Now I can't stop thinking about this. I've always thought the intro to BD is cool as hell, but now I'm sitting here obsessing over it. It's creepy! In a good way! Damn, can you imagine when that song first came out (chime in here, old farts, I was only a year old) how mind blowing that must have been!? That whole record is so damn hardcore. It's amazing how it still holds up.

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an educated guess:

chorus of wanton song is a guitar with ettects and studio trickery, one of the effects is a tremolo pedal, it's very prominent here, gives it that in and out sound, similar to some organs (many songs had this, one that springs to mind is let it be guitar solo) black dog is a phaser and page using a long finger nail to scratch one of the strings near the bridge/saddle, again with studio twiddlings.

beginning of achilles are electric guitars, surely, imho...

Thanks for the very detailed info on Wanton Song. It also baffled me how that solo was done. It just sounds so cool. ALS really doesn't sound like a harpsichord, after listening to the tune a while ago. Another thanks to Cactus too for this.

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I've read that the intro to ALS was played on a 12-string electric guitar. But after listening to it, the opening riff sounds like it is played on a 6-string while the ending riff is played on a 12-string. Both of them have heavy phase shifting...probably an MXR Phase 90 pedal.

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It's possible that he may have played it through a Leslie speaker...

I'm inclined to agree with this. Page played through a Leslie cabinet on numerous occasions in the studio*, including the solo on Black Dog. It's the rotating speaker that produces the characteristic doppler efferct on The Wanton Song. To my ears he also uses it on Down By The Seaside.

RB

*dating back to his tenure with The Yardbirds

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I've read that the intro to ALS was played on a 12-string electric guitar. But after listening to it, the opening riff sounds like it is played on a 6-string while the ending riff is played on a 12-string. Both of them have heavy phase shifting...probably an MXR Phase 90 pedal.

Yeah something like that,...bit of a phase, the middle toggle position on the LesPaul which is a built in phase, some distortion and seems like a wah pedal left idle about 2/3 the way depressed, and a tad of delay or pitch shifting.

And sorry about the confusing with the harpsicord,..It was meant tongue in cheek :D

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That just may be the case as I listen to it. I wouldn't bet against it.

It might be a bow scraping but with some studio effects and the speed changed but it still might have been modified to sound like a panting dog intentionaly. I think the chance of this intro being used on a song called Black Dog out of all their other songs is too much to call coincidence. It's posssible but the coincidence theory seems more of stretch of the imagination than it being intentional to me. I know they say that they named the song after a stray dog that was wondering around the area while they were recording but I don't know if I believe that. Its also possible Jimmy was experimenting making noises with his guitar and noticed that it sounded like a panting dog and so used it for the intro and decided to call the song Black Dog. It is the only song title on that album that has nothing to do with the lyrics or music of the song. I think like I said that it's more likely intentional but i still wouldn't bet money on it. Can someone get Jimmy on the horn to clear this up?

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I'll call him right away to get the definitive answer. And while I'm talking to him, I'll ask who the new singer is, when the cd's coming out and when the tour begins. I'm sure he'd divulge all of that to me without hesitation. By the way here's his cell number: %&#*!@^.

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Wow. I'm obsessed with this now. Never sounded like a panting dog before, and now, that's all I hear! And someone pointed out on youtube the "Let's go" at 4:16. How eerie! Man, I love this band!!

Didn't hear that, but it may be there. Plant is definitely saying something, but who knows who may be right. Either need headphones or to crank it up real loud.

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I\'ll call him right away to get the definitive answer. And while I\'m talking to him, I\'ll ask who the new singer is, when the cd\'s coming out and when the tour begins. I\'m sure he\'d divulge all of that to me without hesitation. By the way here\'s his cell number: %&#*!@^.
Thanks! If you talk to him could you also ask him if that rumor about Satan being the 'fifth' member of the band is true and if he really does sing backround on "Hey Hey..." Sorry I thought it was obvious that i was joking about getting Jimmy on the "horn" Guess not. :huh:
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