Led Zeppelin songs covered in a reggae style with Elvis on vocals. It’s one thing to come up with the concept, it’s another thing to make it work and sell millions of records based on the idea. But somehow Dread Zeppelin pulled it off. Not only was Robert Plant a fan, they were on the same record label as R.E.M and they recorded their early material in a studio owned by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Only in the 90s could any of this have happened…
African reggae artist Alpha Blondy’s cover of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love featured on his 2018 album Human Race.
In 1962 Muddy Waters recorded a blues called You Need Love with lyrics by Willie Dixon for Chess Records. In 1966 The Small Faces recorded a version of the song as You Need Loving for their debut album. Led Zeppelin’s recording of Whole Lotta Love appeared on their second album Led Zeppelin II in 1969 and was released as a single in 1970. The track frequently places in the top ten greatest rock songs of all time. Long-running UK chart show Top of The Pops used versions of the song as theme music for most of its history.
Similarities between Whole Lotta Love and You Need Love led to a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin in 1985 which was settled out of court in favour of Dixon for an undisclosed amount. On subsequent Led Zeppelin releases, Dixon’s name is included on the credits.
Robert Plant later said about Led Zeppelin’s version of the song: “Page’s riff was Page’s riff. It was there before anything else. I just thought, ‘well, what am I going to sing?’ That was it, a nick. Now happily paid for. At the time, there was a lot of conversation about what to do. It was decided that it was so far away in time and influence that … well, you only get caught when you’re successful. That’s the game.”
Sandie Shaw’s version of Your Time is Gonna Come was the first ever cover of a Led Zeppelin song on record and appeared on her self-produced 1969 album Reviewing The Situation, her last album of the 1960s. Although she continued to release singles throughout the 1970s, it would be over a decade before her next full album release, Choose Life, in 1983.
Your Time is Gonna Come was originally recorded by Led Zeppelin in 1968 and appeared on their eponymous debut album in 1969. After its recording it was never played live by the band.