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John Henry Bonham - 33 Years Gone

Today, on the 33rd anniversary of the passing of the greatest drummer of all time, John Bonham, I'd come up with my top five Led Zeppelin drumming songs. I know that it's hard to narrow down the list and even earlier work in Band Of Joy contained some powerful work. I know that today's playlist is all Bonham. Take a second today and pay your own tribute to Bonzo.

Good Times Bad Times
The bass drum triplets starting at 2:14. Is there any more that needs to be said? Using his experience in bands from the Midlands, John Bonham brought his creativity and power to each song in Led Zeppelin. Drummer Carmine Appice said that Bonham took the bass drum triplets from the Vanilla Fudge song Ticket To Ride.


I Can't Quit You Baby

Taking from his love of jazz, blues and R&B, Bonham breathed new life into this Willie Dixon classic. Bonham laid a cool, simple 12/8 beat down, allowing Robert Plant's lyrics and Jimmy Page's guitar work to shine. Interesting enough, if you listen to the live version from the last album Coda, er Royal Albert Hall (from January 9, 1970), you'll hear more of those bass drum triplets.


Achilles Last Stand

Perhaps it was gained from his formative years as a bricklayer or perhaps it was his 16 oz. arm curls, John Bonham was the thunder and the power behind Led Zeppelin. No other Led Zeppelin studio song aptly presents this fact as much as the first track from Presence. During the course of the track, Bonham's volcanic drum fills interlock with Page’s wailing guitar parts, seizing several moments of tension that build to the bursting point.


Fool In The Rain

Whether the samba beat was sourced from Robert Plant watching the 1978 FIFA World Cup or from personal knowledge, this is another track that Bonham took a step back to let other instruments take center stage. However, not to be totally non-existant in the track, Bonham offers up some tasty drum fills after the center section of the song.

Bonzo's Montreux

Not to be totally void of any drum solos in this list, Bonzo's Montreux makes an appearance. Drum solos were a very integral part of Led Zeppelin's live shows, allowing John Bonham to experiment and bloody up his cymbals. Recorded on September 12, 1976 at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland with Jimmy Page, Bonham wanted to create a drum orchestra. Starting with laying down the rhythm track with the drum track, he then laid auxillary instruments, such as tympanis, timbales and conga over the top. It was first released on Led Zeppelin's studio album Coda in 1982 and later fused with Moby Dick from Led Zeppelin II by Jimmy Page in May 1990 at Atlantic Records' Synclavier Suite, adding electronic treatments for inclusion on Led Zeppelin's first Box Set.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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November 21, 1968 - Robert becomes a father to a baby girl named Carmen Jane.
November 09, 1968 - Robert marries Maureen in London. Their reception is a performance at the Roundhouse in London
November xx, 1969 - Tempers flare over Atlantic in the UK wanting to release singles
November xx, 1969 - Recording for Led Zeppelin III begins at Olympic Studios in London
November xx, 1970 - Plans are in motion for a Yardbirds reunion
November 08, 1971 - Finally after much anticipation, Untitled is released
November xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy is mixed and completed
November 10, 1972 - Led Zeppelin sell out 120,000 tickets in one day
November xx, 1973 - Initial recordings for Physical Graffiti commences at Headley Grange
November 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finalize the purchase of Headley Grange to be their new corporate headquarters
November xx, 1974 - The band makes plans and rehearses for the tenth North American tour
November xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin records Presence in a mere 18 days
November xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin book into Ezyhire Studios to rehearse new material for an upcoming tour
November 04, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same movie premieres in Europe
November xx, 1977 - Jimmy dispells rumors of Led Zeppelin’s break up
November 06, 1978 - Led Zeppelin purchase and ship new gear to Polar Studios to begin work on a new album
November 10, 1979 - Led Zeppelin and their entire entourage attend an ABBA concert
November 07, 1980 - The band meets with Peter Grant to announce the retirement of Led Zeppelin
November 29, 1999 - The RIAA announced that Led Zeppelin were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums, a Diamond album being awarded for accredited sales of more than 10 million units in the US.
November 01, 2007 - An announcement was made that Jimmy Page had fractured his finger on his left hand after a fall in his garden and the reunion show would be postponed to December 10, 2007.
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