5 Led Zeppelin Songs the Band Members Disliked

5 Led Zeppelin Songs the Band Members Disliked

Robert Plant has already responded to his decades-long disconnect with the 1971 Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway to Heaven.” In 2022, Plant revealed his relationship with the song now, more than five decades after it was released.

“When I hear it in isolation, I feel overwhelmed for every single reason you could imagine,” said Plant. “There was a mood and an air of trying to make it through. The world is a different place.”

He added, “Everybody was reeling from Vietnam and the usual extra helping of corruption with politics. There were people who were really eloquent, who brought it home far less pictorially and did a much better job of reaching that point.”
Regardless of Plant’s distance from the Zeppelin classic, he did perform “Stairway to Heaven” for the first time in 16 years during a benefit concert for the Cancer Awareness Trust, organized by founding Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, in October 2023. The last time Plant performed the song live before 2023 was on December 10, 2007, when he and surviving members of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones, reunited and were joined by late drummer John Bonham‘s son Jason for a tribute concert for the songwriter Ahmet Ertegun in London.

Along with Plant’s mixed feelings around “Stairway,” the other band members had some strong opinions about past Led Zeppelin songs. Here’s a look at five more Led Zeppelin songs that Plant’s bandmates disliked.

1. “Whole Lotta Love” (1969)

Written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul JonesWillie Dixon

It would be hard to imagine The Song Remains the Same or breaking open Led Zeppelin II without the chug of “Whole Lotta Love,” but the edited track prepared by the band’s label as a single for AM radio is the version of the song that Page detested. “I produced ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and the entire second album as an un-editable expression,” said Page in 2014, “a work that had to be aired on stereo FM to make sense.”

Portions of the song also borrowed from Willie Dixon’s “You Need Love,” which was recorded by Muddy Waters in 1962. Dixon later sued the band in 1985 and was added to the song credits.

“Whole Lotta Love” went to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Led Zeppelin II topped the 200 chart.

2. “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)” (1969)

Written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page

Also from Led Zeppelin II, “Living Loving Maid” was released as the B-Side to “Whole Lotta Love” and was inspired by a clingy groupie who was stalking the band in their earlier days. Even though he co-wrote it, Page was not the biggest fan of the song, and the band never played it live. The song was later covered by Great White in the late ’90s and by Train in 2016.

3. “D’yer Mak’er” (1973)

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Written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones

John Bonham and John Paul Jones weren’t fans of the band’s attempt at a reggae song. A play on the word “Jamaica” spoken in an English accent, “D’yer Mak’er” was on the band’s fifth album Houses of the Holy, and was a cross between a reggae song and something from the 1950s like Rickey Nelson’s “‘Poor Little Fool,’ Ben E. King’s things, stuff like that,” according to Page in 1977.

[RELATED: The Story Behind the Band Name: Led Zeppelin]

Unfortunately, only half of Led Zeppelin was feeling “D’yer Mak’er.” The song wasn’t popular with the rhythm section. Along with Bonham’s uninspired playing, Jones naturally followed the drummer’s more subdued beat. “John was interested in everything except jazz and reggae,” said Jones in the 2001 book John Bonham: A Thunder of Drums. “He didn’t hate jazz, but he hated playing reggae. He thought it was really boring.”

Jones added, “He wouldn’t play anything but the same shuffle beat all the way through it. It would have been all right if he had worked at the part, [but] he wouldn’t, so it sounded dreadful.”

4. “Royal Orleans” (1976)

Written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones


When I step out, strut down with my sugar / She’d best not talk like Barry White sings Plant on “Royal Orleans” from the band’s seventh album Presence. Named after the Royal Orleans Hotel, and some transvestites the band was hanging out with at the time, the lyrics are generally playful, and tell the story of a man who mistakenly goes home with a woman who is a man. In retrospect, the song was one bassist John Paul Jones considered “homophobic.”

“There was another member of the band who found himself in situations where they didn’t know it was a boy,” revealed Jones, “and it certainly wasn’t me.”


5. “All My Love” (1979)

Written by Robert Plant and John Paul Jones

Released on the band’s eighth and final album In Through the Out Door, “All My Love” was a song Page wrapped his guitar around—his head was another thing. The guitarist, along with Bonham, felt the song, draped in a more orchestral arrangement with strings, was a softer side of Led Zeppelin they didn’t want to show.

In Through the Out Door was titled as a reflection of the band’s tax troubles at the time and following the death of Plant’s 5-year-old son Karac, while the band was on tour in North America in 1977. Before the album, Plant was considering retiring from music for good before Bonham convinced him to come back. The album, the final one recorded with Bonham before his death on September 25, 1980, went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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