Led Zeppelin, “The Rover” (RARE)
Physical Graffiti Rare Gem
Released in 1975 as part of their album Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin’s ‘The Rover’ isn’t nearly as well known as their other material because it’s rarely performed live, but it’s definitely one of their hidden gems! This rare recording features the boys in-studio recording it, giving us a glimpse into what ‘The Rover’ sounded like before they made it fully electric and removed the acoustic guitar intro.
Unlike the final version on Physical Graffiti, this demo has a really raw kind of feel to it, giving weight to the band’s desire to write more personal, emotionally charged content that was driven more by feeling than logic.
The song was originally meant to be an acoustic piece for Houses of the Holy, having been written in 1970 and then recorded during the Houses of the Holy sessions in 1972.
While we love the idea of ‘The Rover’ as an acoustic piece, it’s hard to imagine this song without John Bonham’s backbeat and the push-and-pull dynamic between him and Jimmy Page on the final version – thankfully, we don’t have to!