Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (6:41)

Cover of Led Zeppelin

From Led Zeppelin and 46 other releases

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” is a traditional folk song written by Anne Bredon in the late 1950s. It was recorded by Joan Baez and released on her 1963 album Joan Baez in Concert, Part 1, and also by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, being included on their 1969 debut album Led Zeppelin.

The band was inspired to cover the song after hearing Baez’s version. Both guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant were big fans of Baez. Baez’s original album had indicated that the song was a traditional number, and Led Zeppelin followed suit by crediting the song as “Trad. , arr. Page”. In the 1980s, Bredon was made aware of Led Zeppelin’s version of the song. Since 1990 the Led Zeppelin version has been credited to Anne Bredon/Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, and Bredon received a substantial back-payment in royalties.

This was the number Page played to Plant at their first meeting together, which took place at Page’s riverside home at Pangbourne in late July 1968. It is often stated that the song evolved when Plant played to Page the guitar arrangement which eventually found its way onto the album. In an interview he gave with Guitar World magazine in 1998, Page refuted this story, noting that he had worked out the arrangement long before he met Plant, told him he would like it on the album, and that Plant at that time did not even play the guitar.

It is rumoured that Page recorded another version of the song, with Steve Winwood, in 1968, which was never released.

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