Moby Dick (4:21)

Cover of Led Zeppelin II

From Led Zeppelin II and 140 other releases

“Moby Dick” is an instrumental tune and drum solo by English rock band Led Zeppelin, featured on their 1969 album Led Zeppelin II. It was also known by the alternate titles “Pat’s Delight” and “Over the Top” during various points of the band’s career.

The tune emerged after Jimmy Page would often catch Bonham jamming in the studio, recorded parts of it, and then pieced it all together. Only Page and bassist John Paul Jones play the tune’s Drop-D blues-based riff with Bonham’s drums—as a power trio—at the very beginning and the very end of the tune, leaving the remainder open for Bonham alone. The structure of the main riff is that of the twelve-bar blues. Singer Robert Plant did not sing at all, and in concert would simply introduce Bonham to the audience before the tune started. Studio outtakes from the Led Zeppelin II sessions reveal that the drum solo recorded was edited down from a much longer version.

The guitar riff can be traced back to the BBC unused session track “The Girl I Love” which was recorded in the Summer of 1969. It is an almost note for note copy of a riff which appears in Bobby Parker’s 1961 single, “Watch Your Step”. Jimmy Page was a fan of Parker’s, and at one point in the 1970s attempted to sign him to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records label. John Lennon also admitted the same Parker riff had been a big influence on The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine”. Page’s riff was used as the theme to BBC2’s Disco 2 rock show.

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  • El_Salvador7

    John Roach. Max Bonham.

    12 Jan 8:20pm Reply
  • deathsdemise123

    ...there's few who even come close to this skill on drums.

    31 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Velolciraptor

    The ride never ends. This is the kind of song I'll hear once and then skip religiously at every following playthrough.

    10 Dec 2014 Reply
  • eye_87

    great BONZO!!!

    8 Dec 2014 Reply
  • ArcCK

    Beautiful

    20 Nov 2014 Reply
  • RAY7654321

    Listening to the 2nd studio album "Led Zeppelin II" released in October 1969 and produce by Jimmy Page. First album with the incredible skills of sound engineer Eddie Kramer. 12 X Platinum. Considered one of the most influential Rock albums of the 60's-70's era. Good speakers or headphones, some good drugs, some good friends, some good wine, and this album took you anywhere you wanted to go.

    16 Nov 2014 Reply
  • petross85

    Nice when the band comes back in after the drum solo

    25 Oct 2014 Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski

    Classic!

    2 Oct 2014 Reply
  • hellionhound

    adore it

    14 Sep 2014 Reply
  • TuneBlendR

    Definitely one of rock's best solos...

    3 Aug 2014 Reply
  • YoQueSe666

    It might be missing Robert Plant’s bluesy vocals, but that doesn’t mean “Moby Dick” is any less impressive than Led Zeppelin’s other work. After all, it’s still got Jimmy Page’s incomparable riffing, John Paul Jones’ timeless bass lines and John Bonham’s thunderous bass drumming. By capturing the band’s innovative and unmatched sound that blended blues, folk and hard rock, the song was also a great way for Bonham to flaunt his live skills on the skins. -- watchmojo

    5 Jul 2014 Reply
  • hanstone

    There is none better.

    14 Jun 2014 Reply
  • vinman76

    John Henry Bonham!!

    6 May 2014 Reply
  • theironictea

    Awesome!

    31 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Distron

    way to long = short attention span

    28 Mar 2014 Reply
  • JackJones17

    How The West Was Won 19:23 min version is incredible

    26 Jan 2014 Reply
  • senseye-blues

    love the drums

    20 Jan 2014 Reply
  • Tom_Pullings

    Moby drum is right!

    8 Jan 2014 Reply
  • MusicMagic77

    The 11 minutes long The Song Remains The Same live version is excellent !

    2 Jan 2014 Reply
  • freetofu

    Finally.

    27 Dec 2013 Reply
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