The song was originally meant to be an acoustic piece, being written at Bron-Yr-Aur in 1970 and then recorded at Stargroves during the Houses of the Holy sessions in 1972. However, the band decided to hold the track off the Houses of the Holy album, and the song eventually saw its way onto Led Zeppelin's next studio album Physical Graffiti. By this time it had obtained a distinctly heavier feel, with several studio overdubs having been laid down by Jimmy Page in 1974.
The Rover is a hard rock song written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. It’s the 2nd track on side one of Physical Graffiti, which was released February 24, 1975.
The sleeve credit for The Rover includes the line “Guitar lost courtesy Nevison…Salvaged by the grace of Harwood” in reference to audio engineer Ron Nevison accidently erasing a memorable Jimmy Page guitar track during mixing. “Harwood” refers to engineer Keith Harwood, who Jimmy Page mentioned while discussing Presence with Paul Shaffer during a 2015 Day in Rock interview:
Paul: “You brought your own engineer, of course.”
Jimmy: “I did, I did. His name was Keith Harwood and he was an engineer that I had a real connection with. He did all of the mixes on the Physical Graffiti album and he was the engineer when we put the orchestra on Kashmir. You know, we had a bit of a history.”
Sadly on September 3rd in 1977 Keith Harwood was killed instantly in London, England after he fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle on the way home from a Rolling Stones mixing session.
Sources: Citizendium, Discogs, Ultimate Classic Rock, WordPress
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