Writer: Jimmy Page (inspired by Jake Holmes)
Original Release: January 12, 1969
Band: Led Zeppelin
Album: Led Zeppelin
"Been dazed and confused for so long it's not true.
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you."
The greatest lyrics in rock 'n' roll. You hardly need the rest of the song after an opening like that.
The story of authorship for this song is a complicated one. In the end, it doesn't reflect well on what is probably my second-favorite band (after the Beatles, naturally). A song called "Dazed and Confused" was first written by Jake Holmes, an American singer-songwriter, in 1967. The British rockers The Yardbirds reworked a new arrangement for themselves. Their co-lead guitarist at the time was Jimmy Page who, of course, went on to join Led Zeppelin. The Zeppelin version includes new lyrics, including the one above, by lead singer Robert Plant (uncredited, interestingly). In 2010, Holmes sued for copyright infringement. He won an out of court settlement as well as the parenthetical writing credit indicated above.
Both the original Holmes and Yardbirds version are included below. Holmes's claim is obviously genuine. At the same time, there's no denying Plant's lyrics bring depth and dimension to the affair.
Want to hear all of the songs I have featured in a convenient playlist?
Enjoy: A Window Above
What are you listening to these days?