All Of John Bonham Songs In Led Zeppelin’s Career

When the name Led Zeppelin is mentioned, the immediate associations are often with the towering vocals of Robert Plant and the virtuosic guitar wizardry of Jimmy Page. However, behind the thunderous beats of their legendary music lies the late John Bonham, a drummer who is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. While songwriting wasn’t his primary pursuit, Bonham’s influence extended beyond his drum kit.

The Unconventional Songwriter
John Bonham’s songwriting journey within Led Zeppelin was far from conventional. Unlike his bandmates who engaged in penning lyrics and melodies, Bonham’s contributions were distinct. He didn’t channel his ideas through pen and paper; rather, he provided an inspirational presence in the studio that sparked creative fire among his fellow musicians. His role as a catalyst for ideas was essential, shaping the essence of songs in ways that went beyond traditional songwriting.

The first glimpse of Bonham’s songwriting impact surfaced with “Good Times, Bad Times,” the opening track of Led Zeppelin’s debut album. This track, credited to all band members except Robert Plant, began with a riff driven by John Paul Jones on bass, which was further elevated by Bonham’s innovative bass drum pattern. Jimmy Page recollected, “Everyone was laying bets that Bonzo was using two bass drums, but he only had one.” This unexpected twist perfectly encapsulated Bonham’s ability to infuse uniqueness into Led Zeppelin’s sonic identity.

A Night Out Inspires A Classic
“Out on the Tiles,” from the band’s third album, stands as another testament to Bonham’s inadvertent songwriting contribution. The phrase itself was born from a casual conversation about a night out. Bonham’s mention of his plan to go “out on the tiles” triggered an idea in Jimmy Page’s mind. In a gesture of appreciation, the drummer was credited as one of the song’s writers. This instance underlines Bonham’s role in sparking creativity even in the most mundane exchanges.

The Signature Groove And Beyond
Bonham’s creative essence was perhaps most pronounced in “Moby Dick,” a track that showcased his monumental drum solo. The song revolved around his distinctive drumming style and allowed him to exhibit his brilliance to live audiences. In concerts, the song transformed into an electrifying display of his virtuosity. Similarly, “Kashmir,” a track cherished by both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, was born from Bonham’s collaboration with Page. The song’s haunting intensity was an outcome of their collaboration in a setting where only Bonham and Page were present.

While John Bonham’s contributions to Led Zeppelin’s discography may not adhere to conventional songwriting roles, his impact on tracks like “Moby Dick,” “Kashmir,” “Good Times, Bad Times,” and “Out on the Tiles” remains undeniable. He was a crucial architect of the band’s sound, contributing ideas that shaped the tracks into their final forms. His unique approach to song creation further solidified his legacy as an indispensable part of Led Zeppelin’s success.

Led Zeppelin songs written by John Bonham:

Moby Dick’
‘Good Times, Bad Times’
‘Out on the Tiles’

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