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The Led Zeppelin song Jimmy Page hated and refused to play live

Led Zeppelin are one of the most well-respected outfits in the annals of music. Titans of rock, the English quartet dominated the late 1960s and ’70s with their heavy take on blues-infused rock and roll, and they swiftly eclipsed The Beatles as the hottest band on the planet. 

One of the group’s defining features was that each member remained a genius in their own right. Led Zeppelin was the sum of its parts, and if you were to take any member out of the fold, undoubtedly, they would not have been the same outfit or espoused the power that they are remembered for today.

Frontman Robert Plant’s primal vocals are unmatched; guitarist Jimmy Page is the ultimate rock axeman; bassist John Paul Jones has a musical background like no other; and drummer John Bonham was arguably the greatest rock drummer of all time.

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Led Zeppelin gave fans countless incredible moments over their 12-year career. However, the band weren’t always happy with their creative output, and it transpires that there was one song that they never played live as chief songwriter Jimmy Page “hated” it. 

In 1969, the band released their second album, the iconic Led Zeppelin II. Famously, the LP was recorded across the United Kingdom and North America between January to August 1969 due to the band having a packed tour schedule at the time, and most of the writing was done on the road. Unsurprisingly, this urgency bled into the album’s sound, creating tracks that range from ‘Whole Lotta Love’ to ‘Moby Dick’.

However, the song that Page hated was track six, ‘Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)’, released as the B-side to ‘Whole Lotta Love’. The material was inspired by a groupie who had previously stalked the band early on in their career, but this is not the reason why the Page dislikes the number. The Heston native hates it because of how “throwaway” it is and the fact that out of the cavalier cuts on Led Zeppelin II, it is that singular effort that, to him, has the least quality. 

It’s interesting that Jimmy Page has a particular disliking for ‘Living Loving Maid’, as since the album was released, the song has been hailed by diehard Led Zeppelin fans as one of their best. Reflecting that Page’s opinion is nonconformist, the song actually made it onto the charts, reaching number 65 on the US Hot 100 and 93 on the Japanese Oricon. In a way, though, it adds to the song’s magic that Page hated it, and the band never played it live, sprinkling it with the type of excitement you get from contraband.

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