Written and first recorded by Jake Holmes (1967).
Also recorded (as “I’m Confused”) by The Yardbirds (1968).
Hit album version by Led Zeppelin (1969)
From the wiki: “‘Dazed and Confused’ was written and first recorded by Jake Holmes for his debut solo album The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes, released in June 1967. The song has been incorrectly labelled as a tale about a bad acid trip; however, Holmes has confirmed that is not the case – that the song refers to the potential break-up of a relationship, typical of Blues numbers.
“In August 1967, Holmes opened for The Yardbirds at a Greenwich Village gig in New York City. According to Holmes, ‘That was the infamous moment of my life when ‘Dazed and Confused’ fell into the loving arms and hands of Jimmy Page.’ When ‘Dazed and Confused’ subsequently appeared on Led Zeppelin’s album in 1969, Holmes was aware of it but didn’t follow up on it at that time. He said: ‘In the early 1980s, I did write them a letter and I said basically: ‘I understand it’s a collaborative effort, but I think you should give me credit at least and some remuneration.’ But they never contacted me.’
“In June 2010, Holmes finally brought suit against Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page for copyright infringement, claiming to have written and recorded ‘Dazed and Confused’ two years before it appeared on Led Zeppelin’s debut album. In court documents Holmes cited a 1967 copyright registration for the song which he had renewed in 1995. This court case was ‘dismissed with prejudice’, as the parties settled out of court in January 2012.
“In the late ’60s, ‘Dazed and Confused’ quickly became a staple of The Yardbirds’ live performance during the last year of their act. The song was never officially recorded by the band, although a live version was recorded on 30 March 1968, and included on the album Live Yardbirds: Featuring Jimmy Page, under the alternate title ‘I’m Confused’. Notably, it is the only track that has no songwriter credits on the release.
“When the Yardbirds disbanded in 1968, Page planned to record the song yet again, this time with Led Zeppelin. According to Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, the first time he heard the song was at the band’s first rehearsal session at Gerrard Street in London, in 1968: ‘Jimmy played us the riffs at the first rehearsal and said, ‘This is a number I want us to do’.’ Led Zeppelin recorded their version in October 1968 at Olympic Studios, London, and the song was included on their debut album Led Zeppelin (1969).”
The Yardbirds, “I’m Confused” (1968):
Led Zeppelin, “Dazed and Confused” (1969):