Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Whole Lotta Love

Inspired by “You Need Love” by Muddy Waters (1963)
and “You Need Loving” by Small Faces (1966).
Hit versions by Led Zeppelin (US #4 1969 |UK #21 1997), Collective Consciousness Society (UK #13 1970), King Curtis & the Kingpins (US #64/R&B #43 1971), Tina Turner (US #61/R&B #43 1975), Goldbug (UK #3 1996).

From the wiki: “In 1962, Muddy Waters recorded ‘You Need Love’, written for him by peer Willie Dixon. Using Dixon’s lyrics, but without giving him credit, the British mod band the Small Faces recorded the song as ‘You Need Loving’ for their 1966 debut album.

“Some of the lyrics of Led Zeppelin’s version were copied (see below) from the Willie Dixon song, a favorite of Robert Plant’s. Plant’s phrasing is also particularly similar to that of Steve Marriott’s in the Small Faces’ arrangement. The distinct similarities with ‘You Need Love’ would lead to a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin in 1985, settled out of court in favor of Dixon. (Arguably, Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott of Small Faces also committed plagiarism but Led Zeppelin was the far, far larger and more visible act. Faces’ ‘You Need Loving’ had absolutely no chart presence in the US vs. Zeppelin’ ‘Whole Lotta Love’ charting in the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.)

“Dixon was long gone (he passed away in 1992) before he was finally credited on a 1997 reissue of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ but, with the 1985 settlement proceeds, before his passing, Dixon was able to start up the Blues Heaven Foundation to keep a close watch on Blues copyrights. Part of that same settlement was also spent on saving the Chess studio in Chicago from being torn down.

“Charted single covers of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ are numerous but none reached the heights of the Led Zeppelin original … except for its fame in the United Kingdom for having been the theme music for the long-running television program Top of the Pops for much of its history, based on a recording by the Collective Consciousness Society (or C.C.S.), a band led by blues guitarist Alexis Korner. The C.C.S. version reached #3 on the UK singles chart in autumn 1970.

“An instrumental cover of the song by King Curtis & the Kingpins, that included Dixon among the writers’ credits, reached #64 on US pop chart and #43 on the R&B chart in 1971. Tina Turner covered the song for her 1975 album Acid Queen. A cover of the song by British band Goldbug reached #3 in the UK singles chart in 1996, leading to a revival in the UK of the Led Zeppelin original where it charted for the first time in 1997, peaking at #21 on the UK Singles chart.”

You Need Love (Dixon lyrics)

You’ve got yearnin’ and I got burnin’
Baby you look so sweet and cunning
Baby way down inside, woman you need love
Woman you need love, you’ve got to have some love
I’m gonna give you some love, I know you need love
You just gotta have love, you make me feel so good

Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin lyrics)

You’ve been learnin’, baby, I’ve been yearnin’,
All them good times, baby, baby, I’ve been yearnin’,
Way, way down inside honey, you need it,
I’m gonna give you my love… I’m gonna give you my love.

Small Faces, “You Need Loving” (1966):

Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (1969):

Collective Consciousness Society (C.S.S.), “Whole Lotta Love” (1970):

King Curtis and the Kingpins, “Whole Lotta Love” (1971):

Tina Turner, “Whole Lotta Love” (1975):

Goldbug, “Whole Lotta Love” (1996):

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