The Song Remains the Same (song)

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"The Song Remains the Same"
Song by Led Zeppelin from the album Houses of the Holy
Released 28 March 1973
Recorded 1972
Genre Hard rock, progressive rock
Length 5:30
Label Atlantic
Writer Page/Plant
Producer Jimmy Page
Houses of the Holy track listing
"The Song Remains the Same"
"The Rain Song"
Audio sample
file info · help

"The Song Remains the Same" is a song by the English rock group Led Zeppelin. It is the opening track from their 1973 album, Houses of the Holy.


The song features furious multi-tracked guitar from Jimmy Page, played on a Gibson EDS-1275 double neck 12-string during live shows,[1] and vocals from lead singer Robert Plant. This was Plant's tribute to world music, reflecting his belief that music is universal.

The song was originally an instrumental which was given the working title "The Overture",[2] before Plant added lyrics to it, after which it temporarily came to be known as "The Campaign" before the band settled on the title "The Song Remains the Same".[3] In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, Page discussed the song's construction:

It was originally going to be an instrumental -- an overture that led into "The Rain Song". But I guess Robert had different ideas. You know, "This is pretty good, Better get some lyrics--quick!" [laughs]... I had all the beginning material together, and Robert suggested that we break down into half-time in the middle. After we figured out that we were going to break it down, the song came together in a day... I always had a cassette recorder around. That's how both "The Song Remains the Same" and "Stairway" came together -- from bits of taped ideas.[1]

Plant's vocal track was slightly sped up for the album release.[3] Page played overdubs with a Telecaster on this recording, and also a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar.[3]

The band first performed this song live on their 1972 Japanese Tour.[3] Bootlegs from this tour reveal that the song was still without a settled title, with Plant introducing it as "Zep" from the stage at Tokyo. At Led Zeppelin concerts from late 1972 through 1975, "The Song Remains the Same" was followed (just as on the original album) by direct segue into "The Rain Song". For this live arrangement, Page employed his trademark Gibson EDS-1275 double-necked guitar. "The Song Remains the Same" would be the opening song for the 1977 US tour and 1979 concerts, before being dropped from the set list for the 1980 European tour.[3] The song was also performed at Led Zeppelin's reunion show at the O2 Arena, London on 10 December 2007. This song is played a whole step lower.

"The Song Remains the Same" was featured on Led Zeppelin's 1976 concert film (and accompanying soundtrack), as part of lead singer Robert Plant's fantasy sequence. The title of the song was used as the title of both the film and the album.

A different version of this song, featured on the second disc of the remastered 2CD deluxe edition of Houses Of The Holy, is an instrumental to show how the song was originally intended to be released as before Robert Plant made lyrics for it. Known as "The Song Remains The Same (Guitar Overdub Reference Mix)", it was recorded on May 18, 1972, at the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio at Stargroves with engineer Eddie Kramer and mix engineer George Chkiantz. This version runs 5:30, while the original runs 5:29.


Cover versions


  • Lewis, Dave (2004) The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9
  • Welch, Chris (1998) Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, ISBN 1-56025-818-7


  1. 1.0 1.1 Interview with Jimmy Page, Guitar World magazine, 1993
  2. Dave Schulps, Interview with Jimmy Page, Trouser Press, October 1977.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.