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Over the Hills and Far Away - Led Zeppelin

Over the Hills and Far Away

Houses of the Holy
classic rock rock hard rock Led Zeppelin 70s


"Over the Hills and Far Away" is the third track from Led Zeppelin's 1973 album Houses of the Holy. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant originally constructed the song in 1970 at Bron-Yr-Aur, a small cottage in Wales where they stayed after completing a gruelling North American concert tour. Page plays a six-string acoustic guitar introduction with a melody reminiscent of "White Summer". Page repeats the theme with 12-string acoustic guitar in unison. Plant's vocals enter on the next repetition. He tenderly offers himself to the "lady" who's "got the love [he] need(s)." The acoustic guitars build in a crescendo toward the abrupt infusion of Page's electric guitars along with drummer John Bonham's and bass guitarist John Paul Jones' rhythm accompaniment. Through the pre-verse interludes and instrumental bridge, "Over the Hills and Far Away" stands out as an example of Jones and Bonham's tight interplay. Following the final verse, the rhythm section fades out, gradually replaced by the echo returns from Page's electric guitar and a few chords played by Jones on harpsichord. In the final 8 bars, Page executes a linearly descending/ascending sequence and then concludes with the idiomatic V-I tag on pedal steel guitar. The song was released as Houses of the Holy's first US single, reaching #51 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, later becoming a staple of the Classic rock radio format. Set lists from Led Zeppelin concerts frequently contained "Over the Hills and Far Away", the song being one that the band introduced on stage well ahead of its studio release. The group first played it during their 1972 concert tour of the United States and retained it consistently through 1979, before omitting it from their final tour of Europe in 1980. In singing the song live, Plant commonly followed the words "pocket-full of gold" with "Acapulco Gold" (a type of marijuana), as can be heard on the live album How the West Was Won. Also, at concerts guitarist Jimmy Page performed an extended guitar solo, which essentially consisted of the rhythm and lead guitar parts of the album version split into two separate pieces. This extended solo made the live renditions last almost or more than seven minutes. Plant had problems with singing the song live - he struggled to sing it at the Oxford show at the UK 1972/1973 tour and changed to melody of the song to a lower register on all the future tours. Archive footage of this track being performed live at Seattle in 1977 and at Knebworth in 1979 was used for an officially distributed video of the song, used to promote the 1990 Led Zeppelin Remasters release. The video accompanied a CD single which was released following the successful "Travelling Riverside Blues" release. The song was first called "Many, Many Times", as shown on a picture of the original master on the Led Zeppelin website. Among blogging and forum-attending Led Zeppelin fans, the song has gained the abbreviation OTHAFA.


Led Zeppelin were an English rock band originally formed in 1968 by guitarist Jimmy Page under the name "The New Yardbirds", based on Page's previous band, The Yardbirds. The band formed when Jimmy Page (guitar) recruited Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin), and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven blues-rock sound, Led Zeppelin are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock music. Show more ...

Over the Hills and Far Away - Led Zeppelin

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