“Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin

This is a nostalgic song, in which Robert Plant is harping back on the formative years of rock and roll. Hardcore music scholars would argue that the genre traces its origins back to at least the 1920s. And when many of us here and now think of rock and roll, what would likely come to mind in the 1960s and 70s. But by and large the general consensus is that the genre, as we more or less know it today, originated during the 1950s. That was also the decade in which the Led Zeppelin homeys were entering their teens. And what is being put forth basically is that said music has had a profound impact on the vocalist’s life.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll at Lyrics.org.

Indeed later in the song, he seems to personify rock and roll as a woman he loves, one who he hasn’t linked up with in a “long time”. That latter assertion would suggest one of two ideas. First, as implied earlier, is that he considers the early days of rock and roll to have been its best days. 

Secondly, it’s as if those who were still practicing the craft when this song was dropped weren’t holding the genre down correctly. And interestingly, the only song Robert Plant actually namedrops from rock and roll’s heyday is a 1958 track called “Book of Love” by an African-American group who were known as The Monotones.

Lyrics to Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" 

When did Led Zeppelin release “Rock and Roll”?

The band released it on November 8 of 1971 as part of their iconic album entitled “Led Zeppelin IV”.


John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant teamed up to compose the song. Its production was left in the able hands of Page.


Over the years, dozens of acts have released their own versions of “Rock and Roll”. The following are few, worthy of notice:

  • Vanilla Fudge (2007)
  • Le Bal Des Enragés (2016)
  • Jerry Lee Lewis ft. Jimmy Page (2006)
  • Heart (1980)
  • Beelzebubs (1996)

“Rock and Roll”, the Iconic Tune

Between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, Led Zeppelin released a string of iconic songs. “Rock and Roll” happens to be one of these songs from the band’s impressive catalogue. For example, in 2019, Rolling Stone made a list of 40 of the band’s greatest songs of all time. In that list, the publication placed “Rock and Roll” as the 9th greatest song from the band’s entire body of work.

By the way, according to the list in question, the band’s 1969 song “Whole Lotta Love” is their greatest song of all time. “Stairway to Heaven” and “Black Dog” were voted number 2 and 3, respectively.

Rock and Roll

Led Zeppelin’s “Led Zeppelin IV”

Led Zeppelin released their fourth studio album without giving it a title. Being the fourth album from the band, it gradually became known as “Led Zeppelin IV”.

“Led Zeppelin IV” has so far sold almost 40 million copies globally, making it the band’s most commercially successful album ever as well as one of America’s best-selling albums of all time.

The album peaked at No. 1 in their home country, UK, Canada and the Netherlands. In the US, it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

In 2012, Rolling Stone placed this project at No. 69 on their iconic list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In a revised edition of the said list published in 2020, the album was placed at No. 58.

The album was honored with an induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rock and Roll is the greatest song, EVER!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...