During a Q&A session hosted by Gibson, studio engineer Eddie Kramer talked about working with Led Zeppelin, focusing on some of the tunes he recorded with the guys.
These include “Black Country Woman,” “The Crunge,” and “Heartbreaker,” occasionally referred to as an example of Jimmy Page’s “sloppy” guitar playing.
While discussing his involvement with the band’s 1975 record “Physical Graffiti,” Eddie said:
“So, we’re recording the song called ‘Black Country Woman.’ It was a beautiful day, and they said, ‘Let’s record the tracks outside.’ ‘Oh, OK. Cool.’ No acoustic, meaning no acoustic environment, but we’re outside, and it was quiet, it was a beautiful, sunny day in England.
“I set up the mics for Jimmy [Page, guitar] and [bassist] John Paul Jones to play the two acoustic guitar parts, and cut the track. Then a little later on, Robert [Plant] was gonna sing. ‘Stick the mic outside, yeah, let’s do that.’ ‘OK, fine,’ and we’re ready to do the take.
“I start rolling, hit record, and all of a sudden there’s this mammoth, four-engine – it looked like a World War II plane; it came roaring overhead, it was so freaking loud, and I hit the Stop button.
“I said to Rob, ‘What about this airplane in there?’ and Robert says back to me, ‘Nah, leave it’, and that’s on the CD, that’s actually on the record. You never would get that in a recording studio – a massive four-engine plane flying overhead. No, you wouldn’t hear it.
“So this is a great example of – leave the damn takes in, leave that sh*t in because today, we’re editing out, we’re going in, fine-tuning… Screw that. Nobody had click tracks in those days, we played, the band played in time, and if it was sped up, who cared if it was all together.”