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Black Dog

Black Dog

Playing tracks by

Howlin’ Wolf, Fleetwood Mac, Blind Blake, Lightnin Hopkins, Big Joe Turner and more.



As part of a series on the Turn Me On, Dead Man blog ( looking at Led Zeppelin's relationship to their influences, this is a compilation of mostly blues tracks that may have had some influence on Led Zeppelin when they recorded "Black Dog". With its winding riff, "Black Dog" is one of their most original pieces but it's still possible to identify sources of influence: Howlin' Wolf's guitar in his "psychedelic" version of "Smokestack Lightnin'," the guitar/vocals call-and-response of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well", and the imagery from a variety of blues songs. Unlike some tracks where Robert Plant lifted too heavily from one source, "Black Dog" is more subtle, incorporating blues images, such as "honey dripper", "down and out", "big legged woman", or even "black dog", for that matter, without infringing on the essence of any particular blues song.