WCSX Classic Cuts
Led Zeppelin: “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”
The Hook: Jimmy Page learned the song from a Joan Baez record and used it when Robert Plant auditioned for the band.
Album: Led Zeppelin
Writer: Anne Bredon
Stats: Never released as a single.
Background: “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” which is on Led Zeppelin’s debut album, was the song Jimmy Page had Robert Plant sing in his audition to join the band that would become Zeppelin. Page explained to us how he knew the song and why it was important.
Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin’s cover of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” the song he used to audition Robert Plant for the band. OC:…really haunting. :27
“I heard it on a Joan Baez in Concert record. It’s nothing like our version, but I did play him that original one. I thought it was a traditional song, I didn’t know. ‘Cause at the time those folk artists were doing lots of traditional songs. And I heard this track and I thought, ‘That’s really haunting.’ He was up and open for the sort of things that I was showing him. To be honest, if he hadn’t have locked into it, then I’d’ve been looking for somebody else who was.”