New York Song


There is a train that leaves the station heading for your destination, but the price you pay to nowhere has increased a dollar more...
Sometimes introduced as "The New York Song," the lyrics of "Celebration Day" record Robert Plant's impressions of New York City on Led Zeppelin's 1971 US concert tour.

The song is the third track from the band's 1970 "Led Zeppelin III" album. "Celebration Day" was almost left off the album, because an engineer erased the beginning parts of John Bonham's drum track by mistake. In order to save the track and be included in the album, the Moog synthesizer from the end of the previous track, "Friends," was used to mask over the edit.

In an interview with Guitar World magazine in 1993, Jimmy Page described how it all happened:
... the rhythm track in the beginning of "Celebration Day" was completely wiped by an engineer. I forget what we were recording, but I was listening through the headphones and nothing was coming through. I started yelling "What the hell is going on!!" Then I noticed that the red recording light was on what used to be the drums. The engineer had accidently recorded over Bonzo! And that is why you have that synthesizer drone from the end of "Friends" going into "Celebration Day", until the rhythm track catches up. We put that on to compensate for the missing drum track. That's called "salvaging." [laughs.]
"Celebration Day" was often performed live in Led Zeppelin concerts between the years 1971 and 1973.

The song was also recorded and included on Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same" soundtrack, which was released in 1976. However, the film did not include this song, but in 2007, when the DVD of the film was reissued, the live cut of "Celebration Day" was finally added. The reissue of the album now also contains this version of Celebration Day, instead of the 1973 U.S. tour version, which was the one originally included in the 1976 album.

"Celebration Day" is a dizzying mixture of Jimmy Page guitar riffs that create a whirlwind of hypnotic sound.
There's about three or four riffs going down on that one, isn't there? Half was done with a guitar in standard tuning and the other half was done on slide guitar tuned to an open A, I think. We put that together at Headley Grange. Because we rented the Rolling Stones' mobile recording studio, we could relax and take our time and develop the songs in rehearsals... I do not remember too much about that song other than that and what I told you earlier about the opening being erased. I used to play the whole thing live on my electric 12-string. -- Jimmy Page.

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