The Garden Tapes

A study of the Led Zeppelin film and album The Song Remains The Same
by Eddie Edwards

The Garden Tapes » The Song Remains The Same » Heartbreaker

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Just a few fragments of Heartbreaker are featured in the film, as a backdrop to the missing money story. These are as follows:

  1. Part of the drum intro, the opening riffs and the first verse
  2. Part of the third verse and the break leading up to the guitar solo
  3. The first part of the guitar solo
  4. The last few bars of the fast instrumental and the drum bridge to Whole Lotta Love

All this is from the first night, the 27th. Robert hadn't sung a note for half an hour, so it's not surprising that his voice needed a moment or two to warm back up. As he sang the first line, "Hey, fellas, have you heard the news, you know that Annie's back in town?", his voice cracked on the words "fellas" and "town", but these two words have been neatly patched up with studio overdubs. Presumably a backup vocal line was recorded and mixed in at the vital moments.

That's all we heard of Heartbreaker on the original releases. On the new DVD, we hear the same extracts, although the exact points of fading in and out vary slightly; in particular, an earlier start has allowed inclusion of the full drum intro. The vocal overdubbing on the first line is the same as in the original film, except that "fellas, have you" has been replaced instead of just "fellas". The next line, "Won't take long, just watch and see all the fellas lay their money down", has been taken from the 28th. Further on, just before the stop for the guitar solo, the second "night" in "Every night, every night" has been patched with a copy of the first one.

Using just these fragments on the new CD was obviously not an option, so for once we have something entirely different to consider on this release. The beginning is exactly the same as on the new DVD, with the same vocal fixes, but after that we get the full version from the 27th, with the exception of the removal of eight bars towards the end of the fast instrumental. The guitar playing in this deleted section was a little on the sloppy side, but no more so than in a few other places during this solo, so the need for this cut is questionable. It is, however, perfectly executed, with no disturbance to the rhythm or the bass line.

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