The Crunge

"The Crunge" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1973 album Houses of the Holy. It was also released as the B-side of "D'yer Mak'er".


The song evolved out of a jam session in the studio. John Bonham started the beat, John Paul Jones came in on bass, Jimmy Page played a funk guitar riff (and a chord sequence that he'd been experimenting with since 1970), and Robert Plant started singing. For the recording of this track, Page played on a Stratocaster guitar and it is possible to hear him depressing a whammy bar at the end of each phrase.

This song is a play on James Brown's style of funk in the same way that "D'yer Mak'er" experiments with reggae. Since most of James Brown's earlier studio recordings were done live with almost no rehearsal time, he often gave directions to the band in-song e.g. "take it to the bridge" - the bridge of the song. Plant pays tribute to this at the end by asking "Where's that confounded bridge?" (spoken, just as the song finishes abruptly).

The voices that can be heard talking on the recording just as Bonham's drums begin on the intro are those of Jimmy Page and audio engineer George Chkianz.

Prior to 1975, "The Crunge" was only heard live at Led Zeppelin concerts during the band's "Whole Lotta Love" medley and their 1972 tour version of "Dazed and Confused". One example of this arrangement is presented on the live album How the West Was Won, where it also appears with "Walter's Walk" on a 25 minute medley. However, on the 1975 tour of the United States the song was performed almost entirely several times, in the funk jam that would link "Whole Lotta Love" and "Black Dog" at the end of the concert.

The band's bass player John Paul Jones considers this to be one of his favourite Led Zeppelin songs.

Other versions

Other bands have covered Led Zeppelin's song or played it live:

References in other media

  • This song is sampled during some boss fights in the game Devil May Cry 3.
  • In the film Almost Famous a reference is made to the song. On the shirt of the Led Zeppelin fanatic, Vic, is written the four "runes" from Led Zeppelin IV and "Have You Seen The Bridge?".
  • This song was the title of a season 5 episode of That 70s Show. All season 5 episodes were named after Led Zeppelin tunes.


  • A voice is audible at the beginning asking Bonham if he's "ready to go."
  • At the beginning of the song around 9 seconds in you can hear Page faintly test out a guitar chord to see if it worked with the song.
  • The main riff of the song is in a 9/8 time signature.



  • Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, by Chris Welch, ISBN 1-56025-818-7
  • The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, by Dave Lewis, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9

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