Today in 1973 the U.S. branch of Atlantic Records released the Led Zeppelin 7-inch single “D’yer Mak’er” / “The Crunge”, from their Houses of the Holy album. The single peaked at #17 on the charts, and Houses has now been certified Platinum 11 times by the RIAA (for sales in excess of 11 million copies).
D’yer Mak’er – Pronounced roughly like “Jamaica”, all four band members share composer credit on this mock reggae-style track. Page has described this one as a cross between reggae and the 1958 number “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson. (Robert Plant supposedly wanted this issued as a single in the UK, and Atlantic is rumored to have distributed some promotional copies to DJs there, but I’ve never seen one or been able to verify this.)
The Crunge – The title is a British expression meaning “the groove”. Credited to all four band members, this one evolved out of a jam session. Page uncharacteristically plays a Fender Strat here, supposedly to give a lighter, less-distorted sound. Plant pays homage to James Brown at the end when he asks “Has anybody seen the bridge?”, referencing the song “Sex Machine”, where Brown tells his band to “take ‘em to the bridge”.