Producer/engineer Eddie Kramer discussed The Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger offering Led Zeppelin the chance to record at his mansion in a new Classic Rock interview.
The interviewer asked, “‘Black Country Woman’ ended up on ‘Physical Graffiti’ but was actually recorded outdoors at Stargroves in 1972. Was it recorded that way through pure happenstance?”
“Not at all. You have to understand something regarding Mr. Page and the whole team, and that’s that there was really nothing that came down to happenstance. Everything was planned. In the grand scheme of things, there was always a theme behind everything.
“We were in this bloody great mansion of Mick Jagger’s, the reason being that each room had a different sound, particularly if you were going for a big drum sound.
“At Stargroves there was a really lovely conservatory room, with big bay windows and a 15-foot ceiling. Bonham’s drums sounded fucking enormous when you were looking to capture songs like ‘D’yer Mak’er.’
“In each room in the house, you could put an instrument. I remember we ended up putting one of Jimmy’s Fender amps in the fireplace, with a microphone on it. And we might have had a bass amp in a closet somewhere.
“At that point, John had a great thumping bass amp. The whole idea of recording in a big mansion like that was to be able to separate the sound and have different sounds at your disposal.
“So we thought that if that’s the backdrop, what else can we do? Well, let’s see. Maybe we should go outside where there’s no acoustics? Great idea! So we set up the boys on two stools, with Jimmy and John playing acoustic guitars. We did the basic track, then added drums and bass.
“When it came to the vocal, someone suggested we do it outside. You know – yeah man, it’ll be nice and dry out there! It was all to do with the acoustics – or lack of acoustics – outdoors. Then of course just as we were about to do the vocal, there’s a bloody aeroplane flying overhead.
“So you hear the talkback at the start of the song, which is me going, ‘Oi! What about this aeroplane there?’ And Robert just goes, ‘Nah, leave it!’ I mean, it doesn’t get better than that.