For this month’s version of The Original vs. the Cover, we are going to discuss the Jake Holmes song “Dazed and Confused” that was later covered (or stolen) by Led Zeppelin. The Jake Holmes song was released in 1967. Jimmy Page heard this song when Jake’s band and Jimmy Page’s band The Yardbirds were on the same bill. Jimmy took the song and made several changes to it and performed it with the Yardbirds. However, it didn’t get recorded until 1968 with Pages new band Led Zeppelin.
I say stole, because Page didn’t credit Holmes as the songwriter with the Led Zeppelin release. Page felt he had made enough changes to the song that he didn’t need to credit Mr. Holmes. And for the longest time Holmes did nothing until 2010 when he finally filed suit against Page. The lawsuit never made it to court as it was eventually settled out of court. Now, when the song is on an album that is newly released from Zeppelin it says…inspired by Jake Holmes.
Enough of the dirty music business. Let us focus on the song and which version is better. We will start as we usually do with the Original and then discuss the Cover ending with a wonderful Verdict of which one I like more. And away we go…
The song was recorded in 1967 for Jake’s debut album, ‘The Above Ground Sound”. It was recorded as a trio with only an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar and a bass. No drums!! And honestly, you don’t miss them. The song is a trippy, psychedelic wonder. The song feels like a bad acid trip, full of paranoia and god knows what. Holmes at one time said it was about a girl and that can be true because women have dazed and confused men for centuries.