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Not So Much Trampled As Elevated: Stevie And Zeppelin

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Listening to Stevie Wonder’s excellent 1973 album Talking Book this morning, I was reminded of John Paul Jones’s happy admission of his debt to Wonder’s Clavinet intro to “Superstition” for Jones’s own Clavinet part on “Trampled Under Foot.”

 “Trampled Under Foot,” which of course appears on 1975’s Physical Graffiti, is an unusually funky track for Led Zeppelin, and the funk is brought from the beginning by that cool Clavinet part. 

What The Hell’s A Clavinet?

Well, it’s no longer used, but from the sixties through the eighties, this Hohner-built keyboard got used a LOT in R&B, rock, and disco music.  It has a sort of horn-like “honk-y” sound – well, if you know either “Superstition” or “Trampled Under Foot,” you know what it sounds like.  It’s one of the many kinds of keyboards made redundant by the invention of synthesizers, although some might claim that the true sound of such instruments can never be properly, exactly reproduced by synthesizers.

Which Is Better?

You tell me.  “Superstition” and “Trampled Under Foot” are two of the best songs ever written (no argument there, I take it?).  We probably all have our preference, but we’re all correct.  Check out these two great songs.


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