4 Songs You Didn’t Know Drummer John Bonham Wrote for Led Zeppelin

He was a wild man. Some said he had four, six, even eight arms. He was the backbone and the big-hearted, big-footed beat of one of the greatest rock bands of all time. He’s the British-born drummer John Bonham and he’s a legend in classic rock.

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But Bonham wasn’t just the guy on the kit behind lead singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones. No, he was also a composer, someone who helped write many of the band’s biggest hits.

[RELATED: 5 Songs You Didn’t Know John Paul Jones Wrote for Led Zeppelin]

Below, we will dive into four songs that Bonham helped put together for Led Zeppelin. Four songs many rock fans love.

1. “Since I’ve Been Loving You”

Written by Robert Plant, John Bonham, Jimmy Page

From Led Zeppelin’s 1970 album known as Led Zeppelin III, this blues rock song was written by three of the four band members. The track, which begins with a wild solo from Jimmy Page, is bolstered by the musical infrastructure from Bonham, who plays heavily and constantly as if pushing the song along with his shoulders. In fact, the whole opening to the song is an instrumental by Page and Bonham.

Workin’ from seven to eleven every night
Really makes life a drag
I don’t think that’s right
I’ve really been the best, the best of fools
I did what I could, yeah
‘Cause I love you, baby
How I love you, darling
How I love you, baby
My beloved little girl, little girl
But baby, since I’ve been loving you, yeah
I’m about to lose my, my worried mind, oh yeah

2. “Rock and Roll”

Written by Robert Plant, John Bonham, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones

Released in 1971 from Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, Led Zeppelin IV, this song opens with a crashing drum beat solo by Bonham, before Page comes in with a rollicking electric guitar riff. Then Plant sweeps in like the electric light sun lion god that he is. The track was born from an impromptu jam session while the group was working on other songs.

It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled
It’s been a long time since I did the stroll
Ooh let me get it back, let me get it back
Let me get it back, baby, where I come from

It’s been a long time, been a long time
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time
Yes, it has
It’s been a long time since The Book of Love
I can’t count the tears of a life with no love
Carry me back, carry me back
Carry me back, baby, where I come from, whoa-oh-oh

3. “Communication Breakdown”

Written by John Bonham, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones

Released in 1969 on the band’s self-titled debut record, “Communication Breakdown” was one of the first that the band wrote together after forming in the late 1960s. The track opens with a wild guitar riff that Bonham backs up with fervent energy and power. These are his calling cards, of course. Plant could not receive a songwriting credit due to a prior record deal.

Hey, girl, stop what you’re doin’
Hey, girl, you’ll drive me to ruin
I don’t know what it is I like about you, but I like it a lot
Won’t you let me hold you, now, let me feel your lovin’ touch

Communication breakdown, it’s always the same
Havin’ a nervous breakdown, a-drive me insane

4. “D’yer Mak’er”

Written by Robert Plant, John Bonham, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones

This song was released on the band’s 1973 album, Houses of the Holy. The writing for the track began with Bonham banging away at his drum kit, over which Page played a reggae-style lead blended with a 1950s rock feel. The song title, of course, is a play on the word “Jamaica,” said with a British accent. But what started off as a bit of a lark in the studio has since become a fan favorite. The song, along with “Rock and Roll,” is one of the few Led Zeppelin songs that was written by all four members.

When I read the letter you sent me, it made me mad mad mad
When I read the news that it brought me, it made me sad sad sad
But I still love you so
And I can’t let you go
I love you
Oh, baby I love you, oh

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You don’t have to go, oh oh oh oh
You don’t have to go, oh oh oh oh
Oh, baby
Babe, please, please, please, please
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh, baby
Oh oh, oh I really love you, baby

Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage

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