Communication Breakdown

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Communication Breakdown
Appears on Led Zeppelin
Published by Superhype Music
Registration ASCAP 330171185
Release date 12 January 1969
Recorded October 1968
Genre Hard rock, blues-rock
Language English
Length 2 minutes 28 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Glyn Johns

'Communication Breakdown' is a song by the English rock band, Led Zeppelin, from their 1969 debut album Led Zeppelin.


The pounding guitar riff was played by Page through a small, miked Supro amplifier throughout, and ran his Fender Telecaster through a fully closed Vox wah pedal to create the 'guitar in a shoebox' sound on the lead. 'Communication Breakdown' is also one of the few songs that Page sang a backing vocal on. The tightly-constructed song would prove to be influential in rock, metal, and alternative music.

In the US, the track was released as the B-side of the single 'Good Times Bad Times'. On the BBC Sessions, released in 1997, this song was featured three times, each with a slightly different improvisation by the musicians. Two live versions taken from performances at the TV program Tous En Scene in Paris in 1969 and at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 can also be seen on the Led Zeppelin DVD. 'Communication Breakdown' is also one of the few Zeppelin songs in which the group did a proper lip-sync video for which is also available on the Led Zeppelin DVD.

The song was used on the soundtrack to the 1998 film Small Soldiers.[1]

Live history

The song was a popular live number at Led Zeppelin concerts, and was the only song to be played during every year that the band toured. It usually either opened shows or was played as an encore. 'Communication Breakdown' was the last song performed in the year of 1975 and 1979 for the band at Earls Court on 25 May 1975 and Knebworth on 11 August 1979.

Formats and track listings

See 'Good Times Bad Times' single.


  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
    • Robert Plant – vocals
    • John Paul Jones – bass guitar
    • John Bonham - drums, percussion
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer
    • Glyn Johns - engineer, mixing
    • Joe Sidore - original CD mastering engineer (mid-1980s)
    • George Marino - remastered CD engineer (1990)


  1. Small Soldiers (1998). Turner Classic Movies. Turner Entertainment. Retrieved on 18 October 2013.