Travelling Riverside Blues

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Travelling Riverside Blues
1990 US CD single
Appears on Led Zeppelin
Published by Flames of Albion Music
Registration ASCAP 500445772
Release date 8 October 1990
Recorded 24 June 1969
Genre Blues-rock, hard rock
Language English
Length 5 min 12 sec
Composer Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Robert Johnson
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer John Waters

'Travelling Riverside Blues' is a blues-rock song written and recorded by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The title is inspired from 'Traveling Riverside Blues' by blues musician Robert Johnson. The Led Zeppelin song is registered with copyright association ASCAP, with the unique title code 500445772.[1]


The song was recorded at the BBC studios in Aeolian Hall on 24 June 1969, by engineer John Waters, which took place during the band's U.K. Tour of Summer 1969. Jimmy Page dubbed extra guitar tracks onto the track, and it was broadcast four days later on John Peel's Top Gear show under the title 'Travelling Riverside Blues '69',[2] and repeated on 11 January 1970. It is quite different from 'Traveling Riverside Blues', and it is more a pastiche tribute to Robert Johnson than a straight cover. The song showcases a riff by Page (also in open G tuning), and in the lyrics Robert Plant quotes many Robert Johnson snippets, such as 'She studies evil all the time'. It is likely that Johnson borrowed this himself, from a song recorded earlier that year (1937) called 'She Squeezed My Lemon', by Roosevelt Sykes.

'Travelling Riverside Blues' can be found on the BBC Sessions album, on disc 1 of the Led Zeppelin box set, and on the expanded Coda album from The Complete Studio Recordings box set. It was interest from US radio interviewers and fans during Page's Outrider tour that originally led him to negotiate with BBC Enterprises for the song's release.[3] A promotional video clip was also released in 1990, with outtake footage from the band's 1976 concert film, The Song Remains the Same inter-spliced with other footage from the band's archive. The clip also features a railroad montage, and underwater shots of the Mississippi River. The song reached number seven on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks Top 50 chart in November 1990, culled from national album rock radio airplay reports.[4]

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

Chart positions

Chart (1990) Peak position
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart[5] 7
Canadian RPM Top 100 Chart[6] 57


  1. ASCAP ACE: Title search. ASCAP. Retrieved on 2009-03-04.
  2. Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
  3. Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
  4. Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
  5. Mainstream Rock Tracks - 1 November 1990. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-15.
  6. RPM Singles Chart - 1 December 1990. RPM. Retrieved on 2009-01-15.