The Crunge

Album: Houses Of The Holy (1973)


  • This evolved out of a jam session in the studio. John Bonham started the beat, John Paul Jones came in on bass, Jimmy Page played a James Brown riff, and Robert Plant started singing.
  • The Crunge is a dance you can't dance to. The band wanted to cheekily put dance steps for it with the album but couldn't do it logistically.
  • At the end Plant asks "Where's the bridge?" He's referring to the James Brown song they took the guitar riff from where Brown asks his band to "Take it to the bridge."
  • The drums at the beginning were sampled by New York DJs Double D and Steinski for a song called "Level 3." In 1989, De La Soul recorded a song called "The Magic Number," which sampled the part of "Level 3" that sampled this. What we are trying to say is this was indirectly sampled by De La Soul.
  • Page would slip the guitar riff from this into other songs during concerts.
  • This was released as the B-side of the "D'yer Mak'er" single, which was issued in America.
  • The lyrics, "Ain't gonna call me Mr. Pitiful, no I don't need no respect from nobody," are a reference to Otis Redding, who originally performed Aretha Franklin's "Respect," and had the song "Mr. Pitiful." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Blue - Centerville, MA

Comments: 65

  • Stuart from Miami, FlI have read many accounts and historical recollections about The Crunge, and they all state that Robert Plant asks the famous ending line, but listening to the conversation that ensues at the song's ending, it seems like it has to be another person. There is second voice, having a different vocal intonation from Plant, asking, "Have you seen the bridge?" to which Plant responds, "I ain't seen the bridge." Based on the different voices and interplay, and also based on the few interviews in which I have heard his speaking voice, I believe it is John Bonham who asks, "Where's that confounded bridge?"
  • John from UsaGreat song, Great band, what more can be said? Dancing days are here again, Cause she's buying a stairway to heaven. On another subject, One of my favorite songs is One of the rarest and most likely the only country song Led Zeppelin did was "hot dog" I think it was on "In through the out door" but i may be mistaken. Happy New Year everyone.
  • John from UsaWhere's that confounded bridge?
  • Tony from LondonA Led Zep member (probably Bonham) asks "one more straight away, George?" Meaning shall we go for another take, to which George replies "if you like, yeah".
  • Steve from Ft. Myers, FlI too doubt seriously that it's Robert Plant who says "Where's that confounded bridge?" at the end of the song. My money is on Bonzo Bonham or John Paul Jones.
  • Myles from New Orleans, LaPage doesn't "faintly test out a guitar chord to see if it worked with the song." It's bleed through from the live track, which was muted from the mute button on the console.
  • Liam from Brandon, MbLed Zeppelin is my favourite band, but in my opinion, this is their worst song.
  • Tearglad from Pretoria, South AfricaIts a beautiful song
  • Reed from New Ulm, MnLuke,Manchester-----agreed wholeheartedly! they are superb musicians.
    the syncipation among all the instruments is something unlike i've never heard before.
    Only Zepp could do something this avant-garde and pull it off.
  • Daevid from Glendale, Cahas anybody seen the bridge?
  • Sunshine from Oklahoma City, OkI want to know: Where is that confounded bridge.
  • Daevid from Glendale, CaTo answer Jude from Hungary----the expression 'the crunge' in british means: the groove.
  • Daevid from Glendale, CaBeing a drummer, i have to say that in order to play along with this record, one has to almost go by "feel" alone because the timing and breaks are so weird.
    a great tune!
  • Luke Taylor from Manchester, United KingdomSuch a clever song. I do believe this is just the band showing off how good their musical brains are.
  • Kirk from Orlando, FlSeeing all of the totally false comments on here is why i signed up on this website... so im going to do my best to fix it.
    Ok. The Crunge's time signature starts out with 9/8, it cant be anything like 8/9 or 6/7 (thank you Guy, shame on you, Adam) because those times are impossible. the song moves to common time (4/4) for only FOUR measures. the song goes back into 9/8. i am not 100% sure on how to read this MUSIC right in front of me... but it goes around between 9/8, 4/4, 3/4, and 9/8.
    Now, for those of you that think it is 'impossible' for Plant to get 'that low' to say "Where's that confounded bridge?", have you all ever even seen him just talking? and since when is that voice considered low? i could do that when i was 10.
  • Tony from St Louis, Moi heard this band called slices of lime do a song called "where's the bridge?" and i asked the lead singer if it was from "the crunge" and he was soo surprised i recognized that, i thought there song was pretty good, although compared to led zep i mean... c'mon...
  • Michael from OxfordSame here...
  • Melanie from Seattle, WaI'm not really very fond of this song.. but I LOVE the end where Plant says "Where's that confounded bridge?" It cracks me up every time.
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiThis song is fricking hilarious. I cracked up the first time I listended to it. And when I heard the "Where's that confounded bridge?", I laughed my ass off.
  • Bill from Topeka, KsBonham is awsome in the begining
  • John from Austin, Txit is definetly plant at the end because a bootleg of whole lotta love earls court before the theremin solo plant says wheres the bridge and at the end he says wheres that confounded bridge just like on the studio ending
  • Ed from York, PaJohn Paul Jones played the reed organ in this song
  • Guy from Benson, NcAdam, there is no such thing as 6/7 or 8/9 time signatures. The top number can be anything, but the bottom number must equal a particular note value(i.e. 4=quarter note, 8=eighth note, 16=sixteenth note). You can also have slight variations on this(mostly in 20th century music). Just figure I'd point thatt out.
  • Aj from Colroado Springs, CoIt really is Plant trying to sound American at the end of the song.
  • Mark from Worcester, MiShould have ditched it in favor of the title track "Houses of the Holy" IMO (which gets lost in the shuffle on Physical graffiti anyway). Song's okay for a little chuckle but little else.
  • Zach from Darlington, ScIn the booklet for Houses of the Holy it has the lyrics and at the beginning it says SHE NOT HE OK.
  • Thomas from Toronto, Canadaat the start (0:00 - 0:03)you can here a stodio engineer ask John Bohnham
    stodio engineer: one more straite away John?
    Bonham: if you'd like it
    stodio engineer: right
  • Tatiana from Aiken, ScAll of the talking at the end is most definitely Plant's voice. Listen closely and you will see.
  • Jason from Florence, KyI love the version of this song they did as part of Dazed and Confused on How The West Was Won. When I hear this riff, it makes me think of the dance Elaine did on Seinfeld.
  • Eric from Grosse Pointe Woods, MiYou know it makes me wonder who the person plant was talking about before he started talking about his girl...?
  • Thomas from Staten Island, NyGreat song..I love it. It does have an unusual time signature plus like previously stated I believe it does change, but that was how they did it. Anyway, I'm 100% sure that is Plant saying, "Where's that confounded bridge"? I know he sounds odd but I am sure that's him either him or an American man with the exact same voice and slight accent.
  • Adam from Waxahw, NcThe songs Time measure , Yes indeed 9/8 And it switches to 4/4 with one 8/9 measure (or arguably 2 hidden 4/4 measures) then right before switching back to 9/8 again it uses 6/7 for that one measure.

    LoL, I hope this makes sense, but I garuntee this is right.

    That alone makes this a Good song, because everyone who calls it bad just cant follow it because they, "have no rythm". This is a great showoff for the band, as well as a parsody.

    You know what they say about certain people and rythm, I think this was just to prove the band had rythm, and the refrences are funny because they realize what the song portrays.
  • Joe from Oakdale, MnThere is no way Plant says the bride thing at the end. If you have ever heard him talk you will know it probably impossible for him to get that low or use that kind of accent.
  • Dave from Milford, CtIts in 9/8 then goes to 4/4 then back to 9/8 then to 4/4 again. its confusing, i know.
  • Brendan from Burlington, NjI have a lot to clean up here. First of all, this is a funk song and it's may be a parody, but that doesn't mean Led Zeppelin didn't take it seriously. They were always looking to broaden their musical horizons. The time signature seems messed up, yes because it probably is, but that doesn't mean John Bonham was off. This song, along with others like Black Dog, were done with different time signatures to make sure no one could really "groove" to them. Most people don't like this song, but i feel it is a great song, maybe not one of the greatest off of houses of the holy, but still a very good song.
  • Jason from Florence, KyI love the guitar riff for this song, especially when they played it live as a medley during Dazed and Confused. As Nick said, there is a great version on How the West Was Won.
  • Amber from Sturbridge, Mathis song makes me want to sing and dance. No i can help but groove out when i hear this cd. I know all the words to all the songs, on the entire cd. I love led zeppelin
  • Pepper from Virginia Beach, Vait is Plant that says it in a pseudo american accent. i love this song, i know it may be plastic soul in a way but i think its fun and shows another side of zep's talent
  • Jo-c from Lima, PeruIf Plant does say "Where's that confounded bridge" towards the end, I'm Santa.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI listened to the song, and there are alternating changes between two different time signatures.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThanks Patrick. I wondered about that. I'll have to listen more closely to notice the time signature changes.
  • Patrick from Alpine, NjThe time signature is actually 5/4 or 5/8 and i think that the end of the song "excuse me oh will you excuse me im just trying to find the bridge have you seen the bride" is about how the band got lost one day on the way to the recording studio
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Scit doesn't matter what the time signature is. The song's cool and I like it. i'd have to check and see what the time signature is. I have 'houses of The Holy" but I haven't listened to this song in awhile, so i wouldn't remember.
  • Steve from Hamilton, CanadaFor years before this song came out, the word "crunge" was used for an imaginary dance, to go with various other dance crazes that came along during the fifties and sixties. Because of its similarity to the real word "cringe", which was much favoured by the Goons comedy group, I'm guessing that Spike Milligan might be the originator.
  • Theo from Oslo, NorwayChris: 18/16 is the same as 9/8, bud, though it changes to 4/4 later. Does anybody know of other funky Led Zep songs?
  • Nick from Baton Rouge, Lagreat, in the HTWWW 'dazed and confused' medley
  • Taal from Brisbane, AustraliaFrom roberto's led zeppelin page ( "The Crunge" - The title and lyrics are a parody of what Dave Lewis calls '...the James Brown/'take it to the bridge' school of funk mannerisms.'
  • Danielle from Swanton, Ohsorry jude i have absolutely no idea what crunge means. is it a word?
  • Josh from Las Vegas, NvJones's keyboard riffs sound like they're from a super nintendo game... not that that's a bad thing :)
  • Otso from Helsinki, FinlandHmm... No use arguying about the time signature here. Bonham, Page and Jones liked to feel out and strecth the rythms a bit. Bonham is the greatest, but as drummer he wasn't the most accurate. Like in Black Dog: if you measure it out with a metronome the beat is not quite accurate after the a capella -parts, but it doesn't matter. The touch that these guys have stuns the motherload out of me.
  • Jude from Szombathely, HungaryEnglish is not my mother tongue, so could someone tell me what 'crunge' means? does it mean anything? I can't find it in any dictionary whatsoever... thx!
  • Mark from West Haven, CtIt's in 9/8. No question. The accents are in weird spots, but if you tap it out, it stays true in 9/8.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DePlant says "Where's that confounded bridge?'
  • Ron from Detroit, MiA stupid, song indeed. Yet it's pretty catchy. Still, I wouldn't call it serious at all. I read somewhere that the time signature was in 9/8, but it didn't sound like that at all. I would have to hear it again, but I think it is in 15/16.
  • Bob from Mt. Laurel, NjDoes anybody know who says at the end, "Where's that confounded bridge?"
  • Will from Portland, OrWell, Steve, Brian, and Adrian, I don't really consider this to be really serious or a joke. I think of this song the way I think of many Darkness songs. Its just kind of light-hearted.
  • Pants from Calgary, CanadaJones keyboard riffs aproximate the old Stax/Volt horn sections.
  • Kabrams from Dallas, Txconsidering this song is a jam its pretty good
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeCome on Brian, it's a great homage to James Brown and it just comes at you for three minutes. I think this song is also the first time on a Zeppelin album that Page really utilizes the whammy bar (towards the end while Plant asks if anyone has seen the bridge). I could be wrong though
  • Steve from Sterling Heights, MiThis is definitely not a serious song by any means. It's a direct parody of funk and James Brown. The lyrical style and the overall feel is reminiscent of funk, but the time signature is really jarring and makes it hard to move to the beat. The whole "taking it on to the bridge" was an obvious reference to JB's "Get Up (I Feel like being a) Sex Machine" as well as "Superbad." Saying it's a "bad song" doesn't do it justice; it's not SUPPOSED to be good. If you catch the references though, it's hilarious.
  • Ben from Durham, United Statesthe time signiture is 9/8. i am positive about that
  • Chris from Wayne, PaThe time signature is SOMEWHERE close to 5/4 but may be a sixteenth note or two short. something like 18/16 or 19/16... who knows...
  • Derek from Raleigh, NcYou can't dance to this song b/c of the weird time signature. I don't know what the time signature is, but could someone knows music, and knows the time in this song, then tell me, b/c i don't know.
  • Brian from Paoli, InArg, sorry....Bad song....Almost every other song on Houses of the Holy is amazing this one just isn't.
  • Ken from Ann Arbor, MiI believe the Brown Riff that is being refered to
    is from the "Get on Up ". In that song Brown ask the
    band if they want to take them to the bridge..
see more comments

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