Ten Little Indians

Album: Over Under Sideways Down: A Comprehensive Collection 1963-1968 (1967)
Charted: 96
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Harry Nilsson and recorded by him on his 1967 Pandemonium Shadow Show album. The Yardbirds covered it for a single release the same year.
  • Jimmy Page, who was with the Yardbirds at the time, told Uncut magazine January 2009 that he thought this was a "terrible" single, adding: "I don't need to tell you what it was like, you can tell just by the title. And it had brass on it!"
  • In a desperate attempt to salvage this "extremely silly song," Page came up with the idea of doing backwards echo, a production technique that results in the listener hearing the echo before the main sound instead of after it. In an interview with Guitar Magazine in 1993, he recalled what happened: "I hit upon an idea. I said, 'Look, turn the tape over and employ the echo for the brass on a spare track. Then turn it back over and we'll get the echo preceding the signal.' The result was very interesting -- it made the track sound like it was going backwards." The reverse echo affect was next used by Page on the 1969 Led Zeppelin track "You Shook Me." Other Zeppelin songs that use this effect include "Whole Lotta Love" and "When The Levee Breaks."

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