Much darkness had ensued in the interim period between the final two Led Zeppelin albums, a factor that dramatically changed the tone of their conclusive effort, In Through the Out Door. One track specifically from the record wasn’t to Jimmy Page’s taste, and he later admitted that it “worried” him.
The group had all fought through their own personal battles over the years that preceded the 1979 album with Page tussling with an addiction to heroin, while John Bonham began to lose his fight to alcoholism, and Robert Plant was forced to deal with the incomprehensible grief of losing his infant child, Karac.
When they returned to the studio to create the album, the band were four significantly different individuals from those who previously worked together. These recent life experiences had helped shape them, and they were no longer the same people.
Page’s battle with addiction meant that he was less in control of the operation than ever before. John Paul Jones deputised as a creative partner for Plant, and the guitarist’s imprint on the album was insignificant compared to their previous output.
There was one track specifically that Page took issue with, and that’s the heartbreaking ‘All My Love’. In fact, it’s one of only two Led Zeppelin songs that he isn’t credited as writing with the other ‘South Bound Saurez’, also from In Through the Out Door.
‘All My Love’ is one of the most emotional moments in the band’s career, and it’s a beautiful tribute to Plant’s late son, Karac, yet, it never hit the spot for Page, who thought it was “too soft”.
“I was a little worried about the [‘All My Love’] chorus,” the guitarist later said. “I could just imagine people doing the wave and all of that. And I thought ‘That is not us. That is not us’.”
He added: “Bonzo and I had already started discussing plans for a hard-driving rock album after that. I would not have wanted to pursue that direction in the future.”
Addressing the song in 2018, Plant said: “It was just paying tribute to the joy that [Karac] gave us as a family and, in a crazy way, still does occasionally.” While ‘All My Love’ wasn’t to Page’s taste, he understood that the band were a democracy and also how much this song meant to his dear friend who was dealing with an unthinkable tragedy.
In truth, it didn’t matter if he liked it or not, the only thing that he needed to was support Plant during his hour of need, and the guitarist put his reservations about ‘All My Love’ to the side as a sign of solidarity with the singer.