Since their publication in the 1930’s J. R. R. Tolkien’s books, The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings cycle, have been inspiring people with the mythical tales of the people of Middle-earth and the struggle between the forces of good and evil. During the psychedelic ‘60s the books became extremely popular in the rock underground and no shortage of bands paid homage to the series in lyrics, song titles and band names. Legendary hard rockers Led Zeppelin practically made a career out of referencing them, both figuratively and often literally. Their heavy metal progeny picked up the helm and to this day many metal bands are named after figures and places in the book including such current black metal bands as Darkthrone and Gorgoroth among others. The latest movie installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, opens today so in honor we’re taking a look at some of the greatest references to the series in classic hard rock. So pack your pipe, don your magical cloak and spend some time with these Middle-earth anthems to get in the mood for the film.
Led Zeppelin “Ramble On” (1969)
The first implicit nod to the books from avowed Tolkien fanatic Robert Plant finds a nobler rambler, perhaps The Strider, cursing Gollum for stealing his lady and taking her off to the dark realm of Morder.
Gandalf “Golden Earrings” (1969)
These psych rockers paid homage to The Hobbit’s famed wizard in name before disappearing into the Valinor of rock obscurity.