“Dancing Days” is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It appears on their 1973 album, Houses of the Holy, and was released as a single in the US. It was recorded at Stargroves, England in 1972. It was inspired by an Indian tune that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant heard while traveling in Bombay. This was the first track from the album to be offered for radio play by Atlantic Records. It was premiered on 24 March 1973 on the BBC Radio One Rosko lunch time show.
As with the single’s A-side, “Over the Hills and Far Away”, “Dancing Days” was introduced by the band in concert well ahead of its commercial release. Although a bootleg tape purports to prove it was first played at the Wembley Empire Pool in November 1971, evidence suggests its inclusion on this tape was a hoax. The earliest live documented reference is in Seattle on 19 June 1972 where the song was performed twice: once during the main set and again as an encore; it was then performed frequently during the rest of this tour, with a version appearing on the live album, How the West Was Won. With the release of Houses of the Holy, however, “Dancing Days” was largely dropped from concerts, although an abridged, acoustic version was occasionally performed during the 1977 U.S. tour. A full electric version was played as an encore on 13 July 1973 at Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan as featured on the “Monsters of Rock” bootleg.
In a contemporary review for Houses of the Holy, Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone gave “Dancing Days” a negative review, calling the track nothing but a piece of “filler”.
Robert Plant – vocals
Jimmy Page – guitars
John Paul Jones – bass guitar, organ
John Bonham – drums