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Revolution - Season 1 - How they secured rights to Led Zeppelin songs

Tonight’s episode of Revolution features two songs by Led Zeppelin: 1970 slow jam “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and 1975 exotic, driving mega-hit “Kashmir,” which also lends its name to the episode’s title.

Getting the rights to Led Zeppelin songs is no easy feat: The British rock band very rarely licenses its music for use in Hollywood projects. (Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, a 2001 Cadillac commercial and this year’s Argo are among the lucky few.) But Kripke was in for a pleasant surprise when record label Warner/Chappell Music reached out to him offering to license some Zep songs for his show.

To promote Celebration Day, a live album and DVD documentary that chronicles Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion concert out today, Warner/Chappell – a division of Warner Music Group, which until last year was owned by Time Warner – emailed several producers at Warner Bros. Television (currently owned by Time Warner, as is EW), asking if any of them would be interested in using Led Zeppelin songs in their series. It did not take long for Kripke to send an email back.

Creating a piece of entertainment backed by the music of Led Zeppelin is a dream Kripke’s had since he started working in the industry. Zeppelin has had a constant presence in his first TV show, Supernatural – several episodes took their titles from Zeppelin song names or lyrics, main character Dean Winchester’s two favorite songs are “Ramble On” and “Travelling Riverside Blues,” and the Winchester brothers often give a nod to the band members when in disguise, introducing themselves as Agents Page and Plant – but the show has never gotten the rights to use a song by the band.

“I’ve been hearing from some of my esteemed colleagues over at Supernatural, and I think that they’re all biting their fists with jealousy,” Kripke said. He did mention Supernatural to Warner/Chappell during conversations about licensing the Led Zeppelin songs. “I would have loved to put Led Zeppelin in there as well,” he said, “but honestly, I will take what I can get… I think they very rationally said, ‘Let’s just focus on one show at a time.’”

One other 1970s song almost made it into the show. An early version of the pilot script included a scene when Rachel sings Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” to young Charlie. Revolution’s producers were able to secure the rights to the song, but ultimately revisions of the scene meant the song no longer fit in. “But maybe one day we’ll get it in there,” Kripke said.

Read more at EW

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