No­body’s Fault But Mine

Pres­ence, 1976

Classic Rock - - Led Zeppelin -

Zep­pelin main­tained their al­most oblig­a­tory pil­lag­ing of the blues right up to the end of their ca­reer. One of the cor­ner­stones of the Pres­ence al­bum was an­other Blind Wil­lie John­son clas­sic, from 1928, called It’s No­body’s Fault But Mine.

Orig­i­nally the story of John­son fret­ting be­cause his blind­ness pre­vented him from read­ing his Bi­ble, thereby in­cur­ring the wrath of God, it be­came a use­ful metaphor for Zep­pelin’s fiery de­scent from heaven, Plant adapted the lyrics to in­clude some re­veal­ingly lines about hav­ing ‘a mon­key on my back’, em­bel­lished by some suit­ably squalling har­mon­ica.

The only truly orig­i­nal parts were the straf­ing guitar lines Page con­cocted, to which Bonzo would add his most mer­ci­lessly can­non-like drum­ming since When The Levee Breaks. Even then, the over­all ar­range­ment owed much to Page’s fas­ci­na­tion with English folk guitarist/song­writer John Ren­bourn and his 1966 ver­sion of the same song – which, like Page now, Ren­bourn took credit for. MW

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