Fool In The Rain

In Through The Out Door, 1979

Classic Rock - - Led Zeppelin -

The most splen­didly joy­ous mo­ment on an al­bum other wise dis­tin­guished by its al­most gothic sense of cob­webbed de­cay, Fool In The Rain was orig­i­nally con­ceived by Robert Plant and John Paul Jones af­ter watch­ing the ec­static crowd scenes from Buenos Aires on TV dur­ing the 1978 foot­ball Word Cup tour­na­ment in Ar­gentina. Hence the some­what height­ened samba-in­flu­enced beat, its lilt­ing piano riff, play­ful vo­cal, nice Span­ish guitar and some of John Bon­ham’s most beau­ti­fully re­alised play­ing, half­shuf­fle, half-hand grenade, giv­ing way to whis­tles, ket­tle drums and hand claps, the band ver­i­ta­bly bop­ping along.

It seemed that Zep­pelin, even in the band’s dark­est hour, would remain de­fi­antly in­sis­tent of push­ing that mu­si­cal en­ve­lope fur­ther than any of their con­tem­po­raries would have dared, or could even have imag­ined. Then just as you’ve got­ten used to the idea that smack-happy Page is con­tent to leave the oth­ers to work it out, he comes in with an ef­fects-heavy solo that takes your breath away. Not for its vir­tu­os­ity, but for its sheer cheek. (The sound was achieved by putting the guitar through an MXR Blue Box ef­fect pedal, axe fiends.)

Sadly the band never had a chance to per­form Fool In The Rain live, though Plant did at­tempt a party-hearty ver­sion on stage with Pearl Jam in 2005 as part of the Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina ben­e­fit at Chicago’s House Of Blues. MW

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