Fool In The Rain
In Through The Out Door, 1979
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