- The Rain Song
Name = The Rain Song
Houses of the Holy
28 March 1973
track_no = 2
Recorded = 1972
Length = 7:39
Label = Atlantic
Writer = Page/Plant
prev = "The Song Remains the Same"
prev_no = 1
next = "Over the Hills and Far Away"
next_no = 3
Misc = Audiosample
Upper caption = Audio sample
Audio file = Led_Zeppelin_-_The_Rain_Song.ogg"The Rain Song" is a song from English rock band Led Zeppelin's fifth album "
Houses of the Holy", released in 1973.
"The Rain Song" is a love ballad of over 7 minutes in length. Guitarist
Jimmy Pageoriginally constructed the melody of this song at his home in Plumpton, England, where he had recently installed a studio console. A new Vista model, it was partly made up from the Pye Mobile Studio which had been used to record the group's 1970 Royal Albert Hallperformance and The Who's " Live at Leeds" album.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.]
Page was able to bring in a completed arrangement of the melody, for which singer
Robert Plantmatched some lyrics. These lyrics are considered by Plant himself to be his best overall vocal performance. Austin Scaggs, [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/robertplant/articles/story/7287549/qa_robert_plant Q&A: Robert Plant] , " Rolling Stone", May 5, 2005.] The song also features a mellotronplayed by John Paul Jones to add to the orchestral effect, [ [http://www.planetmellotron.com/zeppelin.htm Led Zeppelin and the Mellotron ] ] whilst Page played a Danelectroguitar.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.] George Harrisonwas reportedly the inspiration for "The Rain Song" when he made a comment to Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, about the fact that the group never wrote any ballads.cite web |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/ledzeppelin/albums/album/120527/review/5940338/houses_of_the_holy |title="Led Zeppelin" review |accessdate=2008-06-06 |author=Edwards, Gavin |date= 30 July 2003|publisher=" Rolling Stone"] [ [http://imagine109.tripod.com/allyouneedisbeatles/id65.html Friends ] ] In tribute to Harrison, the opening two notes are recognisably borrowed from his ballad " Something."cite web |http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/ledzeppelin/albums/album/120527/review/5940338/houses_of_the_holy |title="Led Zeppelin" review |accessdate=2008-06-06 |author=Edwards, Gavin |date= 30 July 2003|publisher=" Rolling Stone"]
The working title for this track was "Slush," a reference to its easy listening mock orchestral arrangement.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.]
Led Zeppelin concertsfrom late 1972 until 1975, the band played this song immediately following "The Song Remains the Same", presenting the songs in the same order as they appeared on the album. They organized their setlist in this manner because Page used a Gibson EDS-1275double-necked guitar for both songs: the top, 12-string portion for "The Song Remains the Same" and then switching to the bottom, 6-string portion for "The Rain Song". The song was dropped from the 1977 U.S. tour, but returned for Led Zeppelin's 1979 concerts in Copenhagen, Denmarkand at the Knebworth Music Festival, as well as their European tour in 1980.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.] "The Rain Song" was the only song from "Houses of the Holy" performed on the 1980 European tour. In this incarnation, Page again utilized the double-neck, the only known time he used that guitar solely for the 6-string portion without using the 12-string portion on a preceding song. For all live versions of the song, the orchestral string sounds were played by Jones on either the mellotron (1972-1975) or a Yamaha synthesizer(1979-1980), as the band never utilised a string section on-stage.
When played live, Page used the 6-string neck of the EDS-1275 for "The Rain Song" in order to have two different tunings on the same guitar. The 12-string was tuned to Standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E) for his use on "The Song Remains the Same". The alternate tuning used for "The Rain Song" on the 6-string next was Asus4 (E-A-D-A-D-E) - a step higher than the album cut, which is D-G-C-G-C-D. This is quite an uncommon modal tuning and makes for a very rich sounding accompaniment, led by John Paul Jones. The likely reason the alternate tuning was used in live performances is that while it required Plant to sing in a higher key, it necessitated a tuning change of only two strings (the B and G) on the EDS-1275, whereas the song's original key would have required the tuning of five of the six strings to be changed. As this same guitar would later be used in the show for "
Stairway to Heaven", the six-string neck would then need to be returned to standard tuning--the alternate "Rain Song" tuning allowed this to be achieved with relative ease.
Page and Plantrecorded a version of the song in 1994 but it was not originally released on their album "". It was, however, released on the special tenth anniversary reissue of that album in 2004.
*A cover version of "The Rain Song" was recorded by
Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, and released on his 1997 album " In the Name of My Father - The Zepset".
Gov't Mule's 2008 album, " The Haunted Holy House", included a live cover of this song, as well as covers of all other songs from "Houses of the Holy".
References in other media
"The Rain Song" has appeared in two films: "
Almost Famous", directed by Cameron Crowe(who, as a teen reporter for " Rolling Stone" magazine, covered Led Zeppelin), and Led Zeppelin's own 1976concert film, "The Song Remains the Same" (and accompanying soundtrack), as part of lead singer Robert Plant's fantasy sequence.
*"Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song", by Chris Welch, ISBN 1-56025-818-7
*"The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", by Dave Lewis, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9
*Review: [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:w8ke4j373waw All Music Guide]
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