Today's Track of the Day:
Led Zeppelin - "Fool in the Rain"
I like Led Zeppelin a lot, but I really prefer their later stuff. I suspect I'm in a small minority holding that opinion, but it seems to me that by Houses of the Holy they'd gotten a little bored with the heavy blues-based rock. "D'yer Mak'er" showed the band trying out a little reggae, and on Physical Graffiti they got a bit more experimental. The experiments didn't always work, but the later stuff is more musically interesting.
On what turned out to be their last studio album, they started to vary the instrumentation a bit, adding keyboards on top of the guitar, bass, and drums. This track is a fun, poppy little number with an irresistible groove and a catchy riff that would be just fine all on its own. The lyrics are pretty amusing, too. But what really sets this one apart and makes it one of my all-time favorite Zeppelin tunes is the wild Latin break that the band goes into as a bridge. It kind of comes out of nowhere, but the band switches gears and does a really credible salsa thing for a few bars, complete with whistle and a some really cool piano work. Sort of like the Baroque piano solo in "Love Me or Leave Me," it opens up the song in a way that lets you see the whole thing from a different perspective. Good stuff.