Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XXX
Date: 97-02-17 11:25:04 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

Well here we are once again. Hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day, and a great weekend. Looking over the previous Song of the day's I noticed I had only done one song from "In Through The Outdoor", so I thought we'd take a look there today. Inside the brown paper bag lies quite an album. John Paul asserts himself more and Zeppelin takes on a slightly different feel. Today, track three shall be our destination, clocking in at 6:08, "Fool In The Rain".

One thing that completely caught me off-guard at Zepfest ' 96 in Cleveland was how many DGers/Zep fans there are that don't like this album, and particularly this song. I had never known anybody who didn't like it. Maybe it's too "pop" in some places, or too keyboard heavy, I don't know, but I still think it's a helluva good album, and once again showed the diversity of Led Zeppelin.

"Fool..." starts off with a bouncy beat and a happy kind of feel to it. Certainly it doesn't sound like your typical "pop" song, and at 6:08 it is certainly to long for most radio programmers, yet it gets played a lot. Why, you ask? Simple, it is a good song. Robert sounds very good and Bonzo is terrifying throughout, especially the middle section.

As the song starts the feeling is very upbeat, Jimmy laying back and Robert enters,

       "Oh baby...

        Well there's a light in your eye that keeps shining
        like a star that can't wait for the night
        I hate to think I've been blinded baby
        why can't I see you tonight"?

As the song continues at the same happy tempo Robert tells a story of a lost love, someone that has promised to be true, but obviously wasn't. I love that contradiction, happy music, sad lyrics.

        "... I'm standing here feeling blue, blue, ah, babe I'm blue
         Oh well

        Now I will stand in the rain on the corner
        I'll watch the people go shuffling downtown
        another ten minutes no longer
        and then I'm turning around, round..."

That "feeling blue, oh well" part is just classic. I love the way he so non-chalantly says, "Oh well". It's like he's hurting, but, ya know, what the hell can ya do?

Anyway, after he sings the "light of the love that I've found..." things take a drastic turn. Everything stops, we hear a whistle, can you believe that, a whistle right in the middle of a Zeppelin song, and then Bonzo takes over. And I mean TAKES OVER!!!

This middle section is so amazing. Jonsey gets things started with some cool piano licks. Then Bonzo enters. The drumming there sounds like at LEAST two drummers. Maybe three!!! But no, it's just Bonzo! The man was simply phenomenal. Listen closely to what he plays here, slowly building into a crazed frenzy, faster, fasTER, FASTER!!! Then, right back into that mid-tempo groove from earlier, with some great Bonham fills to boot.

Jimmy follows with some cool fuzzed out lines. His leads at this point are just so expressive. Dripping with emotion. Adding yet another colour to the Page arsenal, with that heavy "fuzz".

Back to the verse section and Robert takes us home.

     "Ooh now my body is starting to quiver
      and the palms of my hands getting wet, oh
      I got no reason to doubt you baby
      it's all a terrible mess

      And I'll run in the rain 'till I'm breathless
      when I'm breathless I'll run 'till I drop, hey
      The thoughts of a fool's kinda careless
      when's just a fool waiting on the wrong block"

I don't know about you, but "when I'm breathless I'll run 'till I drop" to me is a beautiful line.

"Fool..." was a song largely inspired by South American samba music that Robert had heard while taking in the World Cup in 1978. This explains the speeded up mid section. So cool how Zep would totally change directions in the middle of a song, and not only keep our attention, but always landed squarely on their collective feet.

This was also one of the ideas Robert wanted to try out to keep things evolving, essentially keeping his interest. It seems that he was starting to put forth a more assertive hand on things at this time.

"Fool...", released as a single, climbed the charts to number 21. Pretty impressive for a six minute plus song. They never did perform this song in a live setting, probably too much for Jonsey to cover. Certainly it would have been an interesting number to hear live, especially Bonzo and that middle section.

So, to those who don't care for "In Throught The Out Door", please reconsider. This is a really good album. Different, but good. What a follow up to "Presence"! As for "Fool...", I will repeat what I've said before, the drumming on this song is simply out of this world. If for no other reason, listen to Bonham. Incredible.

Take care all, I'll be checking back in shortly. ( No, not to the mental ward)

Till then...

Rock on,


back to the SotD Home Page