Led Zeppelin were never afraid to try new musical directions, drawing inspiration from such styles as blues, rock, folk, country (and everything in between!) to create a unique sound that almost defies description, probably the most appropriate way to describe their vast repertoire is simply as "Led Zeppelin". During their reign they created one of the most enduring and diverse catalogues in modern music and firmly secured their status as one of the most influential groups ever (probably second only to The Beatles!).
Throughout their years at the top they were shrouded in mystery and intrigue, and seemed to leave behind a trail of question marks wherever they went. They were not a “public” band (they didn’t hire a publicist until their 9th US tour, almost five years after their formation!); they continually distanced themselves from the media, instead relying on word of mouth and their often-astounding live performances to promote themselves. Not surprisingly, this low profile led to wild rumors about their lifestyles and habits and as a result little was known about the men behind the music.
One of the most fascinating aspects of any piece of music is its composition the birth of the songs and what led to their eventual arrangements. The Led Zeppelin “Anthology” addresses the need to examine this facet of Zeppelin’s career and offers a glimpse behind those hallowed studio walls, beginning with Led Zeppelin in 1968 and ending with their final recorded work in 1978, “In Through The Out Door”, sadly for the purposes of this report we will only cover the later mentioned album “In Through the Out Door”
“In Through the Out Door, The Polar Sessions”
When Led Zeppelin reached Abba’s Polar Music complex in Stockholm to record “In Through The Out Door”, they were fresh from six weeks’ rehearsal. Subsequently plenty of their new songs were at the ready to record stage, and within a month they had laid down more than enough tracks to fill an album. Compared to previous reels, these exist in almost mixed and completed form. There are however, a number of differences to report as they mix down the material enthusiastically.
Darlene, played in a happy upbeat major key opens with a “one, two, three, four” allegro tempo count-in from John Bonham, which gives the song quadruple meter. Very similar to the take that eventually surfaced on “Coda”, it pummels along in friendly conjunct legato form, live in the studio style. This is clearly a consonant harmony, exemplifying verse and chorus form. Robert Plant’s vocal mix set can be detected after the “Pink carnation and a pick up truck” line. From that point he accompanies Jimmy Page’s delightful fortissimo solo adding, “I don’t care what they say, I love you anyway, I’ll drive you wild .” Like most of these Polar mixes, instead of fading out; the homophonic track grinds to a halt with a tinkling of John Paul Jones’ electric piano played mezzo forte.
The version of Fool In The Rain, played...