Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fool in the Rain

Song: Fool in the Rain
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Album: In Through the Out Door

"Fool in the Rain" is a song on English rock band Led Zeppelin's 1979 album, In Through the Out Door. It was their final U.S. single released during the band's tenure, reaching number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1980.


The song exhibits a Latin feel. Drummer John Bonham plays a half-time shuffle beat similar to the "Purdie shuffle" rhythm attributed to session drummer Bernard Purdie, along with a samba-style breakdown. A master drum track shows that the samba breakdown (2:25) was recorded separately.

Bass player John Paul Jones and vocalist Robert Plant got the idea for the samba beat from watching the 1978 FIFA World Cuptournament in Argentina. Guitarist Jimmy Page used an MXR Blue Box effect pedal during the solo to produce the octave sound.

Lyrically, the song is about a man who is supposed to meet a woman on a certain corner. When the woman doesn't appear, he is filled with grief at being stood up. By the final verse, he wonders whether he'd been waiting for her on the wrong corner, making him the eponymous "Fool in the Rain."

This song was never performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts, as the song was heavily studio-based. The piano was quite necessary in the song, but with John Paul Jones on piano, there could be no bass. There is also a twelve-string guitar line at one point in the song and the guitar solo that has to be pulled off. However, on October 5, 2005, Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant performed the song with Pearl Jam at a Hurricane Katrina benefit show.

In Through the Out Door is the eighth and final studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded over a three week period in November and December 1978 at ABBA's Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, and released by Swan Song Records on 15 August 1979. In Through the Out Door was the band's sixth and final release to reach the top of the charts in America, and was the last recorded by the band before the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980. It was also the last of three albums (the others beingHouses of the Holy and Presence) that was completely original.


The album was named by the group to describe its recent struggles amidst the death of Robert Plant's son Karac in 1977, and thetaxation exile the band took from the UK as a result of the Harold Wilson and James Callaghan administrations, which also adversely affected other major British bands of the time, such as The Rolling Stones. The exile resulted in the band being unable to tour on British soil for over two years, and trying to get back into the public mind was therefore like "trying to get in through the 'out' door."

In contrast to previous Led Zeppelin albums, In Through the Out Door features much greater influence on the part of bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones and vocalist Robert Plant, and relatively less from drummer John Bonham and guitarist Jimmy Page. Two songs from the album—"South Bound Saurez" and "All My Love"—were the only two original Led Zeppelin songs which Jimmy Page had no part in writing. With the exception of "Darlene," a Boogie-Woogie based song credited to all band members (which was eventually released on the 1982 album, Coda), Bonham did not receive writing credits for any of the songs recorded at Polar Studios. This diminished input by Page and Bonham is attributed to the two band members often not showing up on time at the recording studio, with Bonham struggling with alcoholism and Page battling heroin addiction. As Jones said:

There were two distinct camps by then, and we [myself and Plant] were in the relatively clean one.

Many of the songs were consequently put together by Plant and Jones during the day, with Page and Bonham adding their parts late at night. According to Jones, this was

mainly because I had a new toy. I had this big new keyboard. And Robert and I just got to rehearsals early, basically... So Robert and I, by the time everybody turned up for rehearsals, we’d written three or four songs. So we started rehearsing those immediately, because they were something to be getting on with.

Both Page and Bonham later expressed reservations about the album. In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1998, Page stated that he and Bonham:

... both felt that In Through the Out Door was a little soft. I wasn't really keen on "All My Love". I was a little worried about the chorus. I could just imagine people doing the wave and all of that. And I thought, that's not us. That's not us. In its place it was fine, but I wouldn't have wanted to pursue that direction in the future.

Years later, Page elaborated that "we wanted, after In Through the Out Door, to make something hard-hitting and riff-based again. Of course, we never got to make that album." He is also quoted as saying "It wasn't the most comfortable album. I think it was very transitional... a springboard for what could have been.

Following the recording sessions at Polar Studios, the album was mixed at Page's personal studio at his home in Plumpton. "Wearing and Tearing", "Ozone Baby" and "Darlene" were recorded during sessions for this album, but were dropped due to space constraints. All later appeared on Coda.

Album sleeve design

The original album featured an unusual gimmick: the album had an outer sleeve which was made to look like a plain brown paper bag, and the inner sleeve featured black and white line artwork which, if washed with a wet brush, would become permanently fully colored. There were also six different sleeves featuring a different pair of photos (one on each side; see images at right), and the external brown paper sleeve meant that it was impossible for record buyers to tell which sleeve they were getting. (There is actually a code on the spine of the album jacket, which indicated which sleeve it was—this could sometimes be seen while the record was still sealed.) The pictures all depicted the same scene in a bar (in which a man burns a Dear John letter), and each photo was taken from the separate point of view of someone who appeared in the other photos.

The album artwork was designed by Hipgnosis. Storm Thorgerson recalls the design in his book Eye of the Storm:

The sepia quality was meant to evoke a non-specific past and to allow the brushstroke across the middle to be better rendered in colour and so make a contrast. This self same brushstroke was like the swish of a wiper across a wet windscreen, like a lick of fresh paint across a faded surface, a new look to an old scene, which was what Led Zeppelin told us about their album. A lick of fresh paint, as per Led Zeppelin, and the music on this album... It somehow grew in proportion and became six viewpoints of the same man in the bar, seen by the six other characters. Six different versions of the same image and six different covers.

In 1980, Hipgnosis was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best album package for In Through the Out Door.

Alternate cover 1
Woman leaning on the wall perspective
Alternate cover 2
Man with wallet perspective
Alternate cover 3
Bartender's perspective
Alternate cover 4
Woman at the bar perspective
Alternate cover 5
Piano player perspective
Alternate cover 6
Woman at jukebox perspective


The album was intended to be released prior to the band's twin concerts at Knebworth in 1979, but production delays meant that it was released shortly after their performances at this event. Plant jokingly referred to the delays at times during the performance on August 4.

Despite receiving poor reviews, the album went to #1 on Billboard's chart in its second week on the chart. On this album's release, Led Zeppelin's entire catalogue made the Billboard 200 between the weeks of 23 October and 3 November 1979, an unprecedented feat. The album remained on the US top spot for seven weeks and sold three million copies by the end of September 1979. To date, the album has sold six million copies in the US.

In Through the Out Door was Led Zeppelin's final album to be released while the band was together. Drummer John Bonham died the next year on 25 September 1980.

Track listing

Side one
1."In the Evening" Jones, Page, Plant6:49
2."South Bound Saurez" Jones, Plant4:12
3."Fool in the Rain" Jones, Page, Plant6:12
4."Hot Dog" Page, Plant3:17
Side two
1."Carouselambra" Jones, Page, Plant10:32
2."All My Love" Jones, Plant5:51
3."I'm Gonna Crawl" Jones, Page, Plant5:30


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