Yo, this be Reuben. Remember these? That triple R stands for Reuben’s Rhythmic Ruckus, my shameless copy of Milo’s MMM. I did a couple of these last summer, now I’m thinking why not get back into it, so hey, it’s back — let’s see if I can give Milo some competition, eh?
And as we kick off this series’ revival, we have a band I fell in love with last summer and autumn, as their energy, intricacy and gentle heart punches you in the face with rock n’ roll giants like Whole Lotta Love, and lulls you to sleep in beautiful folk-rock like The Rain Song.
Now, most people will tell you that Stairway to Heaven is Led Zeppelin’s masterpiece, or Immigrant Song, but nothing, aside from perhaps Ramble On, quite reaches the sonic heights of The Rain Song for me. I like to listen to music that makes me feel stuff, you know? I want goosebumps. I want it to make me think. Or make me smile. This seven-minute behemoth straight outta 1973 does all of these things brilliantly, so for that it’s become one of my favourite songs.
It’s simply beautiful. The floating and gentle acoustic guitars flow like a river, glistening with the eclectic electric guitars, while the strings and piano really bring that emotive atmosphere to the forefront as Robert Plant wails over it all with his lyrics about love and weather perfectly entwined with the music. With its rambling and sporadic song structure, with its little twists and turns, it never gets boring: and when it builds toward its climax you’ve got some of the most hard-hitting music out there. But, fittingly, it fades out with its gentle guitars.
Undoubtedly the gem from the band’s great Houses of the Holy, The Rain Song is progressive, relaxing and powerful, all at the same time. IT’S A GOOD SONG, MAN.
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