Single Stories: Led Zeppelin, “Fool in the Rain”
Since it’s April Fool’s Day, we thought long and hard about what we could write about today, and since we didn’t want to get murdered in our sleep, we decided to shelve our initial plans to trumpet the release of a heretofore-unreleased Led Zeppelin album and instead just focus on a song by the band that’s got the word “Fool” in it. Frankly, we just felt it was safer that way.
Produced by Jimmy Page for the band’s IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR ALBUM, “Fool in the Rain” holds a special place in Led Zeppelin history as the last single released by the band before they disbanded in the wake of John Bonham’s death, but it’s also notable for being a track that the band never played live. That said, Robert Plant did team up with Pearl Jam to perform the song for a Hurricane Katrina benefit in 2005, a musical moment in history which was undeniably cool.
The song’s unexpected samba beat came about as a result of all the World Cup soccer tournament action he was enjoying in ’78 – thank you, Argentina, for hosting the tourney that year – and he apparently decided that if the rhythm was going to get him, it was damned well going to get the rest of Led Zeppelin, too…or, you know, something like that.
Upon its release as a single, “Fool in the Rain” climbed to #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, but those who listen to classic rock radio know full well that it might as well have gone to #1 for all of the airplay it’s continued to get over the years.