The Rain Song (7:38)

Cover of Houses of the Holy

From Houses of the Holy and 123 other releases

“The Rain Song” is a love ballad of over 7 minutes in length. Guitarist Jimmy Page originally constructed the melody of this song at his home in Plumpton, England, where he had recently installed a studio console. A new Vista model, it was partly made up from the Pye Mobile Studio which had been used to record the group’s 1970 Royal Albert Hall performance and The Who’s Live at Leeds album.

Page was able to bring in a completed arrangement of the melody, for which singer Robert Plant composed some lyrics. These lyrics are considered by Plant himself to be his best overall vocal performance. The song also features a mellotron played by John Paul Jones to add to the orchestral effect, while Page plays a Danelectro guitar.

George Harrison was reportedly the inspiration for “The Rain Song” when he made a comment to Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, about the fact that the group never wrote any ballads. In tribute to Harrison, the opening two chords are recognizably borrowed from the melody of the first line of his ballad “Something” with The Beatles.

The working title for this track was “Slush,” a reference to its easy listening mock orchestral arrangement.


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