Rumble (2:20)

Cover of The Original Rumble

From The Original Rumble and 96 other releases

“Rumble” is an influential rock instrumental by Link Wray & His Ray Men. Originally released in 1958, “Rumble” utilized then-unexplored techniques like distortion and feedback. It is also described as the first song to use the power chord, the major modus operandi of the modern rock guitarist.

The song is a 12-bar blues instrumental played by a combination of two electric guitars, an electric bass guitar, and drum set.

“Rumble” is melodically characterized by a descending e-minor pentatonic scale played in triplets against the straight eights chords. The scale is played in first position on the guitar and while not original to “Rumble”, is a staple of blues and rock guitar playing.

At a live gig in Fredericksburg, Virginia, attempting to work up a backing for The Diamonds’ “The Stroll,” Link Wray and his Ray Men came up with the stately, powerful blues instrumental “Rumble,” which they originally called “Oddball.” The song was an instant hit with the live audience, which demanded four repeats that night.

Eventually the song came to the attention of record producer Archie Bleyer of Cadence Records, who hated it, particularly after Wray poked holes in his amplifier’s speakers to make the recording sound more like the live version; however, Bleyer’s stepdaughter loved it and it was released despite his protest. Phil Everly heard it and suggested the title Rumble, as it had a rough sound and said it sounded like a street fight.


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  • WS9167


    1 Mar 10:31pm Reply
  • Strideo

    Instant badass.

    19 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Panecea


    9 Nov 2013 Reply
  • mcrawford42

    Link Wray love me

    24 Oct 2013 Reply
  • AustinYeager

    I love Link wray...

    23 Oct 2013 Reply
  • nicorebel

    LEGEND (2)

    4 Oct 2013 Reply
  • kilovh

    Makes me think of jimmy page. on a motorcycle. In a knife fight.

    18 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Nasenblutennn


    15 Jun 2013 Reply
  • nicorebel


    24 Apr 2013 Reply
  • VerbalImaginary


    3 Jan 2013 Reply
  • kcvinho

    Rocking people heads off since the 50's

    22 Nov 2012 Reply
  • stecogenie

    Really a great band. I was living on Old Fort Road in a small town called Friendly, Maryland when I went to school with Link Wrays niece Sherry Wray. She had a crush on me but guess I was just to girl shy with her and nothing happened. Sherry if you see this I am on Facebook. as Tom A. Majors Jacksonville, Florida

    15 Nov 2012 Reply
  • mrtz89

    Raw shit ,gritty. just the way ilike it !!!.

    13 Nov 2012 Reply
  • wanderer44

    The Main Man !!!!!

    22 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Pawa17

    Просто гениальнейшая композиция. Не было бы ее, весь современный рок выглядел бы совсем иначе. Знаете, эту песню можно смело назвать первой хард-рок композицией, так как в ней впервые был применен по истине тяжелый и мрачный саунд, да и "поется" в ней про что то в роде драки или стычки, а это уже не "мальчик+девочка"!

    22 Sep 2012 Reply
  • wanderer44

    THE BEST !!!!

    22 Sep 2012 Reply
  • NorthernExile

    Yes, this is amazingly cool for 1958.

    1 Sep 2012 Reply
  • DickBigems


    10 Aug 2012 Reply
  • HateEdie


    18 Jul 2012 Reply
  • HebraicNeuroses

    can't listen to this without thinking I FUCK THE MUSIC I MAKE IT CUM

    29 Apr 2012 Reply
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