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Jimmy Page has shared an unreleased early Led Zeppelin demo of The Rain Song to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the group’s Houses of the Holy album.
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The track, titled The Seasons, is an acoustic instrumental that would later form the basis for The Rain Song. As ledzepnews.com reports, the song was released via Page’s own website on 28 March – the band’s official social channels and label have yet to share the track.
“My original idea for the opening tracks for ‘Houses of the Holy’ was that a short overture would be a rousing instrumental introduction with layered electric guitars that would segue in to ’The Seasons’, later to be titled ‘The Rain Song’,” Page writes, explaining the origin of the song.
“Again there would be a contrasting acoustic guitar instrumental movement with Mellotron that could lead to the first vocal of the album and the first verse of the song.”
“The Seasons was a memo to myself as a reminder of the sequence of the song and various ideas I’d had for it in its embryonic stage. I’d worked on it over one evening at home,” the guitarist notes. “During the routining of the overture now titled The Plumpton and Worcester Races, the half time section was born and the overture shaped in to the song, The Song Remains The Same. These rehearsals were done in Puddle Town on the River Piddle in Dorset, UK.”
He continues: “The first set of recordings were done at Olympic Studios with George Chkiantz. We then came to record at Stargroves, Sir Mick Jagger’s country home, and, like Headley Grange, with the Rolling Stones recording truck.”
“The Song Remains The Same was played on a Fender 12-string, the same one used on Becks Bolero, with my trusty Les Paul number 1 on overdubs in a standard turning. The Rain Song was an unorthodox tuning on acoustic and electric guitars. On live shows, it became a work-out feature for the double neck.”
Page had previously mentioned the recording in a 2014 interview with Classic Rock, saying “I had a home demo of The Rain Song (from Houses Of The Holy), but unfortunately the tapes have been lost. Which is a real bastard.”
The Seasons also marks the first authorised release of Led Zeppelin music since their two-track Record Store Day vinyl single back in April 2018.
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