Led Zeppelin earned a reputation as one of the heaviest bands of their era. However, they also bounced between genres with ease and frequency. Zep has so effortlessly integrated traditional folk, Middle Eastern sounds, symphonic elements and genre exercises that it’s easy to see why they were reluctant to earn a heavy metal label with their music. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said one riff took listeners out of their comfort zone, and we can understand his point.
Jimmy Page said his riff on “Dancing Days” took listeners out of their comfort zone
“Dancing Days” is right in the middle houses of the saint. Sandwiched between the fleet-footed James Brown salute “The Crunge” and the reggae riff “D’yer Mak’er,” it might be the airiest song on the album. And maybe that was voluntary.
After the resounding success of Led Zeppelin IV, the band never intended to try to recapture the magic of the making of this album. Zep switched dramatically to keep her momentum going and Avoid stepping on the same ground again. They didn’t want to be conservative.
“Dancing Days” points this out. It’s one of the shortest songs on houses of the saintand Robert Plant’s lyrics about drinking the night away with a female companion are light-hearted, but Page’s riff is the opposite.
“You’re not in a comfort zone listening to the opening riff of ‘Dancing Days,'” Page once said, according to Centennial Media Music Legends Spotlight: Led Zeppelin. “But I think it feels natural in a dark way.”
We can hear what Page has to say about his “Dancing Days” riff.
Page’s riff on “Dancing Days” is a dazed counterbalance to Robert Plant’s lyrics
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If “Dancing Days” is meant to be as light-hearted as Plant’s lyrics, no one bothered to tell Page.
Its opening riff, sliding between two notes, is so simple that the listener quickly becomes familiar with the pattern. Then, just as quickly, Page drops another sliding two-note couplet that sounds almost eerie. If Page’s guitar riff could be personified, the opening almost sounds like someone losing their footing just stepping off the porch.
Page’s riff was out of whack for much of “Dancing Days.” He adds an almost imperceptible descending fill behind the main guitar line. When Plant sings about drinking alcohol, Page moves up the fretboard, adding a stair-climbing element to his riff. As he plays the next bar, his guitar line slowly slides back.
If it wasn’t obvious that Page’s riff on “Dancing Days” is meant to push listeners out of their comfort zone, the ending gets it right. His mini-solo around the three-minute mark goes back to the opening riff, played slightly skewed in a higher register.
“Houses of the Holy” spawned two Billboard chart singles
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houses of the saint took just two weeks to earn Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America upon its release in 1973. The album achieved Diamond status (10 million or more units sold) in 1999.
“Dancing Days” is a decent length for a single, but Led Zeppelin never released it as a single. However, two houses of the saint Songs spent a total of 24 weeks on the Billboard singles chart. “D’yer Mak’er” was Zep’s most successful single in terms of chart longevity; it spent 16 weeks on the Hot 100, peaking at #20. “Over the Hills and Far Away” peaked at #51 during its eight-week chart run.
We don’t know if Led Zeppelin considered releasing “Dancing Days” as a single, but it seems unlikely. Jimmy Page’s dazed riff might have been too far out of the comfort zone for American audiences.
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https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/jimmy-page-led-zeppelin-riff-fans-comfort-zone-hear-his-point.html/ Jimmy Page said 1 Led Zeppelin Riff took fans out of their “comfort zone,” and we’ll hear what he means