'Ramble On' is a 1969 song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The song was composed by Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, and recorded at Juggy Sound Studios, New York in May 1969, and mixed at A & R Studios, New York, in August 1969. It appeared as the seventh track on Led Zeppelin's second album Led Zeppelin II, released on 22 October 1969. 'Ramble On' is a Tolkienesque inspired folk-rock song which reflected singer Robert Plant's yearning for travel, hence 'rambling on'. The track gives an inkling of what Led Zeppelin were preparing ahead with the ethereal folk and acoustic influenced Led Zeppelin III in 1970. In 2004, the song was ranked number 433 on Rolling Stone's list of the '500 Greatest Songs of All Time'.
'Ramble On' displays Led Zeppelin's 'light and shade' philosophy - quiet passages followed by explosive rock energy. The opening lyrical lines of 'Ramble On' are influenced by Tolkien's poem 'Namárië', and later on words such as Mordor and Gollum, plainly identifies what singer Plant was thinking when writing the song. The song composition uses a tight rhythmic drumming structure. Often mistaken for bongos, during the recording session drummer John Bonham created a patting effect by hitting a guitar case owned by Jimmy Page, with his drumsticks, which sounds like a riddle drum. A riddle drum is a traditional hand held drum used in English folk music. Both acoustic and electric guitars are used, and the solo itself is double-tracked by Page using his Gibson Les Paul Standard. 'Ramble On' has been covered by numerous artists and has been even sampled by Donald D for his 1989 song 'A Letter I'll Never Send'.
It was never performed in full by Led Zeppelin, but a version was played for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute concert at the O2 arena, on 10 December 2007. Plant on his solo tours performed the song in 1993 and 2002 with the Strange Sensation. Page and Plant played it live from 1995 to 1998. Guitarist Page and bass player John Paul Jones performed this song with the Foo Fighters, at Wembley Stadium in 2008.
Single (Digital download)
- Canadian Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart (2007) 66
- Jimmy Page – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
- Robert Plant – vocals
- John Paul Jones – bass guitar
- John Bonham - drums, percussion
- Peter Grant – executive producer
- Eddie Kramer - engineer, mixing
- Joe Sidore - original CD mastering engineer (mid-1980s)
- George Marino - remastered CD engineer (1990)
- Lewis, Dave (2012) Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1 (OCLC 782996334).
- Welch, Chris (2009) Led Zeppelin: The Stories Behind Every Led Zeppelin Song. London: Carlton Books. ISBN 978-1-84732-286-9 (OCLC 317254118).
- APRA: GW00886935
- ASCAP: 480095609
- GEMA: 715211-001
- ISWC: T-070.128.240-7
- US Copyright Office: EU0000144292
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