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Friday, August 19, 2011

"When the Levee Breaks"

Led Zeppelin - When the Levee Breaks (1971)

Played on the news whenever flood waters threaten the heartland, including just a few months ago, the original version of this song was written in 1929 to commemorate the 1927 Mississippi flood. According to many historians, the flood was responsible for the second great wave of Southern African Americans leaving and heading for Northern cities; as well as the election of Herbert Hoover, and part of why African Americans left "The Party of Lincoln" and shifted to the Democrats. But this is a music blog, and I'm not "Weasel", so back to it.

Hell of an intro right? Reverberating drums, a backward echo harmonica part, and one of the most famous guitar riffs ever recorded. The whole seven minute song never lets up, and never lets you go. I love the beginning of the bridge, it gets lighter for just a few seconds, makes you think the storm is over, and then CRASH; right back in the thick of it. Everything is echo and reverb and frankly, if you have crappy tinny little speakers, this song must sound awful. Put some headphones on, some big over the ear jobbies. Or put in on your home entertainment center if you want to shake the house down.

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