Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Certain Songs #888: Led Zeppelin – “Good Times, Bad Times” | Medialoper

Album: Led Zeppelin
Year: 1969

tick tick tick tick

tick tick tick tick tick tick

tinka tinka tinka tinka tinka

tinka tinka tinka tinka tinka

rumble dumble rumbledly downa rattledly smash!

This, ladies and gentlemens, is how you introduce yourself to the world. In the 12 seconds that open “Good Times Bad Times” the interplay between Jimmy Page’s guitar and John Bonham’s drums have already started creating an entire universe.

And when 20-year-old Robert Plant opens his mouth and start singing about the days of his youth while John Paul Jones plays the riff that he probably wrote in unison with Page, that universe comes into much sharper focus: songs that were massively powerful, but still rhythmically light on their feet, with guitar riffs exploding in your face, guitar solos sliding out of your grasp, each song full of endless possibilities.

Back in the days of their youth, Led Zeppelin had no idea what they were going to become, so “Good Times Bad Times” was designed to be the hit single, with a full-harmonied catchy chorus — maybe the catchiest they ever bothered to write.

Good times, bad times
You know I had my share
When my woman left home
With a brown eyed man
But I still don’t seem to care

The goal, of course, was world domination, and in 1969, a big hit single was seen as the path towards that domination. Which, I guess, it still kinda is.

Of course, with the riff in the second verse completely different from the riff in the first verse, the bass runs coming from nowhere, and that squawking Lesliefied guitar trilling throughout the second half, “Good Times Bad Times” was just too weird to get on any AM radio anywhere, and it stiffed as a single.

And Led Zeppelin were never heard from again.

“Good Times Bad Times”

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