Fool in the Rain

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"Fool in the Rain"
Single by Led Zeppelin
from the album In Through the Out Door
B-side "Hot Dog"
Released 7 December 1979 (1979-12-07) (US)
Format Seven-inch 45 rpm record
Recorded Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden, November–December 1978
Genre Rock,[1] Samba rock
Length 6:08
Label Swan Song (no. 71003)
Producer(s) Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin singles chronology
"Candy Store Rock" / "Royal Orleans"
"Fool in the Rain" / "Hot Dog"
"Travelling Riverside Blues"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Fool in the Rain" is the third track on Led Zeppelin's 1979 album, In Through the Out Door. It was their final US single before they formally disbanded in 1980. It reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1980.


The song exhibits a Latin feel. The main section is in 4/4 meter with a half-time feel; this section employs an unusual polyrhythmic groove, with the piano and bass playing six beats per measure and the melody (and parts of the drum kit) playing four beats per measure. The result is that most of the instruments appear to be playing quarter-note triplets against the swing of the melody and drum kit. Drummer John Bonham plays a shuffle beat similar to the "Purdie shuffle" rhythm attributed to session drummer Bernard Purdie, along with a samba-style breakdown. A master drum track shows that the samba breakdown (2:25) was recorded separately.

Bass player John Paul Jones and vocalist Robert Plant developed the idea for the samba beat from watching the 1978 FIFA World Cup tournament in Argentina.[2] Guitarist Jimmy Page used an MXR Blue Box effect pedal during the solo to produce the octave sound.

Lyrically, the song is about a man who's supposed to meet a woman on a certain street corner. When the woman does not appear, he is filled with sorrow at being stood up. By the final verse, he realizes that he has not gone to the right place, making him "just a fool waiting on the wrong block," as Plant sings.

Live renditions[edit]

This song was never performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts, as it was heavily studio-based. However, on 5 October 2005, Robert Plant performed the song with Pearl Jam at a Hurricane Katrina benefit show.[3][4]

Formats and tracklistings[edit]

1979 7" single edition (US/Australia/Canada/New Zealand: Swan Song SS 71003, Ecuador/Uruguay: Atlantic 45-73015, Germany/Holland: Swan Song SS 19421, Japan: Warner Pioneer P-530N, Mexico: Swan Song Gamma G-2269, Spain: Swan Song SS 45-1295)

  • A. "Fool in the Rain" (Jones, Page, Plant) 6:08
  • B. "Hot Dog" (Page, Plant) 3:15

1979 7" single radio edit (US: Swan Song SS 71003 SP, Italy: Swan Song PR 097)

  • A. "Fool in the Rain" (Jones, Page, Plant) 3:20
  • B. "Hot Dog" (Page, Plant) 3:15

Chart positions[edit]


Chart (1980) Peak position
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 21
US Cash Box Top 100 Singles[6] 31
US Record World 100 Top Pop Chart[7] 34
Canadian RPM Top 100 Chart[8] 12
New Zealand Top 50 Singles Chart[9] 44

Single (Digital download)[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak position
Canadian Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart[10] 69


Cover versions[edit]


  • Lewis, Dave (2004) The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9
  • Welch, Chris (1998) Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, ISBN 1-56025-818-7


  1. ^ Davis, Stephen (1985). Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 291. ISBN 0-345-33516-3. 
  2. ^ Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
  3. ^ Robert Plant jam[dead link]
  4. ^ Pearl Jam and Robert Plant - Fool in the Rain - improved audio
  5. ^ "Hot 100 Singles - 16 February 1980". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-01-17. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Top 100 Singles - 23 February 1980". Cash Box. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  7. ^ [[dead link] "Top 40 for 1980 - February 1980"]. Record World. Retrieved 2009-01-19. [dead link]
  8. ^ "RPM Singles Chart - 23 February 1980". RPM. Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  9. ^ Scapolo, Dean (2007). "Top 50 Singles - February 1980". The Complete New Zealand Music Charts (1st ed.). Wellington: Transpress. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8. 
  10. ^ "Hot Digital Singles - 1 December 2007". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-01-17. [dead link]