Out on the Tiles
|"Out on the Tiles"|
Netherlands single picture sleeve
|Song by Led Zeppelin|
|from the album Led Zeppelin III|
|Released||5 October 1970|
|Recorded||Olympic Studios, London, 1970|
The title of the song is derived from the British phrase for going out for a night on the town. Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham would talk about going "out on the tiles," meaning to go to bars, and often sang a ditty based around the phrase. It goes "I've had a pint of bitter and now I'm feeling better and I'm out on the tiles. We're going down the rubbers and we're going to pull some scrubbers because we're out on the tiles." Guitarist Jimmy Page turned the tune into a riff and Bonham's lyrics were replaced with something a little more tame for general audiences. Bonham and Page are credited with writing the song, along with vocalist Robert Plant.
The song is one of the most aggressive recordings in the band's catalogue and closes the "heavy" first side of Led Zeppelin III, which is noted for its stylistic departure from the band's first two releases, featuring several acoustic arrangements that dominate the second half of the album.
The spacey sound mix achieved on the recording of this song was a product of distance miking in the studio by Page. Just at the 1:22 mark in the track, someone in the recording studio is heard saying "stop". It is widely believed that it was Page who said it, although this has never been confirmed. As the song has unique rhythm and syncopation, it is assumed that whoever yelled "stop" was trying to act as a verbal conductor. Before that, at about 0:11 in the song, someone (again possibly Page) says "All right".
"Out on the Tiles" was played live in its entirety just a few times at Led Zeppelin concerts, most notably on 4 September 1970 in Los Angeles, as is preserved on the famous bootleg recording Live on Blueberry Hill. However, the beginning of the song was much more often used as an introduction to live performances of "Black Dog", as heard on the official live release How the West Was Won and the performances at Knebworth Musical Festival in 1979. It was also used as an introduction to John Bonham's drum solo "Over the Top" on the band's 1977 North American concert tour.
Jimmy Page performed "Out on the Tiles" on his tour with The Black Crowes in 1999. A version of this song performed by Page and The Black Crowes can be found on the album Live at the Greek. The song was also featured on the VH1 series Supergroup, in which it was performed as part of the group's set at the concert in series finale, and Jason Bonham dedicated it to his late father John.
"Out on the Tiles" was released on 2 June 2014, as part of the remastering process of all nine albums, as "Bathroom Sound Track (No Vocal)". "Bathroom Sound" is a rough mix of "Out on the Tiles", without the vocals.
- 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
- George Case (1 October 2011). Led Zeppelin FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Greatest Hard Rock Band of All Time. Backbeat Books. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-61713-071-7.
- Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
- Steven Rosen, 1977 Jimmy Page Interview, Modern Guitars, 25 May 2007 (originally published in the July 1977, issue of Guitar Player magazine).