Thursday, December 29, 2011

Four Sticks

  The sixth song from 'Led Zeppelin IV' is "Four Sticks". As the title suggests, John Bonham used four sticks, at the same time, on this track. This is because he was so frustrated with the fact that he could not get the track down right during the recording session at Island Studios, that Bonham decided to take out his frustration on the drums and picked up two sets of drumsticks and just started beating away on the drums as hard as he could. This resulted in Bonham recording the perfect take and that was the one Led Zeppelin kept. But apparently John Bonham wasn't the only one that was having problems with the recording of "Four Sticks", for it took more takes that usual. John Paul Jones played a VCS3 synthesizer on the track.

Jimmy Page once said of "Four Sticks",: " It was supposed to be abstract." The abstract effect is further achieved by the unusual meter signature, aka time signature, of the song., featuring riffs in a mixture of 5/8 and 6/8 time signatures. Out of frustration over another failed take of the recording, Jimmy Page began to play an improvised guitar riff, which was later developed into the the albums second song - "Rock & Roll".

  "Four Sticks" has only been performed live once, in Copenhagen, Denmark on Led Zeppelin's  1971 European tour and has been preserved only on  bootleg recording.

  "Four Sticks" is 4:44 long and as a single was released on February 21,1972. 


 Oh, Baby, it's cryin' time, Oh, Baby, I got to fly.
 Got to try to find a way, Got to try to get away,
 'Cause you know I gotta get awayfrom you, Babe.
 Oh, Baby, the river's red, Oh, Baby, in my head.
 There's a funny feelin' going on, I don't think I can hold out long.

 * And when the owl cries in the night,
 Oh Baby, Baby, when the pines begin to cry,
 Baby, bay, Baby, how do you feel? 

 Craze, Baby, the rainbow's end, Mmm, Baby, it's just a den
 For those who hide, Who hide their love to the depths of life
 And ruin dreams that we all knew so, Babe.

 * Chorus

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