Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Song/Riff of the Day: Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin)

After a few years of not hearing this song at all (thanks to the lame-ass playlist on my local "rock" station), I've been hearing "Heartbreaker" a few times a week--and mentally hearing a pair of Rush songs that were strongly influenced by it.

Amazingly enough, I'd never heard--or at least paid attention to--"Heartbreaker" [Led Zep II, track 5] before listening to Number Two's copy of the Zep 4-disc Box Set. As soon as this track came up, I thought I was hearing the Rush song, "What You're Doing"--the riffs are very similar, both based on your basic Blues pentatonic.

The opening (verse) riff:



[I'm using the "=" marks as place-holders; for some reason Blogger's computers look at blanks and think, "We need to save some screen space here. I'll just take those out." I don't like having to clutter it up...but oh well]

And here's the opening/signature riff of "What You're Doing"



[...and while I was listening to the song, figuring out the TAB for it, I remembered that I wrote about it before, as one that depends on the "Immigrant Song" drum riff]

Nah, they're not an exact match, but the Zep influence was especially strong on this song.

The next bit--and the next Rush tune--comes in just after the first guitar solo, when the entire band goes off on a little jam:



Jimmy Page leans on this progression for a few bars before going into the second solo.

Alex Lifeson plays it pretty close in "Beneath, Between and Behind," from the second Rush disc 'Fly By Night'. From the verses:



Faster tempo, but the feel is the same, even with the riff stretched over two bars.

This is how you do it, if you're going to rip off a riff! One riff, one song--not the same riff in four songs (see the "Immigrant Song" post).

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