The 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Songs
Guitar World presents a critical analysis of Led Zeppelin's 50 best tracks.
32. “Celebration Day” (Led Zeppelin III)
This playful, uptempo rocker was built around a slinky slide riff conceived by Jones, the genesis of which he described in his column in Guitar World July 1997: “I came up with the intro/verse riff to “Celebration Day” while playing and old Danelectro baritone guitar like a lap steel, using an unusual, low open A7 tuning (low to high: A A A E G Cs), a steel bar and a nut saddle to raise the strings.” When performing the song live, Page would adapt this riff to standard-tuned guitar.
On the recording, Page crafted a complementary and similarly slinky bend lick to play over the song’s main A-riff following each verse (initially at 0:24).
Similar to what he later did between the verses in “Over the Hills and Far Away,” the guitarist uses pulled bends on the bottom two strings to reach up to the last note of each phrase he plays, in this case adding a bold, shimmering vibrato to each bend.
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