The 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Songs
49. “Tangerine” (Led Zeppelin III)
Like “Thank You,” this folky ballad, written exclusively by Page, offers good bang for your musical buck, in terms of packing a lot of expression into a handful of melodically embellished open “cowboy” chords.
Jimmy achieved a rich texture by performing the song’s main guitar part on a 12-string acoustic and handsomely decorated the chorus with authentic country-style pedal-steel licks, for which he used lots of oblique bends and a wah pedal to accentuate their weeping sound.
The chorus, played in the happy-sounding key of G, provides a welcome contrast to the somber feel of the verse and solo sections, which are in A minor. Also noteworthy is Page’s short and sweet slide solo, played with a thick, overdriven tone that effectively sustains his vibrato-ed notes and enhances their singing quality.
He thoughtfully describes the underlying chord changes in his slide melody by closely following the chord tones as he works his way up to the highest note on the neck.