The 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Songs
47. “That’s the Way” (Led Zeppelin III)
Like “Bron-Yr-Aur,” this mellow acoustic song was inspired by the serenity and pastoral beauty of the Welsh countryside during Page and Plant’s working vacation at the remote Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in 1970.
The band performed the song live in open G tuning, but the studio version sounds in G flat, which is most likely the result of the instruments being tuned down a half step (or a possible manipulation of the tape speed in the mastering process, similar to what Page did with “When the Levee Breaks”).
Jimmy strums the song with a pick and makes great use of ringing open strings within his chord voicings, even as he moves away from the open position. Particularly cool are the reverb-soaked pedal-steel licks that Page overdubbed, for which he alternates between major and minor pentatonic phrases—again, a fine example of “light and shade.”
Also noteworthy is the climbing outro progression, for which Jimmy again combines open strings with notes fretted in the middle region of the neck to create unusual, lush-sounding chord voicings.