The 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Songs
46. “In the Light” (Physical Graffiti)
Jimmy broke out his violin bow once again and put it to great use in this song’s extended intro, providing a low, eerie, sitar-style drone as a backdrop to Jones’ mystical, echoing “bagpipe” melodies, creatively conjured on a synthesizer.
Also particularly cool is the ominous-sounding descending blues-scale-based guitar riff that comes crashing in at the end of the intro (at 2:45) and the menacing, angular verse figure that follows, against which Page overdubbed a twangy, ringing open G note, played in unison with the D string’s fifth-fret G and treated with a shimmering tremolo effect.
The song’s bright, triumphant-sounding final theme, introduced by Jones on a Clavinet at 4:09, stands in stark contrast to the hauntingly dark minor key-based sections that precede it—another example of “light and shade.”
Also worth noting is the ascending major scale-based lead melody Page plays over the theme’s repeating progression at 4:25 and the way it moves in contrary motion to the descending bass line, a compositional technique regarded as one of classical music’s slickest moves.