No. 33: ‘The Ocean’ – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs
Most Led Zeppelin songs are credited to the legendary duo of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the trailblazing guitar and Golden God voice that define the band at its core. But some of the band’s greatest songs are credited to the quartet as a whole, like ‘The Ocean,’ the funky, fidgety closer to Zep’s fifth studio album, 1973′s ‘Houses of the Holy,’ which is No. 33 on our list of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs.
‘The Ocean’ is one of Zeppelin’s tightest full-band showcases, even though it’s also one of their most subtle. John Bonham, typically known for his bombastic drumming, keeps the track buoyant with his restrained, disciplined groove; meanwhile, Page and John Paul Jones interlock into a spidery, spellbinding riff that seems to never begin or end, uncoiling in alternating 7/8, 4/4 time signature.
‘The Ocean’ is also one of the band’s most lighthearted rockers, showcasing the band’s sense of humor and underrated eclecticism. ‘I can hear the ocean roar,’ Plant sings, gazing out from a bird’s eye stage view at the band’s swarming sea of dedicated fans. Elsewhere, Plant professes his fatherly love to Carmen, his then-three-year-old daughter. Instead of layering guitar after guitar, Page keeps his playing trim, as the band climbs to the boogieing doo-wop coda.