Jimmy Page‘s best work comes from his time in Led Zeppelin, but did you know he was an accomplished session guitar player before he made it with Zep?
One such song is the #1 hit “Downtown” by Petula Clark, which hit the top of the charts this week in 1965.
In an interview with The Guardian, Clark said she heard the melody to the song, and told producer Tony Hatch “If you can write a lyric as good as that melody, I’d love to sing it.”
Two weeks later, Clark was walking into a London studio with 40 musicians, including guitarist Jimmy Page. While the orchestra was running through their parts, Hatch was in the bathroom finishing the lyrics.
It’s regarded as a sunny title, but Clark says that wasn’t the intention.
“People generally think of it as a jolly song, but it isn’t. When I sing it, I picture this person who’s alone in their room, lonely, feeling a bit worthless, close to a depression – then getting up and going out on the street to be among other people who are perhaps feeling the same way. I have had those moments myself.”
Revisit the classic and see if you can spot Page’s contributions below (Hint: his signature guitar is easiest to spot in the middle verses!)(more…)