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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 235
Mon. Oct. 14, 2013

“Feel So Bad (Unreleased Blues Medley)”
Led Zeppelin

1970

Crafted with the love and vein like template of Zeppelin III’s “Hats Off To Roy Harper,” this unreleased “Feel So Bad” medley oozes with the kind of traditional southern swampy guitar licks that inspired a timeless devotion of the unheralded American Blues sound that Jimmy Page perfectly made famous during the heyday of Led Zep.

In his book, The Rough Guide to Led Zeppelin, author Nigel Williamson called “Feel So Bad” one of the band’s essential rarities. After Led Zeppelin III was unleashed to the world, Page shared that the über-blues cut “Hats Off to Roy Harper” was actually part of “a whole tape of us bashing our different blues things.” It makes you stop and ponder what the response would’ve been if Page had including this blistering blues medley that is “Feels So Bad” instead of “Roy Harper” on Led Zeppelin III. It’s well known among Zep aficionados, Page and Plant adoring ode to Roy Harper ranks as one of Zeppelin’s least popular songs. Unlike “Hats Off,” one spin of this magnificent blues medley would make the most devoted Zeppelin fan leave breathless with wonder definitely feeling oh—so good.

When asked by Brad Tolinski in his book, Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page, when exactly blues came into Led Zeppelin guitarist picture, Page responded, “It didn’t take me long to notice that some of my favorite Elvis song were originally written and recorded by blues performers. We began to discover people like Arthur Crudup, who wrote Presley’s “That’s All Right.” So in this way, bit by bit, you start understanding a much bigger musical picture. You discover that music is tapestry that unfolds.” Page uses the tapestry to mold a perfected medley, for this unreleased song, of such vintage blues classics as “Feels So Bad,” “Fixin’ to Die” and Led Zeppelin even added some lines from Jimmy’s first musical discovery “That’s Alright Mama.”

I may be in the minority but I have affection Jimmy’s use of his slide guitar as the canvas for “Feels So Bad” and his Led Zeppelin III tribute to his good friend Roy Harper. Page’s clever slide guitar licks conjures up images of a southern fried swamp filled paradise that Jimmy brings to life with his vintage blues riffs on this unreleased gem that is “Feels So Bad.” I will admit that using the backing track template of what would turn out to be one Led Zeppelin’s least popular songs, “Hats Off,” “Feels So Bad” would have definitely been the surprise and most talked about song if this blues medley had been released on Led Zeppelin III. I guess we’re going to have to wait for the Jimmy Page’s 21st Century Led Zeppelin album remasters that the guitarist is rumored to be unleashing to Zep fans in 2014. Until then happy hunting for this unreleased gem of a blues medley, “Feels So Bad” is one rare Led Zeppelin treasures that is definitely worth it’s legendary status will have you anxiously awaiting Page’s devoted love medley of this blues story, hopefully, will one day be told.

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