The instrumental “Rumble” – one of rock’s most influential cuts, with artists ranging from Jimmy Page to Iggy Pop crediting the track with changing how they viewed music – was released in 1958. To achieve the song’s groundbreaking fuzz tone, Wray poked a pencil through the cone of his amplifier. “The first time I heard ‘Rumble,’ that was something that had so much profound attitude to it,” Page said in the 2008 documentary It Might Get Loud. Upon Wray’s death in 2005, both Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen performed live covers of “Rumble.”
Wray later recorded the sequel to the hit, but it remained in the late guitarist’s archives until its unveiling Wednesday. “I saw him play in Cleveland at the Grog shop and he blew my mind,” Auerbach said in a statement. “To get the chance to put out unreleased songs on Easy Eye Sound is amazing and a dream I never thought was possible. It’s time we give Link Wray a statue on the top of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” Wray is among the Rock Hall’s 2018 candidates.
“Son of Rumble,” backed by another unreleased Wray track “Whole Lotta Talking,” will be released as a seven-inch on Easy Eye Sound on April 13th; fans can pre-order the single through the label’s site.
“Rumble” remains perhaps the lone instrumental in rock history to be banned from radio stations as the track was alleged to have incited violence; “rumble” was slang for gang violence at the time. Like its iconic predecessor, “Son of Rumble” lures in the listener with a mix of power chords, distortion and a hypnotic melody.
In addition to inspiring countless guitarists, “Rumble” is also well known for its appearances in Pulp Fiction, The Sopranos and more. Wray ranked Number 45 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists.