Wel­l, there has to be some­thing here from Led Zep, and I’m pick­ing this be­cause, when I was six­teen and just feel­ing my way in­to the mys­te­ri­ous for­est of pop­u­lar mu­sic, some­one said “Hey I got this new record” (that would be Led Zep III) and he dropped the nee­dle on Im­mi­grant Song, and in that in­stant I be­came a hard-rock fan; and I’ll be proud to die one. It’s a to­tal­ly great tune.

Led Zeppelin III

I try to keep the Song of the Day a lit­tle off the beat­en track and I was think­ing of go­ing with Kash­mir in­stead be­cause the guys in the band say it’s their fa­vorite Led Zep song, and I like it a lot. I can’t claim Im­mi­grant Song is ob­scure in the slight­est. That’s OK be­cause any day you lis­ten to it your blood will run a lit­tle faster and your hind­brain will boo­gie with your medul­la ob­lon­gata. I’m not go­ing to talk about the riff (great), the vo­cals (great), the drum­ming (wow), the lyrics (kin­da dopey, but ef­fec­tive). OK, I’ll drop in a quote about the lyrics which sort of ex­cus­es them.

We weren’t be­ing pompous… We did come from the land of the ice and snow. We were guests of the Ice­landic Govern­ment on a cul­tur­al mis­sion. We were in­vit­ed to play a con­cert in Reyk­javik and the day be­fore we ar­rived all the civ­il ser­vants went on strike and the gig was go­ing to be can­celled. The uni­ver­si­ty pre­pared a con­cert hall for us and it was phe­nom­e­nal. The re­sponse from the kids was re­mark­able and we had a great time. Im­mi­grant Song was about that trip and it was the open­ing track on the al­bum that was in­tend­ed to be in­cred­i­bly dif­fer­en­t.

You know, these days, when I’m driv­ing around and Zep­pelin comes on the ra­dio, all I can hear is that drum­ming. Nobody’s ev­er sound­ed like Bon­ham.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Spo­ti­fy, iTunes, Ama­zon. As for live video this per­for­mance is said to be from Aus­tralia in 1972. I’m not 100% sure that the video is re­al­ly ac­tu­al­ly of this live per­for­mance  —  there are con­ti­nu­ity is­sues  —  but it’s a fine per­for­mance, and the video has some better-than-average-for-Zep moves on it.


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From: Steve Crane (May 08 2018, at 02:10)

South African band Not My Dog released a great cover of Immigrant Song on their 1999 album Disco Very. It's much harder than the original. I have the album but sadly can't find the song linked anywhere on the web.

Another song from the album, Homes is on YouTube though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3nIqJUXlM8


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May 05, 2018
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