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.
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.
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.