Hey Hey What Can I Do (as made famous by Led Zeppelin)

“Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” is a song by the English rock group Led Zeppelin, released in 1970 as the B-side of “Immigrant Song” outside the United Kingdom.

It is the only non-album track the band released before their 1980 breakup, appearing on the Atlantic Records UK various artists compilation LP record, The New Age of Atlantic, released in 1972. The song was first released on CD in September 1990 on the 4-CD Led Zeppelin Boxed Set collection.[2]

Initial 7-inch single pressings of the song featured a long gradual fade that ends abruptly with acoustic guitar. Subsequent pressings had a quicker fade, presumably to avoid the sudden end. This is the version that has been featured on every CD release prior to 2015. The 2015 expanded edition of Coda features an even shorter fade, excising the acoustic guitar ending altogether.

In 1992, as a 20th anniversary release, “Immigrant Song”/”Hey, Hey What Can I Do” was released as a “vinyl replica” CD single. In 1993, “Hey, Hey What Can I Do” was included on The Complete Studio Recordings 10-CD box set, as one of four bonus tracks on the Coda disc as well as the subsequent 12-CD Led Zeppelin Definitive Collection box set released in 2008. In 2015, the song was also included on disc one of the two companion discs of the reissue of Coda.

Kashmir (as made famous by Led Zeppelin)

“Kashmir” is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. Included on their sixth album Physical Graffiti (1975), it was written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (with contributions from John Bonham) over a period of three years with lyrics dating to 1973.

The song became a concert staple, performed by the band at almost every concert after its release. The song has been described as one of Led Zeppelin’s two most overtly progressive epics.[2]

The riff for the song uses a non-standard guitar tuning, influenced by Page’s interest in modal tunings and Arabic and Eastern music. The song combines different rhythmic meters – the guitar riff is in triple meter, while the vocal is in quadruple meter.[3] Plant felt that the drumming was an important component of the song and that Bonham did not overplay his part.[4]

Page recorded a demo version with drummer Bonham late in 1973 when John Paul Jones was late for the recording sessions. Plant later added lyrics and a middle section and, in early 1974, Jones added orchestration.[4][5] Page and Plant had previously travelled to Bombay in 1972 and worked with various Indian musicians, gaining production ideas from recording sessions of “Four Sticks” and “Friends”. Session players were brought in for the string and horn sections for “Kashmir”,[5] but Jones also used a Mellotron.[6]

The lyrics were written by Plant in 1973 immediately after Led Zeppelin’s 1973 US Tour.[5] Although named after Kashmir, a region disputed by India and Pakistan, none of the group members had visited the area.[7] Instead, Plant was inspired during a drive through a desolate desert area of southern Morocco.[4][5]

“Kashmir” was played live at almost every Led Zeppelin concert from its debut in 1975.[8] One live version, from Led Zeppelin’s performance at Knebworth in 1979, is included on the Led Zeppelin DVD (2003).[9] The surviving members also performed the song at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert in 1988.[10] It was again performed at Led Zeppelin’s reunion show at The O2, London on 10 December 2007[11] and later released on Celebration Day in 2012.[12] That concert’s rendition of the song, was nominated in 2014 for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance at the 56th Grammys.[13]

Page and Plant recorded a longer, live version, with an Egyptian/Moroccan orchestra for No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded (1994)[14] and performed the song with an orchestra on their 1995 tour.

Communication Breakdown (as made famous by Led Zeppelin)

“Communication Breakdown” is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, from their 1969 debut album Led Zeppelin. It was released as the B-side of “Good Times Bad Times”, the group’s first single in the US. A promotional video was released, with the group miming to the recording; it is included on the Led Zeppelin DVD (2003).

The song was one of the first worked on by the band, shortly after formation and before they had played any gigs. It developed from a guitar riff played by Jimmy Page, while the rest of the band wrote the song around it. Bassist John Paul Jones later said “This is Page’s riff – you can tell instantly”.[5] Singer Robert Plant could not receive a songwriting credit owing to a previous record contract, and consequently it was credited simply to the other three band members.[6]

“Communication Breakdown” was part of the group’s initial live set in 1968. It was played at every gig until 1970, after which it was featured as an encore. The group played it on at least one show for all subsequent tours, including their residency at Earl’s Court, London in 1975, the second appearance at the 1979 Knebworth Festival, and the band’s final tour in 1980. Plant played it on some of his solo tours, while Jones performed it live with Diamanda Galás in 1994.[6][7]

On the Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions, released in 1997, this song was featured three times, each with a slightly different improvisation by the group.[8] Three live versions–taken from performances at the TV program Tous en scène in Paris in 1969, at Danmarks Radio in 1969 and at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970–can also be seen on the Led Zeppelin DVD. The version of “Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown” released on 15 April 2014, on iTunes, is from 10 October 1969 in Paris, on the European Tour of Autumn 1969.

Going to California (as made famous by Led Zeppelin)

“Going to California” is a ballad written and performed by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released from the band’s untitled fourth album in 1971.

The song’s wistful folk-style sound, with Robert Plant on lead vocals, acoustic guitar by Jimmy Page and mandolin by John Paul Jones, contrasts with the heavy electric-amplified rock on five of the album’s other tracks. Page’s guitar is in the DADGBD tuning.

The song is reportedly about Canadian singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, with whom Plant was infatuated. In live performances of the song, Plant would often say the name “Joni” after this stanza (which is thought to have referenced Mitchell’s 1968 composition “I Had a King”):

To find a queen without a king,
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings.
In an interview he gave to Spin magazine in 2002, Plant stated that the song “might be a bit embarrassing at times lyrically, but it did sum up a period of my life when I was 22.”[4] In a 2007 interview with the same magazine, Plant stated that the song was about “Me reflecting on the first years of the group, when I was only about… 20, and was struggling to find myself in the midst of all the craziness of California and the band and the groupies… “[citation needed]

This song started out as a song about Californian earthquakes and when Jimmy Page, audio engineer Andy Johns and band manager Peter Grant travelled to Los Angeles to mix Led Zeppelin IV, they coincidentally experienced a minor earthquake.[5] At this point it was known as “Guide to California”.[5]

At Led Zeppelin concerts the band performed this song during their acoustic sets, first playing it on their Spring 1971 tour of the United Kingdom.[5] One live version, from Led Zeppelin’s performance at Earls Court in 1975, is featured on disc 2 of the Led Zeppelin DVD and again on the Mothership DVD.

Robert Plant – vocals
Jimmy Page – acoustic guitars
John Paul Jones – mandolin

Dancing Days (as made famous by Led Zeppelin)

“Dancing Days” is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It appears on their 1973 album, Houses of the Holy, and was released as a single in the US. It was recorded at Stargroves, England in 1972. It was inspired by an Indian tune that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant heard while traveling in Bombay. This was the first track from the album to be offered for radio play by Atlantic Records. It was premiered on 24 March 1973 on the BBC Radio One Rosko lunch time show.[2]

As with the single’s A-side, “Over the Hills and Far Away”, “Dancing Days” was introduced by the band in concert well ahead of its commercial release. Although a bootleg tape purports to prove it was first played at the Wembley Empire Pool in November 1971, evidence suggests its inclusion on this tape was a hoax. The earliest live documented reference is in Seattle on 19 June 1972 where the song was performed twice: once during the main set and again as an encore;[2] it was then performed frequently during the rest of this tour, with a version appearing on the live album, How the West Was Won. With the release of Houses of the Holy, however, “Dancing Days” was largely dropped from concerts, although an abridged, acoustic version was occasionally performed during the 1977 U.S. tour.[2] A full electric version was played as an encore on 13 July 1973 at Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan as featured on the “Monsters of Rock” bootleg.

In a contemporary review for Houses of the Holy, Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone gave “Dancing Days” a negative review, calling the track nothing but a piece of “filler”.[3]

Robert Plant – vocals
Jimmy Page – guitars
John Paul Jones – bass guitar, organ
John Bonham – drums