Led Zeppelin: “Immigrant Song” (1970)

The song that takes the idea of a British Invasion to a whole new level.

Kronomyth 3.1: Viking awesome.

Led Zeppelin had already taken the world by storm with their first two albums. The opening salvo from Led Zeppelin III made plain that the band wouldn’t be taking prisoners. Immigrant Song makes The Ride of the Valkyries sound like a bicycle stroll. John Paul Jones’ relentless bass and John Bonham’s drumming herald the invading army, while Robert Plants howls overhead and Jimmy Page conjures dark clouds of magic from his guitar. Where their earlier music was frighteningly good, this song was just terrifying. Amazing to think it all takes place in less than two and a half minutes.

The B side is the antithesis of sturm und drang. Hey, Hey, What Can I Do is an insanely catchy acoustic number about a promiscuous lady sung from the vantage point of her cuckolded man. Was there ever a band that could run as hot and cool as Led Zeppelin? Although credited to Led Zeppelin III on some pressings, “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” didn’t appear on any Led Zeppelin album until the 1990 box set, making the single something of a collectible in its day. Fortunately, radio stations gave the B side frequent air time in the 70s.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Immigrant Song (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant) (2:21)
B1. Hey, Hey, What Can I Do (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant/John Paul Jones/John Bonham) (3:53)

Promotional Japanese 7-inch single version
A1. Immigrant Song
B1. Out on the Tiles

The Players

John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant. Produced by Jimmy Page.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on November 5, 1970 in the US (Atlantic, 45-2777), Canada (Atlantic, AT 2777), France (Atlantic, 650.226 L), Germany (Atlantic, ATL 70.460) and Greece (Atlantic, 2091 043), in February 1971 in Japan (Atlantic, P-1007A) and in 1971 in South Africa (Atlantic, ATS 531) with regional picture sleeve. Also released as promotional 7-inch single in December 1970 in Japan (Atlantic, DT-1180) with different B side. Reached #16 on the US charts.

  1. Re-issued on 7-inch single in June 1976 in Japan (Atlantic, P-115A) with picture sleeve.
  2. Re-issued on 7-inch single in the US (Atlantic Oldies Series, OS-13131).
  3. Re-issued on 7-inch single in Canada (Atlantic Gold Standard, GS 45847).
  4. Re-issued on compact disc single in 1992 in the US (Atlantic, 2777-2).
Immigrant Song 45 rpm sleeve
Japan 1976 Atlantic P-115A reissue sleeve

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