How and why Led Zeppelin's "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" surprised everyone

Led Zeppelin dared, experimented a bit, and then released it as an addition to the hit "Immigrant Song" to literally wow the audience. And their idea succeeded!

Why "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" is the most amazing Led Zeppelin song

In the world of rock there are many amazing songs - And they are amazing for a variety of reasons. Whether it's an atypical sound, an instrument unique to the genre like a flute or violin (or maybe even something more exotic), or a new vocalist who seems to come out of nowhere and soon after the release of the single dropped into nowhere... Anyway, every now and then many bands find a way to surprise his loyal fans. But Led Zeppelin Outdone them all!

Their track. "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" 1972 The song of the year was an amazing experience for fans in two ways at once! So how, and why did this song surprise so many people? We suggest finding out below!

Background: How "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" Surprised Led Zeppelin Fans

The group "Led Zeppelin"
The group "Led Zeppelin"

To begin with a bit of background, after which we go straight to the first aspectwhich made "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" such a striking track in the Zeppelin box. So today. B sideI don't think anyone will be surprised by this track, which is a kind of addition to the main track with great potential for the title of a hit. It's also unlikely to make anyone overly happy - it's already something extremely familiar, standard. Some people don't even pay attention to this fact! But back in the '60s and '80s, it was a very popular thing that music lovers were literally on the hunt for.

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin

Yes, music fans searched carefully and then eagerly bought singles that had B side. And such records were much more valuable than full-length albums! Why? It's simple: as a rule, the potential hit was "accompanied" by non-album track. That is to say, they were very rare compositions that you might be lucky enough to hear, well... maybe at a concert, or on some compilation in the distant future. And knowing the great hype for the cherished and very rare B-side, many artists were happy to release songs that were not included on albums. This was especially the sin of. "The Beatles and Elton Johnwho had so many non-album records in stock that they could have been turned into separate compilations! But why "sin"? Giving the fans... true joy

In general, in those years there were idols from whom people were looking forward to B-side singles as if on schedule. But at the same time, there were artists for whom such a gesture was atypical. For example - titans of rock Led Zeppelin. Today, many of their fans would like to see the band release as many non-album B-sides as possible in their time. And yet - there's one thing we have to be happy about. Namely, the single Immigrant SongThe back side of which was "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do".

Rare value

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin

When the single "Immigrant Song" appeared on store shelves, people started buying it accordingly. The power, the passion, the terrific playing and performance were the minimum of what everyone expected from their purchase. But what definitely no one expected was a bonus on the B-side. And when, during playback, the "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" - many were left in shock, to put it mildly.

No one had heard anything about this song before. That strengthened the interest of the audience. And when it became obvious that this track could not be heard at the concert or on the album, the hunt for it literally started! The fans were searching like crazy for this single, or the lucky ones who bought it, so that they could rewrite a rare song. Today, in the age of the Internet, it may sound a little wild to a more modern generation. But it is.

The influence of country music

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin

But it wasn't just the presence of the non-album b-side that surprised Zeppelin fans. A tune in the style of country music - here it is, the second parameter that made "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" the most striking song in the band's repertoire.

Led Zeppelin. Photo: Dick Barnatt
Led Zeppelin. Photo: Dick Barnatt

Yes, to hear a country-inspired song from the titans of rock - from those whose concerts have become famous as loudest and heavy in the history of its time - was unexpected for everyone (probably even for the most seasoned critics). But it was! Led Zeppelin dared, experimented a bit, and then released it as an addition to the hit "Immigrant Song" to literally wow the audience! And their idea succeeded. Even now, after all these years, the old fans, as they say, don't stop expressing their surprise concerning this composition...

"When I first turned it on, I thought, 'What kind of country music is this?' And then I heard Robert Plante's voice, and my hair literally stood on end! It was so damn unexpected...," people share on the forums.


Led Zeppelin band
Led Zeppelin band

"Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" is not a hit song, and many music lovers do not even know that it exists. Nevertheless, it remains important episode in the history of the legendary band. And this despite the fact that Led Zeppelin did not release it on an album, and did not include it in the set lists during the live performances. It was only after the breakup that the rare composition gradually found a life among the audience - and, again, became a big discovery for many.

By the way: in which do you think album of "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" would fit in nicely? Here's a little fantasize! Write your options in the comments - it will be interesting to read!

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