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The Immigrant Song

ZepThe first song of an album sets the least it used to. For Led Zeppelin, the first album led off with "Good Times, Bad Times" and then drifted into blues covers and experimental riffs. That opening track was enough to cause most to keep listening as the band found its way.

For their second, it was "Whole Lotta Love." Definitely continuing the groove...but with a much more assured hand. 

And, then there was Led Zeppelin III. And, I remember thinking, WTF? An opening song about Vikings, Valhalla and gore? Where was the sex, drugs and rock n roll in that?

Of course, it went on to be a hit and the band became rock gods. But, I never really "got it," nor much of the third album. Of course, their subsequent albums would become legend.

So, imagine my surprise, when listening to the acoustic house band in a little club last week, that it finally made sense. Not the lyrics as much as the unrelenting bass and drum line with the soaring vocal. 

Maybe if it had been live from the start. On this Music Friday we offer this mashup from two performances on two continents in 1972.

Ignore the lyrics (did I just say that?) and concentrate on the rhythm.

Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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