“Immigrant Song” opens not one, but two Zeppelin albums — Led Zeppelin 3, which turns 50 today, and their 2003 live compilation, How the West Was Won. On the latter, it’s preceded by a short piece called “LA Drone,” which serves as a prelude to “Immigrant Song.” Jimmy Page explains why it’s there.
“Something that had never been done before, that I knew of anyway, was to have something that was really atmospheric. It would start and creep into the auditorium, and really it was just like, you know, I used to bow the guitar in ‘Dazed and Confused’ but to bow it acoustically. And so the whole thing would start opening up with this really, really weird sound, and people wouldn’t know it was a bowed guitar. And then it would be exactly in the same key as the first number we were starting with, ‘Immigrant Song,’ and that was it. It set the scene for a magic night.”
Today is the 50th anniversary of the U.S. release of Led Zeppelin 3, which opens with “Immigrant Song.”… so, the band will reissue the Japanese version of the album’s only single – “Immigrant Song” backed with the non-album track “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do.” Limited to 19,700 copies (get it, 1970), it comes in a sleeve that replicates the original artwork. The single will be released on January 15th of next year and is available for pre-order at LedZeppelin.com starting this Thursday at 10am ET.
In adddition, they are breathing a sigh of relief as the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an argument that a jury should hear the recording of Spirit‘s “Taurus,” which Page allegedly infringed upon while composing “Stairway to Heaven.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the estate for Spirit’s Randy Wolfe couldn’t play “Taurus” for the jury because it was only protected by the sheet music and lyrics registered as deposits with the U.S. Copyright Office. This case has been ongoing since 2014.