Immigrant Song (2:25)

Cover of Led Zeppelin III

From Led Zeppelin III and 116 other releases

Immigrant Song is the opening track on English rock band Led Zeppelin’s third album, Led Zeppelin III, written and released in 1970.

The song is famous for its distinctive, wailing cry from vocalist Robert Plant (with a melody reminiscent of “Bali Ha’i”) at the beginning of the song, and is built around a repeating, staccato Jimmy Page/John Paul Jones/John Bonham riff. The hiss at the beginning of the track is feedback from an echo unit.

“Immigrant Song” was written during Led Zeppelin’s tour of Iceland, Bath and Germany in mid-1970. The opening date of this tour took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, which inspired Plant to write the song. As he explained:
“ We weren’t being pompous … We did come from the land of the ice and snow. We were guests of the Icelandic Government on a cultural mission. We were invited to play a concert in Reykjavik and the day before we arrived all the civil servants went on strike and the gig was going to be canceled. The university prepared a concert hall for us and it was phenomenal. The response from the kids was remarkable and we had a great time. “Immigrant Song” was about that trip and it was the opening track on the album that was intended to be incredibly different.”

Just six days after Led Zeppelin’s appearance in Reykjavik, the band performed the song for the first time on stage during the Bath Festival.

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