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1998giventofly

Hey Hey What Can I Do - Closing Zep III

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Hey Hey What Can I Do has always been one of my favorite Zep songs. All four members put on an excellent performance here, with what I think was actually one of Plant's finest vocal performances on record, and the song's vibe matches the third album perfectly. It would have been a knockout closer instead of Hats off to Roy Harper, which seems a bit of a throwaway.

I understand that they only ever intended to have it be the B-side for the Immigrant Song single, but still, this would have been such an amazing way to end the third album. With that, I think III would be right up with II and Physical Graffiti as my favorite Zeppelin albums. Curious about anyone else's opinions on this?

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III is still one of my favorite Zep albums, right behind PG, but I agree, Hey Hey What Can I Do is a great song, it should have been on the album.

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6 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

III is still one of my favorite Zep albums, right behind PG, but I agree, Hey Hey What Can I Do is a great song, it should have been on the album.

I’d also put it second behind PG. 

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It must have been something to experience the release of a Zeppelin album in real time. I & II being total knockouts followed by the swerve of III and to compliment the third LP with a non-album track single. If I was a teen in 1970 I'm sure my fandom would have been equal to what I experienced with U2 in the early 1980's and Nirvana in the 1990's. 

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3 hours ago, The Only Way To Fly said:

It must have been something to experience the release of a Zeppelin album in real time. I & II being total knockouts followed by the swerve of III and to compliment the third LP with a non-album track single. If I was a teen in 1970 I'm sure my fandom would have been equal to what I experienced with U2 in the early 1980's and Nirvana in the 1990's. 

I can only imagine! On the other hand though, I'm glad to have gotten into this all with all the great live material being so easily accessible rather than having to wait thirty years for a large glut of great tapes to finally start showing up.

I'm curious though, what did you think of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden at the time?

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6 hours ago, The Only Way To Fly said:

It must have been something to experience the release of a Zeppelin album in real time. I & II being total knockouts followed by the swerve of III and to compliment the third LP with a non-album track single. If I was a teen in 1970 I'm sure my fandom would have been equal to what I experienced with U2 in the early 1980's and Nirvana in the 1990's. 

I remember hearing "Hey Hey What Can I Do" on the radio shortly after I had bought "Led Zeppelin III" in October 1970 and thinking "Wait a minute...where did this song come from and why isn't on 'Led Zep III'?" It wasn't until the DJ came on and ID'd the songs that I found out it was the B-side to the single. I didn't buy a lot of 45 singles but obviously I had to get this one.

i can't tell you how many hours I spent examining the album art and spinning wheel of Led Zeppelin III while playing the record. Led Zeppelin III is one of the Zeppelin albums I have played the most over the years...along with "Physical Graffiti" and "Presence". Sure I played the hell out of IV when it first came out and for most of the '70s. But thanks to radio playing it nonstop, too, I started listening to it less and less. Now when I pull the record out I generally just play Side 2.

As for Led Zeppelin III I made my own special edition cd of III years ago. It features the ten original album tracks plus:

11. "Hey Hey What Can I Do"

12. "Fixing to Die/That's All Right, Mama"

13. "Celebration Day" instrumental take

14. "Friends" Bombay sessions

15. "Bron Yr Aur" Live from L.A. Forum September 4, 1970

16. "That's the Way" Live from Berkeley September 14, 1971

 

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On 3/30/2020 at 11:15 AM, 1998giventofly said:

Hey Hey What Can I Do has always been one of my favorite Zep songs. All four members put on an excellent performance here, with what I think was actually one of Plant's finest vocal performances on record, and the song's vibe matches the third album perfectly. It would have been a knockout closer instead of Hats off to Roy Harper, which seems a bit of a throwaway.

I understand that they only ever intended to have it be the B-side for the Immigrant Song single, but still, this would have been such an amazing way to end the third album. With that, I think III would be right up with II and Physical Graffiti as my favorite Zeppelin albums. Curious about anyone else's opinions on this?

100% agree. I have always said this too. Hats Off To Roy Harper is the only useless Zep track imo. HHWCID would have been the perfect ending to Zep III. (esp. the way it just ends). HOTRH sounds like an outtake. Great minds think alike.

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21 hours ago, Strider said:

I remember hearing "Hey Hey What Can I Do" on the radio shortly after I had bought "Led Zeppelin III" in October 1970 and thinking "Wait a minute...where did this song come from and why isn't on 'Led Zep III'?" It wasn't until the DJ came on and ID'd the songs that I found out it was the B-side to the single. I didn't buy a lot of 45 singles but obviously I had to get this one.

i can't tell you how many hours I spent examining the album art and spinning wheel of Led Zeppelin III while playing the record. Led Zeppelin III is one of the Zeppelin albums I have played the most over the years...along with "Physical Graffiti" and "Presence". Sure I played the hell out of IV when it first came out and for most of the '70s. But thanks to radio playing it nonstop, too, I started listening to it less and less. Now when I pull the record out I generally just play Side 2.

As for Led Zeppelin III I made my own special edition cd of III years ago. It features the ten original album tracks plus:

11. "Hey Hey What Can I Do"

12. "Fixing to Die/That's All Right, Mama"

13. "Celebration Day" instrumental take

14. "Friends" Bombay sessions

15. "Bron Yr Aur" Live from L.A. Forum September 4, 1970

16. "That's the Way" Live from Berkeley September 14, 1971

 

Funny in hindsight that Page wasn't a fan of the artwork or the spinning wheel jacket idea at the time, isn't it? I thought it was brilliant, it's one of my favorite rock album covers.

Interesting choices for the extra tracks! I'm curious why the Berkeley '71 That's the Way instead of the Blueberry Hill one?

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3 hours ago, Wolfman said:

100% agree. I have always said this too. Hats Off To Roy Harper is the only useless Zep track imo. HHWCID would have been the perfect ending to Zep III. (esp. the way it just ends). HOTRH sounds like an outtake. Great minds think alike.

Exactly! I knew I couldn't be the only one thinking this. I had the album on with my brother yesterday, and HE even said the album would've been far better closed with HHWCID instead of Hats Off. And considering their penchant for ending albums with some seriously awesome songs (How Many More Times, Bring it on Home, Levee, The Ocean), Hats Off is just a weak end to such an amazing album. HHWCID would send it off into the sunset the right way.

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1 hour ago, 1998giventofly said:

Funny in hindsight that Page wasn't a fan of the artwork or the spinning wheel jacket idea at the time, isn't it? I thought it was brilliant, it's one of my favorite rock album covers.

Interesting choices for the extra tracks! I'm curious why the Berkeley '71 That's the Way instead of the Blueberry Hill one?

Just personal preference. I think the 9.14.71 is slightly better performance and sounding tape.

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Posted (edited)

Great post, fellows! I'm an avid admirer of "Hey Hey What Can I do" too.  It's IMHO one of their top 10 compositions.Perfect!.

Another alternative would be the 'Feel So Bad/That's allright Mama' on Studio Daze.  

Regarding the swirly album artwork, I think Jimmy dismissed it because he was expecting something else. He did instruct Zacron to develop a more 'educational'concept of the revolving wheel with seasonal crops and vegetables (LOL). It IS a great piece of art though and the album inside even more so.

Edited by duckman

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I always liked Hats Off as a weird, off-beat, unexpected ending to such an eclectic album.  It is raw and has a mysterious "old" sound.  It is so different because it is just Plant and Page, and both of them are tearing it up.  So anti-commercial.  To me it is the perfect send off to this record.

It is so Zeppelin that they took an excellent, very commercial song like Hey Hey, left it off the album, and put it out only as b-side.

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For years I thought the same thing. I still do to an extent, it's certainly a better and more powerful song, one of my all time favorites. And the performance certainly is one of their best. But Hats off has grown on me a lot over the years. It is a good closer but Hey Hey is certainly better. I guess I like the philosophical approach behind putting hats off on that particular album.

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I like Hey Hey What Can I Do more than I like Hats Off To Roy Harper - but the latter's far more distinctive and works much better as an album closer.
I suspect that was even more obvious back in 1970, when bands actually put some thought into which songs opened and closed each side of a vinyl record.
You want an album to just drift off with a lightweight la-la singalong or for it to end with you going 'WTF was that?!'      

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It's been almost 50 years, but I remember when HHWCID was released. My friend worked in Record World at the time & I think he also got a hold of a copy Live on Blueberry Hill around the same time. I had an 8-track recorder at the time & he hated the "bassy" tone of prerecorded 8-tracks, so he'd buy the LPs, 45s import EPs etc & have me record them. Anyway, I remember LZII as being the hardest to get a hold of at the time. I guess they just didn't expect the rush to purchase it & didn't produce accordingly for initial release. LZIII, everyone expected it to be "acoustic" because of all the rumors flying around all Summer 1970. When LZIV came out, my buddy rushed over to record it during his lunch break from the store. We played Black Dog & R'n'R & nodded our heads in appreciation. As soon as we heard the first few notes of The Battle of Evermore, I looked at my friend & he just said "Uh oh !" thinking "here we go with the acoustic shit again" Can't say as I remember what our reaction was to Stairway's intro. LOL. 

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On 3/30/2020 at 9:28 PM, 1998giventofly said:

I'm curious though, what did you think of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden at the time?

I def remember hearing Soundgarden first - TBH at the time (Spring 1991) a girl I dated had the cassette Louder Than Love. She LOVED the band I didn't. And never really became anymore than a casual fan. 

Pearl Jam - I was a Senior in college when their debut came out - my buddy went nuts for it. I thought they were pretty cool. 

Nirvana on the other hand had me hook line and sinker when Nevermind came out. 

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13 hours ago, John M said:

So anti-commercial.  To me it is the perfect send off to this record.

It is so Zeppelin that they took an excellent, very commercial song like Hey Hey, left it off the album, and put it out only as b-side.

 

10 hours ago, nemophilist said:

I guess I like the philosophical approach behind putting hats off on that particular album.

 

9 hours ago, Brigante said:

You want an album to just drift off with a lightweight la-la singalong or for it to end with you going 'WTF was that?!'

You know, I never actually thought of it like this, in all the years since I first heard the album until now. I always was strongly of the opinion that HHWCID would've been the absolute perfect closer, but with some more thought, yeah. This is honestly the most Zeppelin kind of thing to do. Maybe a veiled proverbial middle finger to the press at the time? With such a radical shift in their sound and the scathing reviews the band probably anticipated, I wonder if ending the album so radically was a sort of "in for a penny, in for a pound" kind of deal.

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4 hours ago, mickey g said:

It's been almost 50 years, but I remember when HHWCID was released. My friend worked in Record World at the time & I think he also got a hold of a copy Live on Blueberry Hill around the same time. I had an 8-track recorder at the time & he hated the "bassy" tone of prerecorded 8-tracks, so he'd buy the LPs, 45s import EPs etc & have me record them. Anyway, I remember LZII as being the hardest to get a hold of at the time. I guess they just didn't expect the rush to purchase it & didn't produce accordingly for initial release. LZIII, everyone expected it to be "acoustic" because of all the rumors flying around all Summer 1970. When LZIV came out, my buddy rushed over to record it during his lunch break from the store. We played Black Dog & R'n'R & nodded our heads in appreciation. As soon as we heard the first few notes of The Battle of Evermore, I looked at my friend & he just said "Uh oh !" thinking "here we go with the acoustic shit again" Can't say as I remember what our reaction was to Stairway's intro. LOL. 

I honestly wish I had been around at the time to experience this all chronologically. There's so many great recordings available today, and hindsight is 20/20, but I just can't begin to imagine what an exciting time it had to have been.

But I gotta ask here, do you remember your reaction to the Stairway solo?

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4 hours ago, The Only Way To Fly said:

I def remember hearing Soundgarden first - TBH at the time (Spring 1991) a girl I dated had the cassette Louder Than Love. She LOVED the band I didn't. And never really became anymore than a casual fan. 

Pearl Jam - I was a Senior in college when their debut came out - my buddy went nuts for it. I thought they were pretty cool. 

Nirvana on the other hand had me hook line and sinker when Nevermind came out. 

I was spending quite a bit of time in Seattle in 91' & 92' and was lucky to catch all three at local bars before they got huge. Even saw Alice in Chains in some bar around this time and was blown away. All of these bands were just crazy good live in the early days but Alice & Pearl Jam were my favorites.

HHWCID is a really strong track and quite commercial so I agree with the posts that it was exactly the Zep thing to do to close with HOTRH instead. I like both tunes but hearing the intro right after such a pastoral tune like TTW was like a punch in the nuts, completely unexpected. HOTRH is the blues on acid after smoking some meth with Pookie while running from the man.

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25 minutes ago, PeaceFrogYum said:

 

HHWCID is a really strong track and quite commercial so I agree with the posts that it was exactly the Zep thing to do to close with HOTRH instead. I like both tunes but hearing the intro right after such a pastoral tune like TTW was like a punch in the nuts, completely unexpected. HOTRH is the blues on acid after smoking some meth with Pookie while running from the man.

Wow, that is THE most apt description of one of the weirdest excursions in the Zep catalog. Thanks for sharing, mate. Feel free to write some more of this kind of 'stream of consciousness' beat poetry. Loved it! (and Peace to you, too) 🤣 

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I think since i been loving you, would have been the best live blues song as the last song on zep3 

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I never understood why HHWCID wasn't included on Coda. it would have helped fill the album out, as it is quite short. and at that time it wasn't a very well known song

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Posted (edited)
On 4/1/2020 at 9:33 PM, 1998giventofly said:

But I gotta ask here, do you remember your reaction to the Stairway solo?

Not really. After thinking about it, I seem to recall thinking that Side 1 had two "heavy" songs & two "acoustic" songs. My thinking this at the time revolves around the many rumors in the months before LZIII was released, that Led Zeppelin was going "acoustic". So, that's how I gauged LZIV.

Nowadays, I'd have a hard time choosing between the Stairway solo & the studio Dazed & Confused solo as my favorite. I guess it would depend on my mood at the time.

Edited by mickey g

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HHWCID is arguably Zeppelin's  most radio friendly song they ever recorded. The main problem with it being used as an album closer (especially) is that the song itself doesn't have a proper ending, it just kinda' peters out. The performance musically and vocally is amazing but the song isn't 100% there. That combined with the very radio friendly quality (big repetitive chorus's, like YTIGC) was not the direction they wanted head towards. Thats how I think this great song ended up as a 45 B-Side. Kinda makes sense in the weird world of LZ.

 

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^Speaking of the weird world of led zep, hey hey and travelling riverside and poor tom have the same element of fun that was very clear early on for them, cause they were so good together. Its totally there on the songs page and bonzo did with lord such also. Yet that light hearted element is implemented very sparingly throughout all of the records, good times, living loving, dancing days, crunge, ocean, mmh, candystore, hots on, southbound, fool

So i totally agree that hey hey, should have been on 3, it would have totally made that record more memorable, accessible. Also, now that i think about it, it does have a end of movie, credits rolling aspect that would work as a closing song. Yet with that, i would suggest another upbeat song like travellin riverside and an edit of an acoustic song or 2 . 

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