Saturday, November 13, 2010

1 - "Hey Hey What Can I Do," Led Zeppelin



I know what you're thinking - "Really? This is number one?" And, yeah, it's a little random if you look through my list. Most people were probably expecting Red Hot Chili Peppers or Metallica to be on top. This always gets a mixed reaction with people. They either think this statement is weird coming from me, or they think it makes perfect sense. I like Led Zeppelin. I think they're pretty cool.

"Hey Hey What Can I Do" doesn't sound like a typical Led Zeppelin song. They have a few slower songs that are accoustic-ly based, but this is the closest Zeppelin comes to recording a country song. That's probably another reason why it's puzzling as to this being on my list, as I really don't like a lot of country music.

As I have stated several times, this is not a list of my favorite songs. This is a list of the songs I have listened to the most on my computer and iPod. "Hey Hey What Can I Do" was a song I heard a lot when I was a kid and enjoyed it. It was one of those songs I forgot about over time, even as I amassed my Led Zeppelin discography collection over the years. It's the only song that was never released on an official album. It was finally included on the re-issue of the Zeppelin B-side album Coda a few years ago.

After re-discovering "Hey Hey What Can I Do" I listened to it a lot due to childhood nostalgia. Then, I started listening to the story of the song, something I didn't pay attention to as a kid (and wouldn't have understood anyway). Those two factors created multiple plays for "Hey Hey What Can I Do," bringing it to the top of the chart.

Lyrically, the song looks to be about lead singer Robert Plant falling in love with an unsavory woman. Some interpretations put her as being a prostitute. He loves her, but knows he shouldn't be with her, prompting his thoughts of "Hey hey, what can I do?"

Musically, I like how "Hey Hey What Can I Do" builds throughout the song. It starts out slow and gets a little louder and faster as it goes. The background vocals of the rest of the band repeating "Hey Hey What Can I Do" are heard throughout, and the song reaches its peak when Plant finally belts out the title of the song near the end. A subdued beginning, with the trademark loud, high-pitched Plant/Zeppelin lyrics to close things.

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