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23 November 2011 @ 08:29 pm
Bp's Song of the Week #135: Led Zeppelin "Thank You"  
"Thank You"


As the majority of my listening these days is a review of my favorites of 2011 while I work on the annual list of my musical picks, and most of those have been Song of the Week picks already, I'm headed into the archive for this.

And since this coincides with Thanksgiving I figured why not pick a classic and tie it with some Thanksgiving memories of years gone by.

It's the season to be thankful, so if you're reading this, thank you! You have most likely impacted my life in some way and for that I thank you!

As I think about Thanksgivings of the past I fondly remember the many, many years of traveling to my Aunt Vera's in Jersey City for a few days each year. While the girls would head to Atlantic City on the day after Thanksgiving, my Brother, Father, and I would head into The Big Apple on the busiest shopping day of the year. Back then to a young kid, it wasn't Black Friday, but just an exciting day when this country boy would hit the big city and explore museums, the World Trade Center, Empire State Building, the NY Public Library, hot dog vendors, and most importantly, Tower Records and a series of other record shops that were littered around the city. Pulse magazine was always a treat to pick up and peruse, and I remember numerous cassettes, CDs, and later on, Rush and Heart vinyl for the collection that were purchased on those annual trips.

My brother and I would make our Christmas wish list of musical treats in hopes that my Dad would take advantage of all the record shops we visited. We would also bring our own money to make sure everything was covered. I distinctly remember my brother listening to his newly purchased cassette of Rush's Hold Your Fire in 1987 as we traveled up to maybe Record Explosion after a visit to Tower Records.

To fully tie-in the Zeppelin Thanksgiving theme, I believe my brother, Mark, picked up the 4-cassette box set for me on one trip, I do remember getting it for Christmas from him at least. At that point it was a recent release and I was hooked on Mark's cassettes of II, IV and the videotape I recorded from MTV of the Song Remains the Same film. During the summer I would borrow the school's Yamaha drum set and beat the hell out of it to "Stairway to Heaven" over and over and over. My world expanded a bit when I picked up the vinyl of Houses of the Holy at Village Music in Oneonta one afternoon. The Hipgnosis cover art was unbelievable. The second album had been my favorite to that point with its brilliant side 2 with constant kicks to the gut of "Ramble On," "Moby Dick," and "Bring it on Home." (Those who were unfortunate enough to witness my 'drum solo' at the 1991 talent show were most likely amazed at my impression of part of the mid-section of Bonzo's "Moby Dick.") But this discovery of the Houses of the Holy record and the mystical wonderment of "Over the Hills and Far Away," the 12-string brilliance of "The Song Remains the Same," the left curves of "Dancing Days" and "D'yer Mak'er" and possibly the greatest Zeppelin track, "No Quarter." Gone were the short and straight-forward rock songs of the early years, the exploration and experimentation side of Zep was beginning to take hold.

History lesson time (it's the journalist in me): Robert Plant - vocals, Jimmy Page - guitars, John Paul Jones - bass, John Bonham - drums.

Where were we? Oh, yes, the 4-cassette box set, so that was the icing on the cake of II, IV, Houses that filled in many blanks for me and opened my eyes to the later years which I'd never heard to that point apart from classic rock radio.

So if we circle back to the actual song in question, "Thank You," I'm not sure I'd put it in my top 10 favorite Zeppelin songs, but there aren't too many bad Zeppelin songs, so let this be the first step in a journey of rediscovery. Click the link above for an absolutely wondrous track, listen, and be thankful. Give thanks to those around you. Then click the links below and take that walk with an old friend as "Bring it On Home" reminds you how an awesome guitar riff laying on top of a thick and deep Jones/Bonham groove, plus a sexually-charged vocal from Plant combined to create one of the finest rock bands of all time. Keep walking and remembering with the other links below...it's a journey you need to take every once in a while.

It's a nice night for a walk.

More Led Zeppelin:
Bring it On Home
No Quarter
Ramble On
Wearing & Tearing
Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You