Hey Hey What Can I Do
|Hey Hey What Can I Do
|The New Age of Atlantic
|5 November 1970
|July 1970 at
Island Studios, London.
Mixed at Island Studios, London.
|3 minutes 53 seconds
|Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham
It is Led Zeppelin's only non-album track released during the band's existence. It did however appear on the Atlantic Records UK various artists LP, The New Age of Atlantic, released in 1972. The song was first released on compact disc in October 1990 on the 4CD Led Zeppelin box set collection. In 1992, 'Immigrant Song'/'Hey Hey What Can I Do' was released as a 'vinyl replica' CD single. In 1993, 'Hey Hey What Can I Do' was included on The Complete Studio Recordings 10 CD boxed set, as one of four bonus tracks on the Coda disc. The song is not included on the individual version of Coda. In 2007 Led Zeppelin released the track online along with the rest of their back catalogue. The song was also released as the B-side of the 'Stairway to Heaven' 7" 45 RPM picture disc.
The lyrics tell of a man's exasperated love for a woman who 'wants to ball all day', 'stays drunk all the time', and who 'won't be true.' The first verse is a declaration of his love and his desire to tell her that she is the only one for him. The second verse describes her infidelity and his jealousy and frustration. In the third verse he comes to the conclusion that he must leave her 'where the guitars play', a sentiment reinforced by the vamp in which the lead singer, Robert Plant, is backed by the rest of the band repeating the two lines; 'Hey hey what can I do' and 'Oh no what can I say.'
The song is also the inspiration of the theme music for the ABC television series, What About Brian, and a 2003 episode of That 70's Show entitled 'Hey Hey What Can I Do'.
The song was never performed live by Led Zeppelin, however a live version of the song was performed and recorded by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes during their 2000 tour, and is featured on the album Live at the Greek. The song is one of the handful of Led Zeppelin covers which Robert Plant sang on his live shows in USA and Europe with Alison Krauss during April and May 2008, and it was usually greeted with a very enthusiastic audience response. The song was dropped from the set list later in the tour.