" is a song written by Robert Plant
and Jimmy Page
that was released by English rock
band Led Zeppelin
on their 1969
album Led Zeppelin II
This song signaled a deeper involvement in songwriting by singer Robert Plant
, being the first Led Zeppelin song that he wrote all the lyrics for. According to various Led Zeppelin biographies, this is also the song that made Jimmy Page realize that Plant could now handle writing the majority of the lyrics for the band's songs. The first lines of Plant's composition heavily resemble those in the Jimi Hendrix
song "If 6 Was 9
The song features some delicate Hammond organ playing by John Paul Jones, and ends with the organ fading into near-silence before coming back about 10 seconds later. This has created a problem for radio stations wishing to play the track, which must decide whether to accept the dead air or cut it off. Some stations typically run edited versions with the silence eliminated, whilst others play "Thank You" together with "The Lemon Song", because there's no pause between them on the album.
For the recording of this track, Page played on a Vox 12-string guitar.
"Thank You" was a popular song when played live at Led Zeppelin concerts
, and became something of a showcase for Jones' keyboard work, as he often played an extended keyboard solo (either on the Hammond organ
or on some 1972-73 versions, the Mellotron
) as an introduction to the song. The piece was eventually dropped from the band's standard live setlist following the 1973 tour of the United States
, when it was only occasionally used as an encore
, for example, at the tour's final concert in Madison Square Garden
Plant sang part of "Thank You" before merging in to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love
" by Queen
at the The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
Page and Plant revived the song in 1994 on their Unledded tour. They played a somewhat mellower arrangement for most of their shows from 1995 through 1998 as either an opening number or an encore.
Several bands have also covered Led Zeppelin's song or played it live:
- Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, by Chris Welch, ISBN 1-56025-818-7
- The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, by Dave Lewis, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9