4 Songs That Led Zeppelin Rarely Performed Live (And Why)

Led Zeppelin was around for quite a while, and their live performances were notably incredible. Certified head-bangers like “Whole Lotta Love” and the almost operatic “Carouselambra” were go-to’s for their setlists on tour. However, there were a few songs that they rarely performed live; and some that never even made it off their records onto the stage. Let’s look at four songs that Led Zeppelin rarely (or never) performed live, and why they chose to shelve them.

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1. “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do”

“Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” comes from the B-side of their hit single “Immigrant Song” from 1970. It features Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at their absolute best. Even though it wasn’t a charting single, it’s become a favorite of fans young and old. So why didn’t they ever play it? There’s no official word from the band, but many speculate that the sound was a little too acoustic and wouldn’t fit the powerhouse, dynamic energy of their live shows.

2. “The Rover”

Page and Plant penned this classic tune back in 1975, though the original idea for the song came up years earlier in 1970. It was originally supposed to be an acoustic track, but it eventually took on the hard rock vibe that we all know and love now.

“The Rover” was never performed live by Led Zeppelin. The most fans got were the opening riffs which led to a different song. It’s not clear why they didn’t play it live; especially since there is proof of the band playing it as part of their soundcheck in the past.

3. “I’m Gonna Crawl”

“I’m Gonna Crawl” is the album closer for In Through The Out Door. It was the very last album the band produced before the death of their drummer, John Bonham. Most of the song was written by John Paul Jones, and it was notably inspired by Wilson Pickett. Led Zeppelin never performed it live, and it’s not clear why. It’s a real shame; the track had a very unique chord progression that would have sounded killer in person.

4. “Fool In The Rain”

This song is a little bit famous among fans. It was the last single that was released in the United States before the band completely disbanded back in 1980. It charted well, hitting no. 21 on the Hot 100. Naturally, it was never played live because Led Zeppelin dissolved shortly after it came out. At least we got the recorded version!

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives

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