"Thank You" signalled a deeper involvement in songwriting by singer Robert Plant: it was the first Led Zeppelin song for which he wrote all the lyrics. According to various Led Zeppelin biographies, this is also the song that made Jimmy Page realise that Plant could now handle writing the majority of the lyrics for the band's songs. Plant wrote the song as a tribute to his then-wife Maureen.
The song features Hammond organ playing by John Paul Jones, which fades into a false ending before concluding with a crescendo roughly ten 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 run an edited version with the silence eliminated. For the recording of this track, Page played on a Vox 12-string guitar. It was also one of the few Led Zeppelin songs on which Page sang backing vocals.
When "Thank You" was performed at Led Zeppelin concerts, it featured Jones' 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.
In November 2010, "Thank You" topped Gibson's list of "Top 10 Thanksgiving Songs". Record producer Rick Rubin has remarked on the song's structure, "The delicacy of the vocals is incredible; the acoustic guitar and the organ work together to create an otherworldly presence." The song was recorded by Page and Plant for the No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded album. It was released as a single and reached number eight on Billboard magazine's Album Rock Tracks chart in 1995. For recordings by other artists, see List of cover versions of Led Zeppelin songs.
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