What Is and What Should Never Be
|What Is and What Should Never Be|
|Appears on||Led Zeppelin II|
|Published by||Superhype Music|
|Release date||22 October 1969|
|Recorded||June 1969 at|
Groove Studios, New York and Olympic Studios, London.
Mixed at A&R Studios, New York.
|Genre||Hard rock, blues rock|
|Length||4 minutes 44 seconds|
|Composer||Jimmy Page, Robert Plant|
This was one of the first songs on which Page used his soon-to-become trademark Gibson Les Paul for recording. The production makes liberal use of stereo as the guitars pan back and forth between channels. The vocals were phased during Robert Plant's choruses.
This was also one of the first songs recorded by the band for which Robert Plant received writing credit.
'What Is and What Should Never Be' was performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts between 1969 and 1972. A live version taken from a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 can be seen on the Led Zeppelin DVD.
The song inspired the name of an episode of the popular Teen Drama One Tree Hill, and the name of an episode of the paranormal drama Supernatural, as well as an episode of popular half-hour comedy That 70s Show. Billy Joel also played it as part of the intro to the 'We Didn't Start the Fire' medley on the 1997 VH1 Storytellers episode on his career.