DEEP TRACKS FROM 1971: “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN”- LED ZEPPELIN

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Deep Tracks From 1971: ‘Stairway To Heaven”- Led Zeppelin. May as well start the year with the most famous album cut of 1971- “Stairway To Heaven.” The most popular album cut of all time? Never released as a single- it has become over the past 50 years one of the most played [overplayed] songs on the radio. Written by Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant- the 8 minute 2 second long song finishes up side 1 of their best album- Led Zeppelin IV aka “ZoSo” -well if you don’t agree it is their best album- it is at least their best selling album at 37 million copies.

The reason never to release “Stairway To Heaven” was a group decision. Usually the idea was to release singles to promote the island. Jimmy Page has said they were careful NOT to release “Stairway To Heaven” as a single- so people would have to buy the album to get it.

Rolling Stone ranked “Stairway To Heaven” at #31 on their 500 Greatest Songs Ever list. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has it among their 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.” Guitar World ranked it as the greatest guitar solo ever. It seems like anytime a radio station has a countdown of the greatest songs ever- if “Stairway To Heaven” isn’t #1 its pretty close to that. Amazing endurance for a song nearing it’s 50th birthday. It is a great song- no question about that but a song I have heard so many times it has lost it’s punch to me.

5 responses to “DEEP TRACKS FROM 1971: “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN”- LED ZEPPELIN

  1. “Stairway to Heaven” has been my favorite song for the past 47 years. Likely will remain on top for the rest of my life, as I cannot imagine another song coming along to dislodge it from first place. I haven’t listened to much radio for the past several years, so I don’t hear it very often.

  2. While it’s been overexposed, I still love “Stairway to Heaven” to this day after ironically hating it when I heard in its entirety for the first time! 🙂

    My initial encounter with the tune was on the radio in Germany sometime during the ’70s. They always faded it out in the transition to the hard rock ending. Back then, I was very much into softies and acoustic guitar, which is why I loved the beginning of the song right away. While I obviously noticed the built, I didn’t mind it. That is until I heard the hard rock ending for the first time, and I thought, ‘how could they have ruined this great song with such a horrible ending?’

    Well, to my defense, I was relatively young, plus my allergic reaction to the ending started to fade relatively soon. It did take a while to warm to Zep’s other music, even on the fantastic Led Zeppelin IV album.

    If you’d ask me today what’s the best rock song of all time, I’d go with Stairway.

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