I was late to the Led Zeppelin party for two reasons. First, I was a bit young during their heyday. This is not to say I had never heard of them. I had heard their songs on FM Rock Radio, but it was mostly in passing. By the time I bought my first Zep album, In Through The Out Door, John Bonham had already passed away.
The second reason was that I was, in 1980, into the whole punk & new wave scene, and most of my friends viewed Zeppelin as the absolute epitome of corporate rock. So why would I even buy a Led Zeppelin album? I am not sure, but over the years, I have become more of a Led Zeppelin fan than I ever imagined I ever would be.
Maybe it was musicianship or the mystical themes. Whatever it was, it appealed to the music geek in me. My list is my favorite songs. I know, I left out ‘Stairway To Heaven’, the theme to every prom in the late seventies. I do like that song, but it was just so… ubiquitous, you know?
In fact, it is playing right now. The only thing I like about this is song is in the live version, Robert Plant sings, “And the forests will echo with laughter,” and calls out, “Can anyone hear the laughter?”
This pick six contains with some other major multi-minute compositions. You think that, ’Stairway’ is long? Try ‘The Rain Song’. Clocking in at over seven-minutes, it is possibly my favorite Led Zeppelin songs.
I only put ‘Kashmir’ first because, well, it’s Zep’s real epic. Eight-minutes and thirty-seven seconds long worth of pure Zeppelin. I know the music snobs have done a real three-sixty. They hated them, then liked them, then marveled at them
Now we slag them off for lifting riffs. I know they have had to fess up to that more than once. We don’t like them again. But we really don’t, do we? I know I do.