Led Zeppelin – 2 Classic Songs
Stairway To Heaven – Album: Led Zeppelin 4
“Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”
The most famous Rock song of all time, this didn’t chart because it was never released as a single to the general public. Radio stations received promotional singles which quickly became collector’s items.
“A woman getting everything she wanted without giving anything back.”Robert Plant
The lyrics came to Robert Plant in a flash of inspiration when he and Jimmy Page were sitting by the fireplace at Headley Grange with Page strumming the intro chords. Said Plant: “I was holding a pencil and paper, and for some reason I was in a very bad mood. Then all of a sudden my hand was writing out the words, ‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold/And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.’ I just sat there and looked at the words and then I almost leapt out of my seat.”
Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones decided not to use a bass on this because it sounded like a folk song. Instead, he added a string section, keyboards and flutes. He also played wooden recorders that were used on the intro. Bonham’s drums do not come in until 4:18.
Page: “I”d been footing around with an acoustic guitar and came up with several different sections, which I married together. I knew I wanted something that would have the drums come in the middle and then Guild to a huge crescendo. Also, I knew I wanted the piece to Speed up, which against all musical… I mean, that’s what a musician doesn’t do.”
“So I had all the estructure, and I ran it by John Paul Jones so he Could get the idea of it- John Bonham and Robert had gone out for the night- and then on the following day we got into it with John Bonham. You have to remember that at first there was a hell of a lot for everyone to remember on this one. But as we were sort of routining it, Robert started writing donw these lyrics, and huge percentage of them were griten there an then.”
“When it came time to record the solo I warmed up and did three of them. They were all quite different from each other, but the one we used was the best, I can tell you that”.
Best Guitar solo ever?
WARNING: Do not play this song backwards! You will probably break your MP3, CD player or at high volumen, maybe your ears
Whole Lotta Love – Album: Led Zeppelin II
Released: 1969 – Charted: US 4 – UK 21
“You need cooling
Baby I’m not fooling
I’m gonna send ya
Back to schooling”
This was Led Zeppelin’s first US single, and their only US Top-10 hit.
Page: “ I used distant miking to get this rhythm guitar tone. Miking used to be a science, and I had heard that distance makes depth, which in turn gives you a fatter guitar sound. In my Studio session days, the mics were right up close to the amps and I would have to turn down the amp volumen. In Zeppelin, I learned to always use a distant mic”
“The amp was turned up very high. It was distorting, just controlled to the point where it had some balls to it. I also used a depressed wah-wah pedal on the solo, as I did on “Communication Breakdown “, it gets you a really raucous sound”.
Robert Plant did the vocal in one take.
On some live versions, Jimmy Page played the theremin, a bizarre electronic instrument he liked to experiment with consisting of a black box and an antennae.
Blues great Willie Dixon sued the band, claiming they stole this from his song “You Need Love.” The band reached an agreement with Dixon, who used the settlement money to set up a program providing instruments for schools.
Some parts of the song as well as some lyrics were borrowed form a song called “You Need Loving” by the Small Faces.
WARNING: “I want to be your backdoor man, Hey, oh. Hey, oh”