I Like: Led Zeppelin
I Like: Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were the quintessential rock band of the late 60s and 70s. Introducing the world to their heavy, guitar-driven sound and glam aesthetic, standing as a precursor to the hard rock and heavy metal bands that dominated the 80s.
Big hair, fur coats, flairs and tight t-shirts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Led Zeppelin’s iconic rock and roll legacy. Somewhere between pioneering the entire arena-tour ‘stadium rock’ platform and setting the industry standard for ‘album-oriented’ rock recordings, the English four-piece managed to maintain a tough stance against commercial practices, making them one of the first alternative bands to really challenge the status quo.
Despite shunning away from radio-friendly single edits and live TV performances, Led Zeppelin were, and still are, one of the most watched and listened to bands of all time.
So, if you’re anything like me and your first introduction to Led Zeppelin was when Wayne was told, “Dude, no Stairway!” Settle in for a much-needed re-education through the origins of hard-rock and psychedelia. The I Like: Led Zeppelin playlist will make you realise that your parents probably partied way harder than you ever will.
Featured track, "Thank You", appears on Led Zeppelin II (1969). It was the first Led Zeppelin song that Robert Plant solely wrote all the lyrics for and is described by producer Rick Rubin, as highlighting the band’s “otherworldly presence” that made them so captivating.
Guitarist and co-writer, Jimmy Page’s quest for creating light and shade is demonstrated in the dynamics that balance delicately between John Paul Jones’ sweet, melodic Hammond organ and John Bonham’s heavy, rolling drum fills.
Moving down the list brings us to another track from, Led Zeppelin II, “Heartbreaker”. Featuring a spontaneous, unaccompanied guitar solo that has been described by Jimmy Page as an “afterthought”.
The same solo has been sighted as inspiration by guitar-gods like Steve Vai, who coined it, “the definitive rock guitar solo,” and Eddie Van Halen, who credits the song with the origins of the “tapping” technique that he made so famous.
Whole Lotta Love
Next up is the opening track off Led Zeppelin II, “Whole Lotta Love”, released in the United States, Europe, and Japan as a single. As with other Led Zeppelin songs, no single was released in the United Kingdom because of their strong ‘pro-album’ stance against cutting out the freeform sections of their songs.
Despite the band’s reluctance, “Whole Lotta Love” was technically their first hit single, quick to be certified Gold after the US version sold over one million copies in April of 1970.
Stairway To Heaven
No Led Zeppelin playlist would be complete without a little Stairway! From the band’s untitled fourth album, often referred to as, Led Zeppelin IV, “Stairway to Heaven” was the most requested song on US FM radio stations in the 70s, despite the fact that it was never released as a single there.
It is by far Led Zeppelin’s most famous song, and one of the most famous songs of all time. You’ve really got to be at the top of your game to blitz the charts and make history with a single you didn’t release, off of an album with no name.
Stairway shows us just how far up there Led Zeppelin really were, and remain!
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