Aah! Stairway To Heaven! One of the best goddamn Rock songs ever produced! The lyrics are out-of-this-world, the rhythm is extremely enticing, and the lyrics are impeccable. So what if it’s a long song? It still is one of the most awesome Rock songs out there. The transition from slow, acoustic rock to the high tempo hard Rock is just too good to be true. I’m not sure, but when Led Zeppelin first performed this song live, the number of people attending the concert was more than any other. My personal Led Zeppelin favorites are: “Whole Lotta Love“, “Dazed And Confused” and “Stairway To Heaven“, which I’ll be reviewing today. Let’s get to it!
History: “Stairway To Heaven” is a song from Led Zeppelin’s untitled album (Often called “Led Zeppelin IV“). It was released in 1971, and it completely changed the perspective of Rock forever. It is still considered to be one of the best Rock songs ever. The song did wonders all over the world, peaking at Number 3 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Rock Songs, Number 31 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. It was also the most requested song on the radio in the 70’s. It also made it to a commendable Number 37 on the U.K. Singles Chart. [Source: Wikipedia]
What it tries to convey to us: Whoa, now I just came across this site which claims it has finally deciphered the true meaning of “Stairway To Heaven”. Now, when I read (Or tried to read it); I couldn’t make any sense out of it. Check it out here: “Stairway To Heaven Meaning Deciphered [Claimed]“. Actually, no one has been able to decipher the TRUE meaning of the song. Many say it’s a song about hope. According to Robert Plant (The lead vocalist) [And I quote], “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.” The band was reluctant to tell the public what the song really meant.
Review: (This is going to be a tough one!) The song starts with a soothing melody, consisting of a blend of the acoustic guitar and the flute. It really sounds heavenly (Pun intended!) to the ear. Interestingly, John Paul Jones (The bass guitarist) decided not to give this song a bass backbone. Instead, he used a flute and musical strings to form the bass of the song. Cool, isn’t it? Robert Plant starts with the vocals at 00:52. His vocals do magic to the song. I bet if James Hetfield (Metallica) or M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) would have given the vocals to the song, it would have been disastrous. It’s those strained, but composed vocals Robert Plant uses that give the song it’s intensity. Throughout the song, the acoustic guitar and the lead guitar (Jimmy Page) completely captivate one’s mind. The sudden transition from the mellow acoustic guitar to the electric guitar (Or the double guitar, which Page used) is really awesome. The lyrics are mind boggling, with infinite intensity on the song. The first stage of the song transition starts at 01:59 with the starting of a brief guitar and flute instrumental bridge. Then at 02:13, the tempo and the volume increase notably, signaling the completion of the first transition. You’ll also notice the increased vocal tempo. The drums (John Bonham) finally join the song at 04:18. There’s a brief bridge from 04:41 to 05:06 before Plant starts the vocals again (He keeps adding these “And it makes me wonder” and “Ooh’s” to keep the bridge alive) after the interlude. The volume and the tempo will have increased notably. Then comes the most awesome part of the song – the Solo. And man, is it sublime! It just shows the pure skill Jimmy Page has. It starts with a ta-da-da, ta-da-da, ta-da-da-da-da loop (Sorry, I couldn’t think of anything else!), and then slowly converts into a full-fledged solo at 05:55. The technique is just epic! There are loops, highs, lows, keyboards, awesome beats, and what not! At 06:44, Plant starts with the last vocal stanza; in which he has used a completely different pitch and volume (More like the Hard Rock vocals). The tune of the song changes at 07:24, and it seems as if the song is going in a downward spiral (And it actually is). Plant finally finishes things off with “And she’s buying a stairway to Heaven”, and the song ends at 08:02.
Rating: This is one of the best Rock songs we’re talking about here! How can you even THINK I would give this masterpiece anything less than 10? A perfect 10/10 it is!
Lyrics for “Stairway To Heaven” : http://artists.letssingit.com/led-zeppelin-lyrics-stairway-to-heaven-kcpngbq
Download link for “Stairway To Heaven” : http://4b.media.v4.skyrock.com/music/4b8/d79/4b8d79f30fd7ceefcd681d1592fb78ab.mp3 (Right click on link, click “Save Link/Target As”)