LED ZEPPELIN IV
4 CLIPS BELOW – Stairway to Heaven:
*the original studio recording
*a highly acclaimed live version by Ann and Nancy Wilson
*Led Zeppelin live at Madison Square Garden
*Jimmy Page talking about the song.
Led Zeppelin IV entered the Kent album charts in Australia on 20 December 1971 and peaked at #2. It was prevented from reaching #1 by Teaser and the Firecat (Cat Stevens), Imagine (John Lennon) and American Pie (Don McLean).
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The untitled fourth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV, was produced by guitarist Jimmy Page and recorded between December 1970 and February 1971, mostly in the country house Headley Grange.
The album is notable for featuring Stairway to Heaven, which has been described as the band’s signature song. It was mostly written by Page, with lyrics by Robert Plant.
Read more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Led_Zeppelin_IV
Robert Plant spent much of the ’70s answering questions about the lyrics he wrote for Stairway. When asked why the song was so popular, he said it could be its “abstraction,” adding, “Depending on what day it is, I still interpret the song a different way – and I wrote the lyrics.”
The lyrics take some pretty wild turns, but the beginning of the song is about a woman who accumulates money, only to find out the hard way her life had no meaning and will not get her into heaven. This is the only part Plant would really explain, as he said it was “a woman getting everything she wanted without giving anything back.”
*We recommend that you read more of Songfacts’ notes about Stairway to Heaven. They address a number of issues, including assertions that “the devil” wrote or inspired the song, which quite upset Robert Plant: www.songfacts.com/facts/led-zeppelin/stairway-to-heaven
This song is also on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 70s
ANN AND NANCY WILSON
If you’re going to sing a Led Zeppelin song back to Led Zeppelin, especially Stairway to Heaven, you’d better do it damn well. And they did!
Ann and Nancy Wilson (from Heart) and drummer Jason Bonham (son of the late John Bonham) performed Stairway to Heaven at a Kennedy Center tribute for Led Zeppelin. The occasion was the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala in Washington. Watching the performance in this CBS television clip are (L-R) John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.
LIVE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
This live concert version of Stairway to Heaven is from the 1976 concert film The Song Remains the Same. Filming took place during during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden, New York City, in 1973.
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN EXPLAINED
Jimmy Page: How Stairway to Heaven was written – BBC
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