JUKEBOX | LED ZEPPELIN | STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Posted on September 8, 2015 by Trace
— t u e s d a y t u n e s —
S T A I R W A Y T O
H E A V E N
L E D Z E P P E L I N
The Story of a Song and it’s Legacy.
What made this tune so extraordinarily timeless?
Let’s talk the magic ::
“It’s been voted on to scores of lists of the ‘Greatest Songs of all Time’; it was claimed on its 20th anniversary in 1991 that it had been played 2,874,000 times on the radio, amounting to 44 years’ worth of airtime…
It’s been suggested that if you play it backwards you’ll hear Satanic messages, including “Here’s to my sweet Satan,” though the dark lord clearly didn’t anticipate downloads ruining his ploy to brainwash credulous youth.
Page had decided he wanted an epic song for the fourth album more than 18 months before its eventual release in November 1971. “I don’t want to tell you about it in case it doesn’t come off.” He said in 1970. “It’s an idea for a really long track on the next album … we want to try something new with the organ and acoustic guitar building up and building to the electric thing.”
Today, he talks about the song with unbridled enthusiasm, losing himself in his words. “It begins with the concept of trying to have something that would unravel in layers as the song progressed. You’ve got the fragile guitar that is going to open the whole thing, you’ve got the vocal over that fragile guitar, and then it moves into the more sensual wave with the twin 12-strings, and the electric piano as well.
“It would keep unfolding and more layers would be introduced into the equation. Keeping John Bonham [on drums] to come in for effect was a trick I’d used before, on things like ‘Ramble On’. I knew that would be successful, because whenever he came in he made so much difference. And then it’s two more verses before you get to the solo, with this sort of fanfare approach to it. Then everything’s flying at that point.