The Legend of Stairway To Heaven

(Gibson) How did high school dances end before November 8, 1971? That's the date that Led Zeppelin released a promotional disc to FM rock stations that would become the world's most-played radio hit and cross over to teen-packed auditoriums everywhere, "Stairway To Heaven." It was an unlikely on-air success at eight-minutes long, but in the early '70s FM DJs could still play the full-length version of "Inna Gadda Da Vida," Iron Butterfly's 17-minute bathroom break anthem. And the length of "Stairway," plus the song's long quiet build-up, made it perfect for slow dancing until the explosive finale, which provided an outlet for the hormonal energy that the slow dancing generated.

The song that Gibson Les Paul legend Jimmy Page described as "crystallizing the band" started taking form in 1970 during Page and Robert Plant's famous songwriting vacation in rural Wales at a cottage called Bron-Yr-Aur. Page developed the acoustic opening section there, and Plant wrote the initial verse. By the time the entire band regrouped at the Headley Grange rehearsal and recording building in East Hampshire, England, Page had several distinct pieces of electric and acoustic music that he felt were related to that initial theme. While Page tried to weave the sections together with drummer John Bonham and bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, Plant sat in a corner, writing. When he stood up and started singing, about 80-percent of the lyrics for "Stairway To Heaven" were complete.

Led Zeppelin cut the basic rhythm tracks for "Stairway To Heaven" in December 1970 at Basing Street Studios in London. Plant cut his vocals in early 1971 at Headley Grange. Then Page retuned to Basing Street to cut his solos. Initially it went poorly. Page couldn't quite hit the mark after a number of passes. According to Jones, he could see concern in Page's eyes, so Jones broke the tension by turning toward the guitar wizard and declaring, "You're making me paranoid!" Page shot back, "You're making me paranoid!" And with the air cleared by laughter he nailed the solo's elaborate architecture in a few more passes.

Page saw "Stairway" as a successor to "Dazed and Confused," an epic musical adventure in several movements. As for Plant, he'd drawn on Scottish folklorist Lewis Spence for his lyrics. more on this story is an official news provider for the
Copyright - Excerpted here with permission.


Led Zeppelin CDs, DVDs and MP3s

Led Zeppelin T-shirts and Posters

Share this article
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article



News Reports
Day in Rock:
Robert Plant Talks Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary Celebration- Jimi Hendrix Previously-Unreleased Track Streaming- Foo Fighters Brit Awards Performance Streaming Online- more

Stone Temple Pilots Stream New Song The Art Of Letting Go- Judas Priest Preview New Song Traitors Gate- The Monkees Stars Reuniting For Tour- Halestorm, In This Moment Tour- more

Eagles Add More New Dates To North American Tour- Billy Corgan Reveals New Smashing Pumpkins' Song Details- Foreigner Announce Live Orchestra Tour Dates- more

KISS Spark Retirement Speculation With The End Of The Road Move- Slipknot Star Says He Will Never Go Back On Tour Again- Foreigner Announce Very Special Release- more

Page Too:
Quincy Jones Apologizes for Shocking Interview Comments- Ed Sheeran Addresses Secret Marriage Rumors- Maroon 5 Headlining NFL Hall of Fame Legends Concert- more

Migos, Arcade Fire, James Bay Going 'Saturday Night Live'- Rihanna Looks Back And Thanks Mother As She Turns 30- Carrie Underwood Donates $10K To Injured Police Officer- more

Ed Sheeran Sparks Secret Wedding Speculation- Former One Direction Star Zayn Malik Previews New Music- Kesha Forced To Postpone Shows Due To Concert Fall Injury- more

Drake's Generous Money Giveaway All Part Of 'God's Plan'- Troy Gentry's Widow Sues Over Husband's Death- The Chainsmokers Release 'You Owe Me' Video- Demi Lovato Unplugs- more


Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2018 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.