I did my other two huge favorites from the time period of the late sixties and early seventies (Pink Floyd and The Beatles), so I need to finish up by including Led Zeppelin. I do also love bands like The Who, Cream, The Rolling Stones, Donovan, Hendrix, etc., but Floyd, Beatles, and Zeppelin are my very favorites from that time. I save Zeppelin for last only because their songs are harder for me to rank than with Floyd or The Beatles.
1. No Quarter - This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful, lyrical songs I have ever heard, and the mix of hard riffs with soft interludes and echoey vocals makes this the most listened to Zep song in my iTunes. I also highly recommend the cover of this song by Tool.
3. Stairway to Heaven - There's a reason this song topped all the charts for best song of the century. It's perfect blend of haunting melody, buildup of tension, mystical vocals, blazing guitar solo, and crunching coda seemed, well...heaven sent. This is also the very first song I taught myself to play on guitar, and I believe I do a pretty fine job.
4. Ramble On - I seem to have a soft-spot for the Zeppelin songs that are mostly soft acoustic numbers but suddenly throw in a wallop of hard crunchiness, and that's exactly what this song delivers. It doesn't hurt that it is about Tolkien, too!
5. Tangerine - I love playing this song on my guitar. It has such a lovely melody, and the outro is gorgeous.
7. Rock and Roll - Perhaps the greatest intro drum riff ever, and since it followed immediately after Black Dog on Zep's masterpiece fourth album, it formed the greatest duo of rock songs in my mind.
8. Immigrant Song - Another fantastic Page riff, and it's about Vikings, too! I love the original, but sometimes I love the LA Drone version better.
9. Fool in the Rain - A very funky song for Zeppelin, considering their usual blues/rock roots.
10. Whole Lotta Love - When I was little this seemed like such a heavy rock song. Nowadays other bands have come along that are far harder, but this one was special way back then. What a riff and what a solo!
11. Ten Years Gone - Another of those songs that alternates between super-soft loveliness and crunchy distortion.
12. Travelling Riverside Blues - This was recorded live for a BBC broadcast, but it sounds amazingly clean. Blues rock at its finest.
13. What Is and What Should Never Be - Like I said before, I have a soft spot for these soft songs that turn hard, and the outro is echoey fun.
15. Achilles Last Stand - A guitar tour-de-force for Jimmy Page, though Plant's vocals fit the song perfectly as well.
16. Moby Dick/Bring It On Home - I have my favorite edited version of this, which might be sacrilege to some, but works wonderfully for me. I cut out the annoying drum solo in Moby Dick, leaving in the splendid guitar, and melding this directly into the follow up Bring It On Home.
17. Four Sticks - One of my favorite songs to play on my guitar. It's said that Bonzo used four drum sticks to get his pounding sound. All of the songs from this fourth album are amongst my favorites. This one is mainly instrumental, since Plants' vocals are mostly there to accompany the sound Page and Bonzo are making.
18. Kashmir - Many people rate this song much higher. I do love it, but not as much as the above songs. The guitar sound and chord progression are an amazing invention for Page, and I love the little violin part they threw in.
19. The Rain Song - I pretty much ignore the vocals on this one, as they don't thrill me, but the guitar part is special. I taught myself to play it because of how gorgeous it was, especially the way it finishes.
20. That's the Way - There's something addictive about this simple, soft acoustic song that I just love.
Going to California
In the Light
Misty Mountain Hop
The Battle of Evermore
How Many More Times
Good Times Bad Times
Dazed and Confused
Nobody's Fault But Mine
You Shook Me
Your Time Is Gonna Come
The Song Remains the Same
Since I've Been Loving You
Out On the Tiles
Hey Hey What Can I Do
Living Loving Maid
In My Time of Dying
White Summer/Black Mountainside
Ascent - book cover
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