I never wore the T-shirts or had the hair or did the drugs, but I sure loved the music of Led Zeppelin. I even remember getting permission one night to see the midnight showing of their movie The Song Remains The Same (not worth the lost sleep, by the way).
It’s rare that I listen to them these days. And the songs I like now are a bit different than the ones I liked then.
But here goes. My top five Led Zeppelin songs:
1. Over The Hills & Far Away. I loved the opening acoustic guitar when I first heard it 33 years ago. The sonic explosion that follows isn’t bad either. And what I loved at 15 I still love at 48. Who knows what the song’s about? It simply sounds terrific.
2. Misty Mountain Hop. This one is often overlooked because it’s on the same album as Stairway To Heaven, Black Dog, and Rock ‘N Roll. But ignore it at your peril. The riff is relentless and who can resist a song with the line, “hey whoopie cat”??
3. Fool In The Rain. From their last studio album, In Through The Out Door. Robert Plant’s vocals don’t have the same power & resonance as in the earlier days, but I find this Caribbean-inspired groove infectious. I heard a church in Austin, Texas do an instrumental version of this one Sunday as an offertory. If I didn’t work here, I’d go there.
4. Kashmir. This one takes a bit longer than I have patience for these days. But back in the day? Other-worldly. It’s Robert Plant’s personal favorite and who am I to disagree?
5. Whole Lotta Love. Led Zeppelin II was my first Zeppelin album ever. On cassette. And the incredible power of the song’s opening riff made it my first ever “favorite song of all time.” While we won’t be playing it in church anytime soon, it’s good for a laugh even today.