Today’s song is, ‘Stairway to Heaven’. This is a progressive folk and hard rock song by the English rock band Led Zepplin. The song was released in late 1971. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for the band's untitled fourth studio album (often called ‘Led Zepplin 1V’). It is often considered the best rock song and widely regarded by many the greatest song of all time.
The song has three sections, each one progressively increasing in tempo and volume. The song begins in a slow tempo with acoustic instruments (guitar and recorders) before introducing electric instruments. The final section is an up-tempo ‘hard rock’ arrangement highlighted by Page's intricate guitar solo (considered by many to be one of the greatest ever) accompanying Plant's vocals that end with the plaintive acappella line: "And she's buying a stairway to heaven."
'Stairway to Heaven' was voted Number 3 in 2000 by VHI on its list of the ‘100 Greatest Rock Songs’ and was placed at Number 31 on ‘Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’. It was the most requested song on FM radio stations in the United States in the 1970s, despite never having been commercially released as a single there. In November 2007, through download sales promoting Led Zeppelin's ‘Mothership’ release, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ reached Number 37 on the ‘UK Singles Chart.’
I was a late convert to the lifelong admiration society of Led Zeppelin, and although I can recall my sister Mary and her then-partner, loving Zeppelins’ songs and music during the 70s, I would be into my mid-70s (2018) before I started listening to and appreciating the group. Indeed, had I not started my daily singing practise in 2017/2018, I might never have come across this song. What a loss that would have been!
Since hearing this song, I have often wondered whether the late Freddy Mercury got his original idea for his composition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ from the way that Zeppelin’s construction of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ was formed and the fusion of different song sections and tempo.
On a more literal note, living a good and wholesome life is the surest of all ways of having a ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Have a lovely day, Louis. I know it’s not your birthday today, and I just thought that a bit of Led Zepplin would get your day off to a good start. Love Great Uncle Billy x
Love and peace Bill xxx