“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin were never great songwriters per se, but they were one of the greatest rock’n’roll performing combos in history. This song isn’t much of a composition, and the lyrics in particular are essentially random gibberish, but this is basically the Rock equivalent of Ravel’s Bolero…a deliberately simplistic composition that serves as a foundation for a thrilling instrumental crescendo. And as long as Led Zeppelin is around to play it, the instrumental showcase is more than worth putting up with the flimsy songwriting. Unfortunately, this song has become disturbingly popular among bands who are not, in fact, Led Zeppelin, and that probably explains much of the negative reputation it’s garnered. Without world-class instrumentalists like Led Zeppelin performing it, all that’s left is the paper-thin composition itself, and that on its own is practically worthless.

Verdict: Good when performed by Led Zeppelin, rock-bottom terrible when performed by anyone else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *