30 songs: You know sometimes words have two meanings

Back on “day” two of this series, when the topic was my least favourite song, I wrote about an Oasis song. And got some random internet abuse for it. Today’s topic is a song that makes me fall asleep and based on the song I’ve chosen, I’m expecting another backlash.

Led Zeppelin, for me, have always been one of those bands who split people into two camps: those who know only the “hits”, and those who obsess over everything the band has ever put out, able to argue over which bootleg contains the best version of a given song. Obviously there are shades of grey between these poles, but I think most folk probably fit in one camp or the other, and until very recently I was most definitely in the former.

Because here’s the truth: I don’t really get Stairway to Heaven.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s far from the worst thing I’ve ever heard, and the last couple of minutes are really, really fantastic, but the six minutes it takes to get there just bore me to tears. It’s not as if I’ve got anything against long songs, either – Kashmir is longer (8:32), and it’s one I love. Primal Scream’s Come Together clocks in at over 10 minutes, and I love that too.

“Ah”, you say, “but it’s all about the build up”. Fine. I get that. And like Gem, I’m a big fan of songs that build up to a climax. I just find Stairway to Heaven‘s build up a bit plodding. It takes too long to get where it’s going, and could definitely stand to lose a few verses. Drop that first 6 minutes down to 3, maybe even 4, and I think you’d be left with something I could fall in love with as much as I have with some of their other songs.

As it is, though, it just doesn’t excite me. Anyone want to convince me otherwise?

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7 thoughts on “30 songs: You know sometimes words have two meanings

    • I should perhaps have mentioned that not only did I buy Rolf’s version (on cassingle no less, which means it’s since become landfill somewhere in China) but I think it was the first version of the song I’d heard.

      Which possibly explains a lot…

  1. I’m a fan of the old metallic dirigible but, I agree. Stairway ain’t bad, however, it shouldn’t be lauded as one of rock’s greats. It takes too long to reach a mediocre finale.
    It would be like going on a (magical) mystery tour for 6 hours and, at the end, finding the destination was Coatbridge.

  2. Pingback: 30 songs: My God it’s been so long, never dreamed you’d return | Lunch Hour Waffle

  3. Wasn’t meant to excite you, it was meant to make you think, and secondarily to entertain. Those who did not live through the late 60s early 70s era, and I don’t mean growing from 2 to 9 years old during that period, will probably never understand the implications of this song to the culture at that time. It was, in my opinion, the most dynamic and creative time in American culture and definitely in music since the Renaissance era.

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