Day 136: A song that you feel is highly overrated.
“Stairway To Heaven” – Led Zeppelin
People act like Led Zeppelin are a sacred rock institution. Like cows to Hindus. Immune to criticism. Free of imperfections. Thus, any perceived slight to Led Zeppelin leads to flames and insults.
Led Zeppelin was a good band. Even though they’re not one of my favorites, I would probably even go so far as to say they were great. But not so great that they warrant one-(or multiple-) hour-long “Get the Led Out” marathons on classic rock stations. Do we really need to spend 4% of each day listening to the same 14 songs we’ve heard a million times?
It’s just a little much.
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Led Zeppelin, for me, is one of those bands where I like a lot of their songs, but I’ve never been able to stand more than a couple of songs in a row. A “rock block” is about all I can take. Trying to consume a whole album is virtually impossible. I don’t know why that is, but it’s true. After a few songs, I’m just done; the whole things starts to grate on me. (It’s the same thing for the Eagles.)
Worse yet, it seems as if “Stairway To Heaven,” as a song, has been elevated to even greater heights than Led Zeppelin has as a band. For some, it’s the holy grail. The apex of songwriting and performance. The greatest rock masterpiece of all time.
For me? Yeah, it’s alright.
Sure, the way it starts out slow and builds and builds and builds is good and makes for a dramatic song, but it’s nothing that other songs haven’t done (and in many cases better). It’s well-written, but if you listen to various infringement suits, they may not have written it at all. Of course it’s well-played, there’s no question about the talents of the band members. And let me be clear: I don’t dislike it. I just don’t think it’s everything it’s cracked up to be. It’s not something I want to hear all the time. It is simply not the end-all be-all of rock opuses. (Opi?)
And no, I can’t tell you what is. That’s like trying to pick which flavor of ice cream is best: it all depends on the day. But on any given day I would take things like “Immigrant Song” or “Kashmir” or “Fool In The Rain” over “Stairway To Heaven.” That’s just my take.
So let the flames begin. If I find a flaming bag of poop on my doorstep, I’ll know it was one of you…