One of the greatest bands in music history, Led Zeppelin produced a catalogue of hits arguably unrivaled. The number of songs they boast which would be the piece de resistance for many other successful groups is laughable, and putting together a list of their best is no easy task. Plenty of great candidates failed to even rate a mention, something which is testament to the depth of their discography. Without further ado – the top 15 Led Zeppelin Songs of All Time.
15. “Dazed and Confused“
A song which would ultimately become a staple of Led Zeppelin’s live shows, Dazed and Confused – the album version – comes in at around six and a half minutes – significantly less than the half an hour it would be stretched out to live. With one of the best intros from a band renowned for them, it would be rude to leave this one off the list.
A song of two tales, What is and What Should Never Be sees Zeppelin tiptoeing through verses before continually bursting into one of their best chorus’s. The juxtaposition only serves to further highlight what is already one of the best hooks in the bands arsenal, and gives this song a deserved place in the band’s top hits.
13. “Going to California“
A track which isn’t by any means typical Zeppelin, purely acoustic in nature and at times tending dangerously close to ‘a bit much’. What is typically Zeppelin, however, is that it isn’t, instead perfectly treading the line of beautifully and sappy, and providing a well-needed break from the heavy sounds which punctuate Led Zeppelin IV.
Arguably the second album’s best track (though Whole Lotta Love would have plenty to say – more on that later), Heartbreaker opens with a typically Zeppelin guitar riff, culminating in an extended Page solo devoid of any other instruments – a true guitar solo as the purists would have you believe, and a damn good one at that.
11. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You“
If you’re introduced to Led Zeppelin chronologically, this is the second song of theirs that you’ll hear, and it’d be a surprise if you aren’t immediately hooked. Zeppelin’s take on a folk song from the 50’s, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You sees Page at his best, combining rhythmic acoustic picking with thumping electric guitar, while Plant’s vocal performance is one of the best of his career.
10. “Immigrant Song“
Easily the shortest song on this list, Immigrant Song opens up the band’s third album giving away absolutely nothing of what’s to come on the comparatively slow, acoustic Led Zeppelin III. With a thunderous riff and some of Plant’s best vocals, this song is short, sharp and mighty sweet.
9. “No Quarter“
Kicking off with a slow, lumbering introduction heavy on effects, No Quarter quickly kicks into gear with a crunching Page guitar solo. Throughout its seven minutes, the song alternates between various states while maintaining an air of dark intensity, and is well and truly deserving of a spot in the band’s top ten hits.
8. “Black Dog“
Typically regarded as the fourth member of this four piece band, John Paul Jones is in reality often recognised by those in the know as the most talented musician in the group. In Black Dog, he gets a rare chance to showcase this in a song based predominantly around his winding, punchy riff – and of course a little help from Plant’s vocals.
7. “Whole Lotta Love“
After a debut album which didn’t, at the time, get the love they were hoping for, Led Zeppelin opened their second with a song which, even by the end of their career, would be one of their most memorable. Beginning with a typically punchy riff from Page and featuring an extended drum solo from John ‘Bonzo’ Bonham – something which would become a feature of their live shows – Whole Lotta Love announced in no uncertain terms the band’s intentions to take over the world.
6. “The Rain Song“
The Rain Song is, theoretically, a Led Zeppelin piece, but let’s be honest – it’s Page who did the brunt of the work in creating this classic. Using an unusual tuning, the song meanders through various hauntingly beautiful sections before culminating in an explosive last couple of minutes.
Far from their biggest hit, Over the Hills and Far Away deserves a lot more credit than it gets. Encompassing everything that is great about Zep, it transitions from a beautiful acoustic intro into a far more rock-inspired electric section with ease, providing four and a half minutes of pure wonder.
Since I’ve Been Loving You is Plant and Page at their finest, the former wailing out lyrics as though his life depends on it, and Page putting together one of his greatest solos – and that’s saying something. Probably the greatest moment on probably the band’s most underrated record.
As the closer on their best album, When the Levee Breaks is one of the most memorable moments in Led Zep’s deep and varied catalogue. Plodding along to Bonham’s powerful beat, you could be forgiven for thinking Bonzo was banging the drums with more than just a couple of sticks.
Planted around half an hour into the band’s 83-minute long Physical Graffiti, Kashmir sees Led Zeppelin at their best, combining a triumphant, orchestral sound with heavy rock to create a song a song widely regarded as one of their finest moments. This eight and a half minute classic combines different rhythmic meters to create a unique sound, and one which it’s difficult to imagine many other bands being able to pull off.
1. “Stairway to Heaven“
Cliche as it may be to have this top the list, there’s a reason it’s consistently ranked among the best – if not the best – songs ever written. From it’s gentle, goosebump-inducing introduction, to the transitionary midsection, through to Page’s spine-tingling solo and the final minute and a half which sees each and every member of the band pulling a whole lot of weight, Stairway was a defining moment in the band’s history, and indeed in the history of music.