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23 February 2011 8,548 views 5 Comments

Many thanks for the great response to the TBL Stairway To Heaven 40th Anniversary Poll. Ahead of the March 5th anniversary, there is still time to cast your vote for the all time greatest live versions of the song.

All you need to do is list in order of preference  up to five  favourite LIVE versions of Stairway To Heaven.

The criteria is as follows: Any live version by Led Zeppelin is eligible plus post Zep versions ie Arms or Outrider tour, Live Aid, Page & Plant Japan TV, O2 reunion.

From these top fives, we will award five points to the number one choice, four for a second, three for a third, etc – and then collate the results into a definitive Stairway To Heaven all time Top 20 greatest live version listing.

From the many comments and emails received so far, the competition is pretty tight with three or four versions battling it out at the top,

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to re-discover this much maligned song. And believe us , you can expect to be in awe of it all over again as you pull out the old LPs, bootlegs etc and marvel at the song’s depth and beauty.

To give you a few ideas –there’s the BBC In Concert 1971 version, the brilliant Going To California bootleg delivery, The familiar official live version on The Song Remains The Same soundtrack, the How The West Was Won performance from Long Beach ‘72,  the stateliness of the 1975 Earls Court versions as the song elevated to the finale of the main Zep set, the meandering maze of Seattle ‘77, the often haunting versions performed Over Europe ‘80 including the marathon last ever Zep performance in Berlin.

Post Zep, there’s Jimmy’s emotional instrumental version performed on the ARMS tour, the spirited Live Aid performance, that 1994 P & P one off and the night they ‘’Did it’’ again for Ahmet, for one night only at the 02 on December 10th 2007.

So that’s a few pointers, but ultimately the choice is yours.

So get ready to re- discover the pure wonderment of a song that has been stirring the hearts of its listeners for nigh on 40 years.

To vote in the TBL Stairway To Heaven Poll you can either list them in the Comments/Response box at the bottom of this posting or you can email your top five ( by the way if you can’t get to five just list as many as you can)  live versions of Stairway To Heaven list to Dave Lewis at

Whichever way you choose to vote – state your top five Live versions and sources in order of preference – if you would like to add a brief commentary of the reasons for your choices even better.

The full results will be published on the TBL site on March 5th 2011 – 40 years to the day it was first performed live at the Ulster Hall Belfast. Look out for a full feature on the poll to follow in the TBL magazine.

So get voting for Stairway To Heaven at 40. On the 40th anniversary, it’s time to determine the greatest live versions of the greatest Led Zeppelin  song…

To further aid your selection here’s a round up of You Tube clips that capture the song in various versions through the years…

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven Live 1973

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to heaven Earls Court

Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven (Live at Seattle 1977)

Led Zeppelin Knebworth 1979 – Stairway To Heaven

Jimmy Page – Stairway to heaven – USA Arms concert

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven – Live Aid ’85

Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven – Live ’88 NYC

Stairway to Heaven – Jimmy Page and Robert Plant – Japan TV, 1994

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven Live at the O2 Arena Reunion Concert (HQ)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Lubos Majer said:

    STH is the the only overplayed song ever from this heavensent band.
    I blame the radios. Epic, despite the fact.

    SRS version beste ever – so atmospheric, people are listening and soaking atmosphere there.

    Greetings from Slovakia 🙂


  • pedro said:

    In any order
    .Black velvet.Belfast 5 March 1971. (the first).
    .Can you believe it. Dublin 6 March 1971. (the second).
    .The last rehearsal. Sep 1980.(so sad).
    .The Last. Berlin 7 July 1980. (still amazing 9 years gone).
    Listen to this Eddie.21 June 1977.(awsome)

    all 5 at earls court 1975.

  • Peter said:

    These days it’s a pretty dreary and rather dated song but if I must listen to it the SRS soundtrack version is the preferred one 🙂

  • Gary Davies said:

    . Earls Court May 24th 1975
    . Page live at The Hummingbird Birmingham Sep 23rd 1988
    . TSRTS soundtrack live at MSG 1973
    . Sep 14th 1971 from boot LP “Going To California”
    . Earls Court May 25th 1975

  • Tim Davies said:

    Stairways selection;

    1; 14.09.1971…From lp “Going To California”
    Absolute best prefromance, ever, very atmospheric.
    2; 03.06.1973…From “3 Days After”, very vibey performance.
    3; 22.05.1977….Tarrant County Convention Centre
    Sounds like the aftermath of a huge battle…which it probably was !
    4; Earls Court Arena, London, 24.05.1975
    Jimmy’s 18 strings sound like a sitar in places.
    5; Track 9 from the cd “The Stairway Sessions” 1971.
    ….a great improvised solo on this studio out-take.

    Zurich 1980 was choice number #6.


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