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22 April 2010 3,970 views 9 Comments

Stairway To Heaven has been voted Britain’s favourite rock song by listeners of the digital radio station Absolute Classic Rock.  The classic track from Led Zeppelins fourth album beat the likes of The Who, Queen and The Beatles – whose tracks were all included in the top ten. One fan of the band who voted in the poll said, “I love The Beatles but their songs are so short and happy. For the best song of all time you want something epic, and Led Zeppelin capture it all — grand themes with their lyrics, towering riffs and epic solos to match, so for me it had to be ‘Stairway’.”

Led Zeppelin had three of their songs included in the top ten, with “Whole Lotta Love” named fourth best song of all time and “Rock ‘n’ ’Roll” at number seven.

The top ten rock songs of all time, as voted for by Absolute Classic Rock Radio listeners:

1. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
2. The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
3. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
4. Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta love
5. Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water
6. The Who – Baba O’ Reilly
7. Led Zeppelin – Rock n ’ Roll
8. Free – All Right Now
9. The Beatles – Revolution
10. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

Stairway was first performed live in Belfast on March 5th 1971 and lastly at the O2 Arena on December 10th 2007, copied, imitated and covered by many but never bettered. Some call it the highlight of Zeppelin’s career, others say a mere turning point, whatever your opinion, go and dig out the old vinyl version and give it a spin, I guarantee it still send shivers down the back bone.

Please let us know via comments your favourite version of Stairway To Heaven and your memories of first hearing, what is Absolute Classic Rock.

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  • andrew said:

    im an Achilles Last Stand man myself

  • Kathy Urich said:

    Stairway is epic, at the time of it’s release it stopped people in their tracks. Led IV starts off with classic rockin Zeppelin with Black Dog and Rock-n-Roll, Battle of Evermore sets up track four and Wham this fantastic music starts to emerge, slowly building, you’re not sure where this “path” is going, and then John comes in with the drums and Jimmy kicks it into gear. It is so much more than a song to millions of people it captures a moment in time. How many songs do you actually remember hearing for the first time, I mean the who?, what?, where? sorta thing. Paul Webber you’re not alone Robert has always said Kashmir was his favorite, and in fact, according to some, vowed never to sing Stairway again. How sad, for true Zeppelin fans Stairway is not a cliche’ but a connection on multiple levels. Those into numerology please note Track 4 on Led IV intersesting.

  • paul webber said:

    as much as i like stairway i still think kashmir is better.

  • Pete Leigh said:

    You know what, some of you might find it hard to believe but my fav version of stairway was at live aid. Yes it was messy at times but for pure emotion especially the solo it leaves a lump. i remember it so well.

  • Gary Foy said:

    Dave is having a few days off Michael, so blame me for all the spelling mistakes.

  • Michael Brazee said:

    Now I know we Americans usually drop the u from many words, (color vs colour, favor vs favour, etc), but we do keep the u in fourth. Just having fun with you Dave.

  • Gary Davies said:

    If we’re talking Earls Court then I lean towards the version on the penultimate night, 24th May. That should’ve made it onto the official ‘DVD’ IMO. Jimmy’s solo was better overall than the 25th, although I admit that the 25th solo does have one or two stunning moments towards the end just prior to the guitar string break (which was neatly patched with audio from 24th as he was coming out of the solo).

  • Maria Reyes R. said:

    The best Earls Court 1975.

  • Chris Wright said:

    For me the absolute best version of Stairway is the Earls Court 75 version on DVD. The biggest Zep track at the height of their powers. There’s something magical about Jimmy’s solo that night. It’s as if all the pieces of the jigsaw suddenly fit. In fact the whole band sounds awesome in this performance, especially Bonzo, who conclusively justifies his status as the greatest on this evidence alone. Stairway is one of the great achievements in musical history and it will probably still be topping polls 100 years from now. Interesting top ten, not least because it contains Revolution – do some people seriously consider that’s the best thing from The Beatles?

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