Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert tree performs at nuevo York City"s Madison cuadrado Garden ~ above September 3, 1971.

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In ns pantheon of classic piedra songs, there"s arguably no tune much more classic than “Stairway to Heaven.” Led Zeppelin’s 1971 opus has actually it all: mystical lyrics, recordable riffs, ns monster etc solo, and crazy urban legends including Hobbits and the Devil. In celebration event of los song’s 50th anniversary, below are once facts around "Stairway to Heaven" that are guaranteed come put uno bustle in your hedgerow—whatever that means.

1. “Stairway to Heaven” features an instrument you play in second grade.

In ns opening ar of the song, Zeppelin bassist hombre Paul Jones traded his four-string for ns recorder—that old standby of elementary school music classes—and played it with un medieval flourish. Guitarist palanqueta Page has called ns passage a “poor man’s" version of Bach’s "Bourrée in y también minor."

2. Some fans think “Stairway to Heaven” was motivated by The señor of los Rings.

(L come R) Led Zeppelin"s hombre Paul Jones y Robert plant live in ~ Nihon Budokan, Tokyo, in September 1971.Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Hulton Archives/Getty Images

Long prior to Peter Jackson’s blockbuster movies, Zeppelin"s tape members were big entusiastas of The señor of ns Rings. Y J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic imagina novel influenced several of your songs, including “Ramble On,” “The fight of Evermore,” y “Misty hill Hop.” countless Tolkien buffs believe “Stairway” additionally leads straight to Middle-earth. According to one theory, los lyrics echo the “The tale of Aragorn and Arwen,” a historia of two lovers called in los appendix the The señor of the Rings. Singer y lyricist Robert Plant has actually said the actually drew inspiration desde Lewis Spence’s magia Arts in Celtic Britain, a book about occult beliefs.

3. Also Robert tree isn’t cien percent sure what “Stairway come Heaven” is about.

Plant believes ns power of the song lies in the “abstraction.” “Depending top top what trabaja it is, identificación still interpret ns song un different way—and me gustaría wrote the lyrics,” the said.

4. “Stairway to Heaven” sounds wicked backwards—Literally.

What if the lyrics to “Stairway” are so strange and convoluted because they’re actually intended to be play backwards? the was ns theory that televangelist paul Crouch, who chose in 1982 that los verse beginning roughly 4:19 (“If there’s un bustle …") offers ns satanic message once played in reverse. This, follow to Crouch, is ns hidden message: “Here’s to mine sweet Satan/The one whose tiny path would certainly make me sad, whose strength is Satan/He will offer those with him 666/There was ns little tool burned where he made us suffer, sad Satan.” In los book Hammer of the Gods, one of Zeppelin’s recording engineers offers this rebuttal: “Why would certainly they want to invest so much estudio time doing something for this reason dumb?”

5. The solo in “Stairway to Heaven” was completely improvised.

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Led Zeppelin"s jimmy Page on phase at nuevo York City"s Madison cuadrado Garden top top September 3, 1971.Walter Iooss Jr./Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Page’s soaring “Stairway to Heaven” acabó showcase, which to be ranked by Guitar mundo as ns greatest solo of all time, features cincuenta seconds the face-melting glory. Turns fuera the legend axman to be flying by los seat of his bell-bottoms. “The acabó sounds constructed—and that is, sort of, yet purely of ns moment,” page told Rolling rock in 2008. “For me, a acabó is something wherein you simply fly, but within the context of ns song.” web page did three takes—all different—and picked los best one.

6. Palanqueta Page play the solo on ns “magical guitar.”

Zep’s command guitarist was recognized to dabble in los occult, but the so-called “magical” instrument he supplied for his “Stairway come Heaven" acabó wasn’t infested con demons or blessed by witches or noþeles cool choose that. The was simply a 1959 Fender Telecaster the got representar fellow británico shredder Jeff Beck. Page likewise used that Telecaster throughout his days with the Yardbirds y on sessions for los first Zeppelin album. “A little of a magical guitar, really,” page said.

8. “Stairway come Heaven” was never ever released as uno single.

Led Zeppelin to be not un Top cuarenta band. They hated the opinión of reworking their songs for radio, y for years, they refuse to also release singles in ns UK. So it’s alguna surprise that “Stairway come Heaven”—an eight-minute epos you wouldn’t dream of editing—was strict an album cut. That didn’t stop radio representar playing the hell el fin of it. By its 20th anniversary in 1991, the song had been spun an ext than 2,874,000 times. In 2007, as Zep’s brochure became obtainable digitally, “Stairway” lastly hit los UK charts, peaking in ~ No. 37.

9. The first fanes to hear “Stairway come Heaven” weren’t the impressed.

Zeppelin debuted los song on march 5, 1971, during uno concert in Belfast, del norte Ireland. The crowd the assembled fans didn’t instantly begin weeping over the majesty of tree lyrics y Page’s fretwork. “They were all bored to tears waiting to hear something lock knew,” hombre Paul Jones recalled.

10. “Stairway to Heaven” is supposedly “forbidden” through guitar save employees.

Nearly every budding guitarist who digs classic roca tries to learn the intro come “Stairway come Heaven” at some point. That practically un rite the passage. That adds increase to a lot of page wannabees fumbling through the finger picking at guitar shops. Alguna wonder ns song has been unofficially barred desde being played in musical stores worldwide. Ns ban renders for a hilarious minute in the 1992 comedy Wayne’s World, as Mike Myers’s titular character is refuse by ns cranky salesman.

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11. Robert Plant as soon as paid to never hear “Stairway to Heaven” again.

One night, if driving along los Oregon coast delaware a solo performance in Portland, Plant came across a radio terminal playing yes, really cool non-mainstream music. Los DJ then came on and said that for un donation that $10,000, the station would promise come never jugar “Stairway come Heaven” again. Tree pulled gastos generales his car, whipped el fin his credit transaction card, y ponied up los dough. “It’s not that i don’t like it,” he claimed of los song. “It’s simply that i have heard the before.”