Much as I love 'Achilles Last Stand' to death (especially live at Knebworth), I found myself trying to choose just between 'Kashmir' and 'Stairway To Heaven'. It's an agonizing thing to decide because I love those two songs equal amounts to each other. After an excruciating pause, I hesitantly clicked 'Kashmir'. When I think of all the punk bands calling Zeppelin a dinosaur, I figure their roar sounds something like 'Kashmir'; fierce, epic and eclectic. 'Stairway', even though it's an enormous songwriting/performance feat, is just a mirage of what Zeppelin is, even if it's pretty. 'Kashmir' is the real thing. It's what Led Zeppelin is anyway: ENORMOUS.
Nice post, I love what you say.
For me it was a near thing between ALS and STH. Achilles is such a great piece, also enormous as you say, espically wow - Knebworth! Never makes me fail to sit there with my mouth open in astonishment.
Stairway gets the nod because it's got so many layers of meaning, and musically sums up what the band means to me. It travels from the pastoral to the industrial, from the lyrical to driving rock; it's spiritual and it's sexual; it's light and shade. They all give it everything they've got until by the end anybody who doesn't understand the value of passionate music is just not listening. It's a musical call to our better angels.