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Canadianzepper

After so long rejecting the song, will Plant ever "reappreciate" Stairway To Heaven?

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So most of us know how much he has voiced disdain for the song.  Rather unfortunate in some cases, other cases, he is light hearted about it.  Not uncommon for a musician to years later look back at a song from a different perspective, especially a song that really became bigger than the band itself, as far fetched as that sounds considering their success.  Really the song has become so massive that even fans of Zeppelin began to dislike it, and/or those who were old enough recall it being played far too often and ending their school dances.  Maybe it's thing long shadow that bothers Plant so much when he knows there is so much more to offer within Zeppelin and even with his post-zeppelin material.

Over the years, Plant has gone from admiration for his lyrics, to defensive about people abusing his lyrics, to outright overt unhappiness with he song itself.  During the Kennedy Awards in 2012 he showed a rarely seen bit of emotion during Hearts epic cover of the song, which probably had more to do with seeing Jason on the skins and the open celebration of Bonzo from the choir.  Regardless, where is he today on his opinion of this song?  A song which he has played far too many times and has answered almost as many questions about as he had "do you think you guys will get back together"? 

I suppose it depends on the day of the week, but it would be nice to see Plant find some permanent and hopefully positive closure with this song.  As I have hit mid aged myself, I find myself really appreciating the magnitude of this song.  If a self proclaimed superfan can come to terms with this, hopefully one of it's creators can.  It will be remembered long after any of us are around, and perhaps unfairly, it will remain in a category of it's own at the expense of other great songs.  At the same time, it will draw many generations to the bands broad catalogue of masterpieces.

Anyone?

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When Percy was on Stern a couple weeks back he stopped Howard from asking the full question and stated he loves the song. . Im sure like with anything he has had moments with it. . I grew to such a legendary status as a song in such a short amount of time and he prob realized he might be singing it for the rest of his life and as with any musician playing some certain things does get old. . 

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Well he certainly wasn't as good of a lyric writer, as he is today, but I think they are good lyrics! It's also a long song that starts slowly and he had to sing it a lot!

But I think it just might have something to do with being so rejected by some of the critics back then!

But I think when he mixed a bit of social comment and philosophy in his lyrics, he was pretty good back then, but love and reflection songs(The Rain song, Ten years gone, Dancing days, Tea for one), the mystical material(Kashmir) and some of the sex metaphors were his best work back then.

Edited by SamoKodela

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I think Robert has been trying for years to distance himself from the Rock God status. When we think of Zeppelin Robert Plant isn't the first person to come to mind. Bonham, Jones do. With this current band Plant talks about how his sounds brings out different landscapes. Well it sounds all to familiar to his other recent solo works. Stairway to Heaven is one of Zeppelins best "musically" written tracks. Plant may not like playing the song do to the outdated lyrics on it. I personally think "when the Levee Breaks" is Zeppelin at it's all time best.  

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Never performed it as a solo artist, which is interesting, but other than that I don't have an opinion one way or the other.

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26 minutes ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

Does anyone remember laughter?

Baby, aaaah, just give it to me give it to meeee.  Sure doooes, sure does.!

Oddly, he never liked that he said this during the song and begged for it to be removed from the edit.  I actually thought the question was perfect in the context of the song, as arbitrary and random as the lyrics themselves.

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10 hours ago, Anjin-san said:

Well Percy you wanker,.....I'll play the tune on Christmas Day! Like I have since '71! :notworthy:

:party:  Quite fitting that

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I remember what a big deal it was when Page / Plant did it on a Japanese TV show back in '95 or so, it was like the first time they did it since Zep. 

 

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Actually I'm pretty sure STH 95'  was like 15 seconds long, just a prank or something. For some reason I myself have

never gotten sick of the studio version first heard  in eigth grade. For some reason the song has seemed incredibly

epic and dramatic for me. Almost as if the song has some obscured  cosmic truth which the band  is in touch with,

along with other Zep tunes.. Live there are incredible versions and terrible versions. I don't blame anyone for never

wanting to hear the song again, just like Freebird, Satisfaction, anything from Pink Floyd The Wall, etc. I think Plant noticed

that regardless of how a live version went, fans ate it up. Many

artists have wrestled with this dilemna as well.

Edited by Mithril46
Incomplete

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It' s such a classic but can easily see why he got tired of singing it.  It made him too much money to ever actually HATE 

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That's a good point but promoters have offered Zep and a complete Floyd a 1/4 billion to tour yet they don't. I think

sometimes fans may not understand  that regardless of the money, and  most of the desired bands are already quite

rich., it's just not worth the compromises  and enormous tensions between some members.

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56 minutes ago, Mithril46 said:

That's a good point but promoters have offered Zep and a complete Floyd a 1/4 billion to tour yet they don't.

Don't believe everything you read. Which promoters, specifically, have offered either group that sum? Perhaps now you see what I mean. Nine times out of ten such talk is tabloid nonsense, or an artist or promoter trying to hype a solo project. "Robert Plant is convinced his new music is so compelling he turned down 1/4 of a billion..." Oh, bullshit. "20 million applied for tickets..." Of course they did, it cost nothing to do so.   

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Plant started to dislike the song when Pagey started to struggle with the soloing and his overall performance. There is not , in my opinion , one real good version post 1975. 

The song relies on the solo break to build up the tempo into the hard rock ending then to the soft close. If the solo isn't well paced or lyrical along with Plant not holding up his end , then it suffers. That song also relies on sheer musical performance by all members. I think that seriously after 1973 , there was always a weakness somewhere and that small weakness takes away the impact of the song. Percy knew that. 

I think it's Robert's way of saying, politely , we can't do it like we did in 1970 thru 1973. 1975 had great Page solos , 1977 Everyone except Jimmy , 1970 - 1971 all cylinders go, 1972 had Plant except for the US tour , starting to suffer, 1973 Europe tour Plant is terrible while 3 other lads are at the peak of their talents, 1971 BBC had Pagey getting sticky with the solo , 1979- 1980 was horrendous except for Copenhagen .  You see what i'm saying- there is always a weakness and Plant knew that after 1975. 

 

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Yeah, it's true, no actual promoter was mentioned specifically for some of these likely musically  and  personally taxing

tours. However, pretty sure the Eagles first comeback was at least 100 G's, not sure about how the money split up.

Back to Plant's dilemma with Stairway, many good points. Although Page up till the solo IMO was  very good even in

77', I agree 77' on many, many solos were disjointed and had little of the cohesive power and beauty of most of 73'.

In a way it's as if the Eagles ignored the also famous solo for Hotel California. I wouldn't be surprised if Plant actually

saw the cracks widening even in 75'. I remember earlier in Zep Page had said you should give your all on stage, play

a while, and realize fans may be coming from far away.. Well, Zep played very long shows in 77', but I'm sure that

Robert was internally cringing at many of Jimmy's at times sub-professional performances. This could be why as Robert's

solo career went on, he became a control freak. I think Robert liked Jimmy's "tight but loose" comments about Zep,

but after Zep Robert made many indirect comments about the shambles that Zep could be, probably aimed at Jimmy.

STH, true, without at least a good solo, loses focus and momentum. But Jimmy at least somewhat always had this problem, where the live solo kills the studio, or the live solo is nowhere near the studio, from show to show even. 

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On November 19, 2017 at 6:08 PM, Blaize86 said:

Plant started to dislike the song when Pagey started to struggle with the soloing and his overall performance. There is not , in my opinion , one real good version post 1975. 

The song relies on the solo break to build up the tempo into the hard rock ending then to the soft close. If the solo isn't well paced or lyrical along with Plant not holding up his end , then it suffers. That song also relies on sheer musical performance by all members. I think that seriously after 1973 , there was always a weakness somewhere and that small weakness takes away the impact of the song. Percy knew that. 

I think it's Robert's way of saying, politely , we can't do it like we did in 1970 thru 1973. 1975 had great Page solos , 1977 Everyone except Jimmy , 1970 - 1971 all cylinders go, 1972 had Plant except for the US tour , starting to suffer, 1973 Europe tour Plant is terrible while 3 other lads are at the peak of their talents, 1971 BBC had Pagey getting sticky with the solo , 1979- 1980 was horrendous except for Copenhagen .  You see what i'm saying- there is always a weakness and Plant knew that after 1975. 

 

Sorry, but this is nonsense. Whether or not Page's solo's on STH post '75 are any good is your opinion, but to say that Plant's disdain for the song 'to this day' is due to Page's lousy solo's is pure conjecture. If this were the case, then why did Plant 'allow' it to be played at all three of their reunions? And, why has he not performed the song once during his long solo career, where he could have had one of his many proficient guitarists perform this solo properly and to "Percy's" liking? 

IMHO, the entire band put up with more shit due to Plant's vocal "problems" (starting in 1972) more than anything else.......sniff B)

Edited by blindwillie127

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4 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

Sorry, but this is nonsense. Whether or not Page's solo's on STH post '75 are any good is your opinion, but to say that Plant's disdain for the song 'to this day' is due to Page's lousy solo's is pure conjecture. If this were the case, then why did Plant 'allow' it to be played at all three of their reunions? And, why has he not performed the song once during his long solo career, where he could have had one of his many proficient guitarists perform this solo properly and to "Percy's" liking? 

IMHO, the entire band put up with more shit due to Plant's vocal "problems" (starting in 1972) more than anything else.......sniff B)

It's not nonsense,  but you bring up valid points. Plant had to be begged repeatedly on all three reunion shows while each performance was horredous. Jimmy could barely play the intro without rushing or getting his fingers crossed. Plant didn't want to play STH even in 1977 tour. It was getting old to him and the only way you can expand the song onstage is with the solo. A lot of their songs were expanded live with success but STH sounding tired by 1975 due to pants voice and 1977 due to lackluster solos. Yes you are right , Percy could not handle the ending mid way through 1972 and it also hurt the song but what made the song tired was Jimmy all the way. As far as not playing it as a solo artist , the song only withholds it's integrity when all 4 Zep members nail it. That was lost in somewhere between 1972- 75 with highs and lows. I think 1973 LA Forum Three Days After boot, Plant has never sounded higher at the end. One of the last great performances of STH. I don't know how he pulled that one off. I guess it's a combo of many factors. 

 

Cheers 

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