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Was Stairway to Heaven really never released as a single?


ScarletMacaw
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The first time I ever heard Zep was on Casey Kasem's Top 40 Countdown...back in '74 or '75..."Stairway to Heaven" was in the top 40, even though it was several years after the album release...I'm almost positive the Top 40 was all singles..yet I've read Stairway was never released as a single, so how is this possible? I think it MUST have been released as a single, at least in the US. Can anyone clear up this mystery?

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"Stairway" was never released as a physical single by Led Zeppelin. It was released as a single by a few other artists, but none of those versions charted in the Billboard Top-40, which was the basis for Casey Kasem's radio program.

So, if Casey Kasem ever did play "Stairway", it was not part of his Top-40 countdown.

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I know it was released as a physical single (as in a 45 rpm vinyl record) but in this parlance, I always thought it was being referred to as a single that was released to radio. Or more accurately, not released to radio (at least in the U.S.). That doesn't mean stations didn't play it as obviously, they did.

A few thousand copies were sent to radio stations for promotional puposes (see here and here) but the single was not released publicly.

So, radio stations would play the song, but it wasn't eligible for the Top-40 chart because the single wasn't available in stores (and Billboard only counted singles that could be purchased in stores).

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I wouldn't mix up the songs...I distinctly remember that the first Zep song I heard was Stairway to Heaven, and that I heard it on my transistor radio on the weekend, and that I would listen to the same radio show the following weekend so that I could hear it again...I remember that I was amazed by it because it didn't sound like any of the other songs being played, being two to three times as long and having the different sections, building up toward the end; it seemed more like a classical symphony...I'm going to try to do some more research...

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

2596769.jpg

http://www.discogs.com/Led-Zeppelin-Stairway-To-Heaven/release/757854

Stairway To Heaven ‎(7", Promo, Mono) Atlantic PR-175 US 1972 B-Side was Stairway to Heaven Backwards
Stairway To Heaven ‎(7", Single) Atlantic 45-3747 Philippines 1972
Stairway To Heaven ‎(7", Promo) Atlantic PR-269 US 1977
Stairway To Heaven ‎(7", Pic, Unofficial) Not On Label (Led Zeppelin) none US 1980
Stairway To Heaven ‎(12", Promo) WEA 6WP.2003 Brazil 1990
Stairway To Heaven [20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition] ‎(Box, Ltd, Promo, Pop + 7", Single + CD, Single) Atlantic PRCD 4424-2 US 1991
Stairway To Heaven ‎(12", Promo, Unofficial, S/Sided) Atlantic (2) FPE 0627 US 2010
Escalera Al Cielo ‎(7", Unofficial) Rock-Konzert Ghm. RK-101 Brazil Unknown
Stairway To Heaven / Hey Hey What Can I Do ‎(7", Single, Pic) Atlantic ST PR 269 Unknown

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  • 8 months later...

I have a 45 Promo copy of Stairway to Heaven. It is a Hi Records distributed

by London. It is a Promotion Copy (printed on top) on an all white label,

which also says Not For Sale on the side. There is no band name,

there is no song name printed on it, and no company label.

It's 'scratch' label says Promo ll side l and Promo ll  side ll.

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  • 4 years later...
On 08/03/2013 at 7:21 PM, swandown said:

 

A few thousand copies were sent to radio stations for promotional puposes (see here and here) but the single was not released publicly.

 

So, radio stations would play the song, but it wasn't eligible for the Top-40 chart because the single wasn't available in stores (and Billboard only counted singles that could be purchased in stores).

I bought the Stairway to Heaven single record back in 70's in the UK, I still have it in the original cover.... 

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