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Canadianzepper

Would Stairway to Heaven be as epic if it were written today?

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One could consider their entire catalogue, but I ask in regards to this song in particular for obvious reasons.

Obviously there is a much different genre of music today and a larger focus on pop, R&B, rap music etc.  However, there is also a smaller world with the advent of the internet, so, a bands anthem can go global in hours, could have untold downloads within the same timeframe, along with a bands video, awards shows etc.

So, do people think the public would have embraced and catapulted this song into the stratosphere and it cross genres.  Or, would it just be another nice song for the sophisticated upper class to listen to on their iphones when sipping on their herbal tea?

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Not sure I agree with the premise.  It implicitly assumes the course of (popular) musical history would be more-or-less the same without STH's contribution, which was the essence of Zep's light/heavy dynamics.  A better question would be:  what would modern (rock) music be like if STH was never written?

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I do not think "sth" would have anywhere near the run that it did since 1971

Today in America, it would be in a strata of country music and hip hop and pop being far more popular than rock

I am thinking of either a mumford and sons version of sth or metallica version via how led zeppelin would sound today

And it would be totally different in regards to popularity

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, kirchzep27 said:

I do not think "sth" would have anywhere near the run that it did since 1971

Today in America, it would be in a strata of country music and hip hop and pop being far more popular than rock

I am thinking of either a mumford and sons version of sth or metallica version via how led zeppelin would sound today

And it would be totally different in regards to popularity

Agreed.

Doubtful it would have gone as far in recent times as it did then. The world was way different,  Zep were a product of that time, post hippy, counter culture. Blues, soul, folk and funk influencing rock and roll, the blues figuring prominently. Now all of that is bygone, and there are "Schools Of Rock". Radio is very different from what it once was. Rock was much more present on the airwaves. Frankly, the hypothesis is too vague...would Zeppelin have broke and become the biggest band nowadays, exactly as they were? I doubt it. Again, how could they be, as they were ... now?? They were a product of their time. 

Edited by porgie66

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18 hours ago, porgie66 said:

Agreed.

Doubtful it would have gone as far in recent times as it did then. The world was way different,  Zep were a product of that time, post hippy, counter culture. Blues, soul, folk and funk influencing rock and roll, the blues figuring prominently. Now all of that is bygone, and there are "Schools Of Rock". Radio is very different from what it once was. Rock was much more present on the airwaves. Frankly, the hypothesis is too vague...would Zeppelin have broke and become the biggest band nowadays, exactly as they were? I doubt it. Again, how could they be, as they were ... now?? They were a product of their time. 

I disagree.  Think about how awesome Good Times Bad Times would be if it came out today! After years of lack luster bands claiming to be awesome, you get this new band delivering head banging, heart pounding, sexually charged blues rock that hits you right in the face!  If the first album came out today I believe it would have the same earth shattering effect that it did back in 69 except the media hype would be even bigger. Zeppelin II III and IV would receive critical acclaim as ground breaking rock and roll all over again. Think about it, if Zeppelin's music weren't timeless I don't think you'd be covering them today.

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STH would get no airplay today. 

Good Times Bad Times, on the other hand, would probably get a few spins. 

 

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Nope. It would be DOA with little to no audience. Sadly the world embraces manufactured crap like hip-hop and Taylor Swift pop. Different world and it sucks. 

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While there is no doubting Led Zeppelins music stands the test of time - no question - it is entirely another thing to consider their songs not released or disclosed until this time. They were of their time like we all are. it doesn't translate in that way. They were speaking to and in communion with - a late '60's and '70's scene/crowd/reality.

STH - not sure how that would go. Probably a novelty to most in this time without much more to it. But Stairway is not and does not stand alone. The body of work that came before - and even after - changes STH and how it is perceived given that other work.

So lets say Led Zeppelin 1 was released now. Now that would hold more attention. There is no denying it is an absolute cracker of a debut album. I have little doubt it would command quite a bit of attention - BUT - it would stand out as WAY different to anything else like it at the moment where as in 1960 there was more of a natural rock/folk/blues sound, it was a time coming off the Beatles phenomena, the Stones were prominent, there was a LOT more going on. A lot more meat on the musical bones of that era. So I think it is good enough that success would be guaranteed and maybe the ripples of that success would re-ignite some pub/garage bands interest in the Blues that influenced so many of the early rock bands.

But no. None of it would likely be as "epic". How could it be? It is uprooted from that time.

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On 3/1/2020 at 2:00 AM, Canadianzepper said:

another nice song for the sophisticated upper class to listen to on their iphones when sipping on their herbal tea?

Oh, yeh? My father was a coal miner, my mother was a hospital cleaner, I've never had an iphone and I don't drink herbal tea. 
But I loved Stairway To Heaven from the first time I heard it - which was while I was a kid at the biggest, shittest comprehensive school in industrial Sheffield.
Hey, working class people like music too - who'da thunk?!

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Posted (edited)

I wonder how much the record lables would constrian acts like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Two of the most imagaginative bands going, you can almost here them saying "no we want another She Loves You and no to the The Sgt Pepper Lp by the way you will not stop touring". With Led Zeppelin there magic came from being unrestrained musically and that would be a non starter today in the rock genre where it is splinter and constrained by type. Wasn't there issues with LZ3 they would be under constant pressure to fit a template.

The Beatles, Bowie, Led Zep would all struggle as they were dreamers. The music business is all about the business now. Also the notion of failing would finish a band off even before they were signed to a lable. The Beatles struggled, two of the LZ members had worked all around the midlands in various bands and it took Bowie what was it 8 years to really make a name for himself. That would not be tolerated now in the business.

Edited by anniemouse

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11 hours ago, rm2551 said:

While there is no doubting Led Zeppelins music stands the test of time - no question - it is entirely another thing to consider their songs not released or disclosed until this time. They were of their time like we all are. it doesn't translate in that way. They were speaking to and in communion with - a late '60's and '70's scene/crowd/reality.

STH - not sure how that would go. Probably a novelty to most in this time without much more to it. But Stairway is not and does not stand alone. The body of work that came before - and even after - changes STH and how it is perceived given that other work.

So lets say Led Zeppelin 1 was released now. Now that would hold more attention. There is no denying it is an absolute cracker of a debut album. I have little doubt it would command quite a bit of attention - BUT - it would stand out as WAY different to anything else like it at the moment where as in 1960 there was more of a natural rock/folk/blues sound, it was a time coming off the Beatles phenomena, the Stones were prominent, there was a LOT more going on. A lot more meat on the musical bones of that era. So I think it is good enough that success would be guaranteed and maybe the ripples of that success would re-ignite some pub/garage bands interest in the Blues that influenced so many of the early rock bands.

But no. None of it would likely be as "epic". How could it be? It is uprooted from that time.

Thank you for putting this more are tick you lately than my attempt, it's basically what I was trying to say. 

p.s. that's how autocorrect spelled it, and I'm just going to leave it at that. 😄

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, porgie66 said:

Thank you for putting this more are tick you lately than my attempt, it's basically what I was trying to say. 

p.s. that's how autocorrect spelled it, and I'm just going to leave it at that. 😄

 

I honestly don't recall seeing your post - it looks like I lifted it! LOL... maybe I was a bit tired and out of it and I subconsciously re-hashed it. But yeah, wouldn't quite work.

Now I know how Zep felt with some of the copyright suits??? 🤣

Edited by rm2551

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"Dream On". "Freebird". "Green Grass & High Tides". "Hotel California". "Xanadu". 

Those are just a few of the songs that took their cue from "Stairway to Heaven". So when you ask how "Stairway to Heaven" would be received today you have to wonder if those songs would have existed in a world without "Stairway"?

Otherwise, if the song was released today people would just say "Stairway" was Led Zeppelin's attempt to do "Three Days".

As for the debut album and what the reaction would be among the music press today, I can tell you exactly what the response would be. Led Zeppelin would be cast as derivatives of the White Stripes, Black Keys, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Lenny Kravitz, and sadly and comically, Greta Van Fleet.

Led Zeppelin would also come under fire by the PC Police and be accused of cultural appropriation of African and Black American blues culture.

The band, through sheer talent and musicianship and blood and guts, would be able to make money touring. But selling millions and millions of records and selling out a week at the Forum or Madison Square Garden would be hard in this day of streaming hip hop and pop and the demise of rock radio.

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No way, Zep's music as stated was a product of the times, the zeitgeist if you will and one cannot separate one from the other. If Zep came about today, they would likely have a small following and that's it. Also, the Beatles would be in an even worse position. Due to streaming very few people buy albums anymore, a band makes 90% of their money from touring. There is no way the Beatles could have stopped touring and as mentioned, the record company would never have allowed Sgt. Pepper to be released, much less the White Album.

Everything is manufactured today, overproduced with all emotion removed.

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3 hours ago, PeaceFrogYum said:

Everything is manufactured today, overproduced with all emotion removed.

Agree to some extent i.e. pop music, but not 100%. I have this discussion with ppl all the time. There is great music and art being made today. As relevant and important as the Beatles/Stones/Zeppelin were making back in the day. The difficult part is you have to really search for it. If you look in the right places and put the effort into your search, you can still find really great music/art today. 

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1 hour ago, The Only Way To Fly said:

If you look in the right places and put the effort into your search, you can still find really great music/art today. 

I think part of the equation is being able to make a living wage. An earlier post made a great point about 90% of band proceeds coming from touring. That’s a killer. How many musicians that also have lives can spend that much time on the road in their mid ‘30s?? Most Huge bands like Zep were on autopilot collecting royalties by then. Those days are long gone. It’s amazing to me anyone bothers to try music as a profession anymore. 

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Posted (edited)

Well, I think there might be some slightly optimistic takes.

I think, all things being equal (and there were no comparisons to other songs in history); it wouldn't be viewed nearly as vital today.  When the song was released, it would always be the last song at school dances.  It had the heart and minds of the youth, and even if you didn't like the genre, you had to appreciate this song. 

You also were forced to listen to it, it had constant airplay.  It was loved by a generation, across genders, and analyzed by the kooks who said there were hidden, satanic messages.  Once you reach level of consciousness and conspiracy theory, you KNOW you've got a hit.  So, even those who didn't like rock music, didn't know Led Zeppelin, knew that song.  For many, maybe even most, it's the only song they know from Led Zeppelin.  The song itself is synonymous with the band, fortunately or unfortunately for fans like us who are aware of how deep their catalogue is.

As an example, some of us remember the scene in Waynes World where there is a sign at the guitar store ("no Stairway to Heaven").  It was simply the song people played because it was one they first learned and it was easily identifiable to others.  It was even for credibility, "hey, if that guy can play the opening chords of Stairway, he MUST be one hell of a guitarist" (even if the guy doesn't know anything more on the guitar than those opening notes).

If this were released today, it would be a great cult classic.  A few who didn't listen to rock music would be drawn to it due to the subject matter and pure musicianship, that's never changed.  However, it wouldn't be embraced today because the culture of music has changed.  "If I can't dance to it, I don't like it".  "Too corny man" (even Plant sometimes took such a position at times, separated by many moons an experiences from the lyrics he once wrote.)

I hardly even hear love songs played today, let alone slow tempo songs.  This would be a long, drawn out song to most, their attention spans wouldn't accommodate it.  Sadly, too cerebral for an impulsive, corporate fed consumer that wants their music formula without devitation.

Edited by Canadianzepper
spelling

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