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Roxie

Best Live Version Of Stairway To Heaven

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In your opinion, which do you think is the best live version of 'Stairway To Heaven'?

Note these are video performances (and the only ones I could find on YouTube - although I know that Seattle '77 is up on there now)

1973

Madison Square Gardens

1975

Earls Court

1979

Knebworth

2007

02 Arena

Edited by Roxie

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Too be honest Roxie, I'm not a big fan of the choices given. I really like Berkely 71 :)

Those were the only ones I could find on YouTube. I figured visual choices would be best. For some reason I couldn't get the Poll part of this to work... kinda defeats the purpose, but that's ok. :)

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Hard to say...but a top contender for me is the version from

9-4-71, Toronto.

No one knew of the song yet...light cheering, quiet during the performance and it was sooooo fine !!! Theres' a decent soundboard of the song and a few more. The rest of the show, for the most part is available as a audience recording.

* Ha ! I just noticed your from Toronto Roxie ! :D

Edited by Joelmon

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Hard to say...but a top contender for me is the version from

9-4-71, Toronto.

No one knew of the song yet...light cheering, quiet during the performance and it was sooooo fine !!! Theres' a decent soundboard of the song and a few more. The rest of the show, for the most part is available as a audience recording.

* Ha ! I just noticed your from Toronto Roxie ! :D

Yes I am! :D I must hear this version... sounds like it was pretty cool.

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1973 at the Madison square.......down in the books. but i have to say, great solo from 75. 1973 produces a lot more "feeling" throughout the song.

How about them Leafs?

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2nd Night in Osaka 29-09-71 - Beyond doubt. Stairway at its most passionate & intensely relaxed. Plant believes the lyrics, Page at his most fluent best, Bonham experimental and driving, Jones at his most inspired.

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BBC Sessions. Or any other version where Robert Plant doesn't ruin the mood with the "Does anyone remember..." line.

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LA Forum in 73, the whole band were in blistering form, Plants vocals were so much stronger than the version on TSRTS and Pages guitar solo was one of the best hes done.

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Out of the choices you provided I would have to go with EC 75

But my personal fave versions of STH are from 1971.

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BBC Sessions. Or any other version where Robert Plant doesn't ruin the mood with the "Does anyone remember..." line.

Good call. Love the BBC stuff! B)

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2nd Night in Osaka 29-09-71 - Beyond doubt. Stairway at its most passionate & intensely relaxed. Plant believes the lyrics, Page at his most fluent best, Bonham experimental and driving, Jones at his most inspired.

Good points. I think the 71 versions of Stairway had more passion than any of the other tours.

Jimmy Page in particular

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This one is easiliy one of the best, even without Plant singing it.

Listening to the crowd singing along, it struck me that this song means so much to so many people.

It's like an anthem for rock music.

Jimmy also gives a performance that can match his 1973 performances. And that solo? Awesome.

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This is a fairly old thread, but I felt that I may as well add to it. In my opinion, I'd put TSRTS at number 1, with Earl's court at number 2, though it's really tough. O2 is also pretty good and the solo is nice and consistent, with great vocal delivery from plant. However, the solo is quite reserved, and very short at about 50 seconds, so this brings it to 3rd place. Knebworth is probably the worst of the lot. The solo from the 2nd is hard to listen to. The first night has a lot of nice licks in the solo, but it goes at the bottom because there was some noticeably sloppy playing.

The reason I put TSRTS at number one, is because we're judging the performance as a whole. It has an incredibly (for that year) consistent vocal performance during the outro, which was far better than the vocals for Earl's court. The solo for TSRTS is incredible as well. In the original (unedited) version, he has a couple of errors though (two to be exact), which could potentially bring it down, but the great singing keeps it at number one, and the rest of the solo is excellent, Earl's court had a phenomenal solo. The only issue is that he plays the ending lick an octave lower (or is 2 octaves? I can't exactly remember). There's another mistake during the solo. However, I'd say these two issues are excusable as Page's B string broke. So yeah, great solo, but the outro vocals are really quite bad. Not as bad as the Earl's court night that preceded it, but still not great. 

So in terms of these versions, I'd say my ranking is quite fair. Although if you include bootlegged audio performances, you'd obviously get a completely different list. 

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