Stairway to Heaven (8:00)

Cover of Led Zeppelin IV

From Led Zeppelin IV and 239 other releases

“Stairway to Heaven” is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for the band’s fourth studio album, Led Zeppelin IV. It is the most requested and most played song on FM radio stations in the United States, despite never having been released as a single there. In November 2007, through download sales promoting their recent Mothership release, the song hit #37 on the UK Singles Chart and #13 on the New Zealand Singles Chart. It was voted #3 in 2000 by VH1 on their list of the 100 Greatest Rock Songs.

According to music journalist Stephen Davis, although the song was released in 1971, it took until 1973 before the song’s popularity ascended to truly “anthemic” status.

“Stairway to Heaven” continues to top radio lists of the greatest rock songs, as well as topping a recent Guitar World poll. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via U.S. radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid. As of 2000, the song had been broadcast on radio over three million times. It is also the biggest-selling single piece of sheet music clocking up an average of 15,000 copies yearly. In total, over one million copies have been sold.

The song’s length precluded its release in full form as a single. Despite pressure from Atlantic Records the band would not authorize the editing of the song for single release, making “Stairway to Heaven” one of the most well-known and popular rock songs never to have been released as a single.


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