Friday, November 5, 2010

A little off topic... Kiki's Top 10 favorite Led Zeppelin songs

As I sit in a coffee shop, catching up on work while I wait for internet to arrive back at my house, I am stuck listening to Radiohead. Don't get me wrong- I grew up with Radiohead and have many fond memories of my first encounters with OK Computer and Kid A. However, it's not the kind of music that inspires me. On the contrary, it kind of makes me feel a little sulky. If only this coffee shop could play something high energy, full of magick, and mythology. So, what band fits that bill? Led Zeppelin- there's a band I can rock to.

Not only does Jimmy Page have a fondness for all things related to the occult, Led Zeppelin's lyrics are brimming with Norse mythology and Tolkien lore. I could write another blog entry just about Led Zeppelin IV's artwork, which was inspired by the Rider Waite Hermit (although I would also compare the front cover's image to be inspired by Ten of Wands). As a matter of fact, I may revisit Led Zeppelin art and its associations with Tarot. Either way, this entry is my homage to one of my all time favorite bands. I'm taking a detour from my common posts to share with you my favorite Led Zeppelin songs.

10. The Song Remains The Same (Houses of the Holy): Incredible introduction to a flawless album. I associate this song with my travels through the Yorkshire Dales, where I listened to Houses of the Holy exclusively. There is something about Houses of the Holy that makes for the perfect soundtrack to the rolling green hills and ancient feeling of the northern areas of England. However, this is a standout track for me.

9. What Is and What Should Never Be (II): The perfect combination of mellow, sexy, gritty, bluesy, and heavy all wrapped into a psychadelic classic.

8. Immigrant Song (III): I feel like I’ve come from the land of the ice and stone when I hear this. Plant sings amazing lyrics, which awakens the Northern gods which reside in Valhalla.

7. Kashmir (Physical Graffiti): Dear Mr. Page and Mr. Plant, thank you for visiting Morocco and taking loads of narcotics. You made a nice song about it and were kind enough to add a symphony to it. Love, Kiki. PS: I wish I had a time machine to go back to 1970 and see you live at the Yale Bowl.

6. Custard Pie (Physical Graffit): This song is sexpot rock heaven. Raw and fantastic.

5. Traveling Riverside Blues (BBC Sessions): One word for you: Classic. Dirty blues, slide guitar, complete with the filthy lyrics from Lemon.

4. Going to California (IV): Every time I hear this song, I’m transported into a happy universe and away from the troubles and stresses of my day. For the three and a half minutes of this song, I am able to envision myself peacefully resting in a sunny vineyard somewhere in California. Very sentimental and dreamy.

3. The Battle of Evermore (IV): Someone told me that all chicks love this song. Fair enough: I’m a chick and I love this song. It’s gorgeous, features the mandolin, and has lyrics about Avalon. Beautiful and romantic.

2. Ramble On (II): Note to rockers: making reference to Gollum (or anything Tolkien for that matter) in a song makes for a rock classic. Not to mention, Page’s guitar licks surmount mostly everything else the 70s had to offer. Bless them for every bit of this song: the soft drumming, the heady bass, and the storyline about moving along.

1. No Quarter (Houses of the Holy): The haunting organ sets the ambiance of dreary travels and the occult. Plant sings, “Winds of Thor are blowing cold,” musing on Norse mythology. I’m fairly sure this is the most essential Led Zeppelin track, surpassing Stairway to Heaven as the one of the most epic songs they’ve written. I remember hearing this for the first time when I was younger: maybe about 12 or 13, and how I’d walk through the woods listening to this, wishing I was at the Boleskine House. If I could consume this song, I would. It’s perfect.

Honorable Mentions: The Ocean, Houses of the Holy, All of My Love, Trampled Under Foot, Over the Hills and Far Away, When the Levee Breaks, Thank You, Moby Dick, That’s The Way, In The Light, The Wanton Song and Whole Lotta Love…

So, my question to you: What is your favorite Led Zeppelin song? Thanks again to everyone who stops by, leaves comments, and reads my posts. Your support makes me glow and shine- writing is a tough craft to succeed at, and readers make it all worth it. So thank you!

I would also like to mention that I received "A Clucking Great Blog" award from Moonshine over at The Diary of a Witch. I will be posting my top ten blogs shortly as well, but just wanted to say thank you for thinking of me! Many blessings, Kiki


  1. Oh, Kiki, what a great subject. Having written about Page and Zep in my blog as well, and having experienced...ahem...Zep during their time (being first in line at the record store for Physical Graffiti), this takes me back to some wonderful sonic memories.

    I will have to cheat and say two songs, played back to back on the second album: "Livin' Lovin' Maid" and "Ramble On". Honorable mention goes to "Black Mountain Side" on the first album, which was basically just Jimmy on acoustic guitar. My fingers bled to learn to play this, but learn I did.

  2. I highly recommend "Hammer of the Gods" by Mick Wall, an unauthorized biography of the band.