Monday, April 19, 2010

The Song Remains the Same

The UK's Independent newspaper reports that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is the country's favourite rock song. I have to confess, I've been quite partial to this ditty myself ever since I heard it back in 1971. Dinosaur music indeed! But there should be no doubt that the song is an enduring modern classic that has spawned a million covers and to the chagrin of guitar shop owners everywhere, the opening riff must have been copied by just about every garage band member on the planet. Some of these covers are in themselves near works of genius and I thought it worth mentioning them here:

First up is this neo-classical rendition by Australia's Benaud Trio which is possibly the most emotional version I've ever heard:

This interpretation by Dread Zeppelin is brilliant: a reggae band with an Elvis impersonator for a lead singer. What's not to like...?

If the Dublin-based Mexican duo, Rodrigo y Gabriela, ever come to Seattle I shall be sprinting for tickets. Attacking rock rhythms naturally convert to percussive flamenco guitar:

Any compilation such as this needs a jazz version: here's the amazing Stanley Jordan.

Australian tribute bands are the greatest. No spoilers here -I'll let this performance by The Beatnix take you by surprise:

And if your not impressed by any of this here's the definitive performance:

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