My 40 favorite songs by Led Zeppelin

led-zeppelin1
photo courtesy of ultimateclassicrock.com

As I go through all the popular music released, year over year, some names of course came up a lot. One of them – Led Zeppelin.

As I review, listen to and rate as much popular music as I can get my hands on, I was curious about certain groups and artists and how I feel about their music today. I decided to rank the songs of some of the greats and after kicking things off with the Beatles, it’s time to dive all the way into rock ‘n roll with another elite supergroup. Possibly my favorite band of all time and in fact I had considered Led Zeppelin as just that for many, many years. Now that I’m into my 40s though, the “modern” bands that I didn’t at the time think qualified…suddenly do. Pearl Jam is no longer “new”, but are actual Hall-of-Famers with 25 years under their belt. But Zeppelin will always be legends and their songs will always hold up.

From my own yearly classifications, 12 of their songs ranked as “awesome” (that’s more than I had for the Beatles, at eight) with an additional 10 garnering the “great” moniker. Zeppelin ended up with 44 songs on my year-by-year lists, and that’s an amazing accomplishment considering they only recorded 108 songs. Nearly half got on my list of favorites.

In putting this together, I decided to do away with the classifications and give my own hard ranking. With the understanding that, depending on mood, any of these songs can slide up or down 20 spots pretty easily. It was definitely not an easy task. And of course, I shouldn’t have to explain that the 40th song ranked here is not their worst song – remember they have 108 songs recorded, so the 40th song actually tops 68 others.

The four songs that made my year-by-year list but did not crack the Top 40 are: No Quarter (1973), I’m Gonna Crawl (1979), For Your Life (1976) and Baby Come on Home (1982).

40. Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman) (1969)

 

39. Trampled Underfoot (1975)

 

38. Communication Breakdown (1969)

 

37. That’s the Way (1970)

 

36. Celebration Day (1970)

 

35. Houses Of The Holy (1975)

 

34. The Lemon Song (1969)

 

33. Friends (1970)

 

32. Nobody’s Fault But Mine (1976)

 

31. Four Sticks (1971)

 

30. Moby Dick (1969)

No lyrics in this one, and to truly drive the point home about how great this drum solo is, here is an extended version of it. Live at Royal Albert Hall in 1970. When Bonham kicks back into it at 14:10 it gives chills.

 

29. Going to California (1971)

An incredible live version. Generally I like to leave the videos on here that made me love the song, but I saw this version and had to use it…

 

28. Out on the Tiles (1970)

 

27. Dancing Days (1973)

 

26. Gallows Pole (1970)

 

25. In The Evening (1979)

 

24. Fool In The Rain (1979)

 

23. Rock and Roll (1971)

 

22. Good Times Bad Times (1969)

 

21. Dazed and Confused (1969)

 

20. Heartbreaker (1969)

 

19. All My Love (1979)

 

18. The Ocean (1973)

 

17. What Is and What Should Never Be (1969)

 

16. Your Time Is Gonna Come (1969)

 

15. Immigrant Song (1970)

 

14. Misty Mountain Hop (1971)

 

13. When the Levee Breaks (1971)

 

12. Traveling Riverside Blues (1982)

 

11. Kashmir (1975)

An incredible performance of this song in 2002 – 27 years after this song was released. Robert Plant is 54 here.

 

10. Black Dog (1971)

 

9. Tangerine (1970)

 

8. Whole Lotta Love (1969)

 

7. Thank You (1969)

 

6. Ramble On (1969)

 

5. D’yer Mak’er (1973)

 

4. Hey, Hey, What Can I Do (1970)

This song was never released, was never on a studio album, was never performed by Led Zeppelin in concert. How did this happen? It was on a various artists UK album in 1972, and a B-side to the Immigrant Song single in 1970. It didn’t really come to prominence until 1990 when it was part of a four-CD Zeppelin box set.

 

3. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (1970)

 

2. Over the Hills and Far Away (1973)

 

1. Stairway to Heaven (1971)

Of course

 

 

You can listen to this entire playlist on YouTube here

 

 

1 Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin 1971
2 Over the Hills and Far Away Led Zeppelin 1973
3 Bron-Y-Aur Stomp Led Zeppelin 1970
4 Hey, Hey, What Can I Do Led Zeppelin 1982
5 D’yer Mak’er Led Zeppelin 1973
6 Ramble On Led Zeppelin 1969
7 Thank You Led Zeppelin 1969
8 Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin 1969
9 Tangerine Led Zeppelin 1970
10 Black Dog Led Zeppelin 1971
11 Kashmir Led Zeppelin 1975
12 Traveling Riverside Blues Led Zeppelin 1982
13 When the Levee Breaks Led Zeppelin 1971
14 Misty Mountain Hop Led Zeppelin 1971
15 Immigrant Song Led Zeppelin 1970
16 Your Time Is Gonna Come Led Zeppelin 1969
17 What Is and What Should Never Be Led Zeppelin 1969
18 The Ocean Led Zeppelin 1973
19 All My Love Led Zeppelin 1979
20 Heartbreaker Led Zeppelin 1969
21 Dazed and Confused Led Zeppelin 1969
22 Good Times Bad Times Led Zeppelin 1969
23 Rock and Roll Led Zeppelin 1971
24 Fool In The Rain Led Zeppelin 1979
25 In The Evening Led Zeppelin 1979
26 Gallows Pole Led Zeppelin 1970
27 Dancing Days Led Zeppelin 1973
28 Out on the Tiles Led Zeppelin 1970
29 Going to California Led Zeppelin 1971
30 Moby Dick Led Zeppelin 1969
31 Four Sticks Led Zeppelin 1971
32 Nobody’s Fault But Mine Led Zeppelin 1976
33 Friends Led Zeppelin 1970
34 The Lemon Song Led Zeppelin 1969
35 Houses Of The Holy Led Zeppelin 1975
36 Celebration Day Led Zeppelin 1970
37 That’s the Way Led Zeppelin 1970
38 Communication Breakdown Led Zeppelin 1969
39 Trampled Underfoot Led Zeppelin 1975
40 Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman) Led Zeppelin 1969

 

1960s          1970s          1980s 

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