Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where Did Our Love Go?

I have very fond memories of sitting around my friend's basement in the early years of high school, sneaking in sips from the same beer bottle or parents' liquor cabinet concoction, convinced we were feeling the effects - all while making lists. Now, I definitely had my "cute boys" lists among many others, and probably switched the beer for a Bacardi Breezer from time to time. But this list-making exercise was with my two best childhood male friends, and we would sit and meticulously list our top ranked favourite Led Zeppelin songs. That is, if we could get them into a reasonably-sized list.

We loved Zeppelin. We would listen to our Dads' old records, tell stories about the surreal adventures we heard the band had, and squeal Robert Plant impersonations at each other. I don't know what it was, but to our parents' delight, we took Zeppelin very seriously.

Now, the love hasn't died - but it's certainly been in a half-decade-long coma. I still have a few classics on rotation, but over the years and with the limited space my various music players have provided, some of their hundreds of songs have faded to the background. I want to bring them back to the foreground, and recently have - because I love these guys, their mystery, their explosive rock classics and their versatile acoustic and blues talent.

For all of those Zeppelin fans out there, what makes your list?

1. All of My Love: Their most beautiful slow-dance ballad. Romantic synthesizer, Plant's darling vocals and obscure lyrics all lead up to the dreamy chorus, "All of my love, all of my love, oh, all of my love to you." It is, without a doubt, my all-time favourite Zeppelin song. Originally written after Plant's five year-old son Karac suddenly passed away from an unknown virus, this song manages to break and warm your heart all at the same time.

2. Hey Hey What Can I Do

3. Dy'er Mak'er: In the ultimate display of eclecticism, the ska and reggae riff that bounces from Jimmy Page's guitar has been the soundtrack to many car windows down, hand riding in the wind, summer drives.


4.  Dazed and Confused: Obviously. The legendary blues guitar and recognizable bass line digs deep into whatever was brewing in the souls of the 1970s dazed and addicted band members.

5. Over the Hills and Far Away: This overcharged rock anthem swoops and swings between calm and artistic love confessions and a stomping, electric hook that jolts you when you're least expecting.

6. Since I've Been Lovin' You

7. That's The Way: Sunshine strums and calm croons are what this typically acoustic Zeppelin tune is comprised of, also making it a perfect candidate for that summer drive playlist.

8. Black Dog

9. Ramble On: Heavily influenced by J.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, this folky classic features mystifying lyrics and Page's unfretted, cowboy chords.

10. Kashmir

11. The Ocean: Boom. Don't be fooled by the quiet intro to this song, it picks up, and it picks up hard. If this follows an acoustic track on your playlist, expect the thumping guitar and Plant's soprano screeches to wake you right up.


12. Tangerine

 13. Immigrant Song: Released on the B-side of Hey Hey What Can I Do, this hard-rock marching band thrasher became a rebellious war song for social upheaval in the 1970s.

14. Going to California

15. Stairway to Heaven: You've probably never heard this song before, not many people have. But it's nothing other than pure rock n' roll genius.

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