Best “Stairway” ever

I recently went through my iTunes library and created several new smart playlists: music from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. Upon reviewing what the smart playlists had filtered out of my collection, it became obvious where my pop/rock musical heart lies. I suppose we’re all wired to love the popular music that was on the radio during our growing up years.

Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is of course one of the great songs from the 70s, but it’s also a rarity in that it has continued to tower in every decade since. Which is why I was delighted to find that another of my favorite 70s–80s bands, Heart, performed “Stairway to Heaven” during the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors, in which the remaining members of Led Zeppelin were given the coveted lifetime award.

After watching this performance, I went into the office and told my wife, “You have to watch this.” She did, and toward the end when the camera panned over to Barack and Michelle Obama, she said, “It would be worth being the President just to be able to hear this live.”

Now that’s a testament! But she’s not alone — the first comment I saw on the YouTube video page was, “É permitido homens chorarem ao ver esse clipe,” meaning, “It’s allowed for men to cry upon viewing this clip.”

(Via TYWKIWDBI, with my thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ve already bought the song from iTunes.)

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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9 Responses to Best “Stairway” ever

  1. Paulo says:

    Dang. That was awesome in so many ways.
    (and Yo-Yo Ma’s expression is priceless)

    Thanks! I’m going to re-post this somewhere.

    • oregon expat says:

      That was awesome in so many ways.

      And it bears repeated viewing, too. On my second viewing, I noticed a woman behind Jimmy Page saying something just as the gospel choir kicked in, and it looked like “Oh, wow!” So I watched it again, and on that viewing I realized what an awesome production this was — because the full size of the performing cast was kept secret in the beginning, only being revealed in bits and pieces. At first, all you see is the initial band. Later, the lights go up and you realize there’s half an orchestra backing up the band. Then spotlights on the side illuminate the previously-unseen backup singers. And THEN, at the height of the song’s tension, a backdrop rises into the ceiling and reveals the full gospel choir. That’s the point where the woman says, “Oh, wow!”

      I would have said the same thing! Incredible. Oh, to have seen it live.

  2. Jorge says:

    I suppose we’re all wired to love the popular music that was on the radio during our growing up years.

    I suppose I was a hipster of sorts back then: I positively hated most of the popular music that was on the radio during my formative years. I did fall in love with some of it, but most went the yuck way. Which is pretty much how I feel about earlier and later music as well.

    This, though, is awesome. And it must be a heck of a feeling to see one’s music so well performed by other people. Those guys should be thinking “Damn! This pretty much proves that my life was worth living!”

    And you know what? It really was. “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the relatively few true rock classics that I’m sure will endure as long as there’s people to hear them.


    • oregon expat says:

      You were a hipster before they were called hipsters!

      I also hated a lot of what was popular in my formative years, but a funny thing happened a few decades later: I looked back at many of them and found a whole new appreciation. You wouldn’t have caught me dead listening to Whitesnake or Bon Jovi when everyone else was, but now I have a few of their best in my iTunes collection and happily rock out when they come on.

      And I totally agree with you about the proof of a life that meant something. You don’t get much more vivid proof than that.

      • Jorge says:

        You were a hipster before they were called hipsters!

        Which is, of course, the only truly hipster way to be a hipster! 😀

        And I even had the thick-rimmed glasses. Out of necessity but hey!, who’s going into such details?

        I looked back at many of them and found a whole new appreciation.

        Well, I didn’t. I got as far as deciding some weren’t as horrendous as I thought they were, but I stopped there. And I think that’s more due to a certain de-radicalization that tends to happen with age than anything else. I’m not the slightest bit nostalgic about the good ol’ days.

  3. joanarling says:

    Wow… just wow!!!

  4. xenatuba says:

    Heart was one of the bands I saw in my first concert (they were the lead band for BTO). This is an amazing rendition.

  5. mormonator says:

    Simply WOW.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

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