Stairway To Heaven

Some quarters consider “Stairway to Heaven” as the greatest rock song of all time.
Although this is debateable, one thing is for sure, if you don’t play the guitar, it is almost certain that you have a brother, cousin, friend or classmate who can play the familiar and legendary intro of this song.

A tidbit about ‘Stairway’:
“Stairway” is still played 4,203 times a year by the country’s sixty-seven largest AOR (album-oriented rock) radio stations, according to trade magazine MONDAY MORNING REPLAY. How many times has it been played since it was released? ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, refuses to release exact figures, but here’s a rough guess: Figure that on each AOR station in America, the song was played five times a day during its first three months of existence; twice a day for the next nine months; once a day for the next four years; and two to three times a week for the next fifteen years. There are roughly six hundred AOR and “classic” rock stations in the U.S., which means that “Stairway” has been broadcast a minimum of 2,874 times.
At eight minutes per spin, roughly 23 million minutes — almost forty-four solid years — have been devoted to the song.
So far.

This was written on the 20th anniversarry of ‘stairway’ in 1991.

“. . . and it makes me wonder . . .”

-Sept 2004

More on “Stairway”:

It’s widely held that Plant now loathes “Stairway,” though presumably he doesn’t mind the royalties. According to author Charley Cross in his new Zep bio, “Led Zeppelin: Heaven and Hell,” Plant balked at the thought of playing the anthem at the Atlantic Records Anniversary Concert in 1988. Corporate push came to shove, however, and Plant capitulated. It has been suggested that one of the reasons he shies away from a Zeppelin reunion is the specter of doing a fifty-city tour in which he’d be forced to sing what was called “that bloody wedding song” fifty times. Coauthor Jimmy Page continues to defend the tune, intending to revive it himself (though only as an instrumental) on future tours.


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