10 Of Our Favorite Led Zeppelin Songs

Favorite Led Zeppelin Songs

Feature Photo: Bruce Alan Bennett / Shutterstock.com

This 10 Of Our Favorite Led Zeppelin Songs article presents a list of Led Zeppelin favorites chosen by longtime Led Zeppelin fans. Every Led Zeppelin studio album released from Led Zeppelin in 1969 to In Thorugh The Outdoor is just about flawless in the eyes of Led Zeppelin fans. Of course, there may be some who weren’t happy with the final album, but looking back, it’s much stronger than we all thought it was when it was first released. Be that as it may, if you grew up in the 1970s and were a big-time rock fan, there was a 99% chance you were a huge Led Zeppelin fan. I saw them in 1977 and as I have written before on this site, it was the greatest concert I have ever seen.

There are plenty of common Led Zeppelin songs that always make top 10 lists. This list is a little different. This is a list of Led Zeppelin songs that myself, my friends and all the writers at ClassicRockHistory.com have chosen as our favorites. Of course, we love them all, but we like making top 10 lists here, so here we go again…….

# 10 – Going To California

We open up our 10 Of Our Favorite Led Zeppelin Songs list with the much-loved song “Going To California.” How many of your friends learned this one on guitar in the 1970s? How many times did you sing this one hanging out in the park or down on the corner while growing up during the Watergate years? This one belonged to us all.

“Going to California” was released on their fourth studio album, commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV. released in 1971. The song was recorded at several locations but mainly at Headley Grange, a country house in Hampshire, England, where the band used the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Jimmy Page co-produced the album with audio engineer Andy Johns. Jimmy Page was all over the song’s arrangement, taking on the duties of acoustic guitar and mandolin. Robert Plant blew us all away with his vocals, John Paul Jones played the bass guitar and John Bonham supplied percussion. On this one, the acoustic instruments and vocals take center stage.

# 9 – Ten Years Gone

All my friends agree Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti Double LP will forever be known as the best Led Zeppelin album ever released. We pretty much played this album every day when we were 15 and 16. It just can’t be topped. Physical Graffiti was released in 1975. The recording of this album took place over a span of several years. Most of Physical Graffiti, including “Ten Years Gone,” was recorded at Headley Grange, a remote Victorian house in Hampshire, England, that the band often used. The album was produced by Jimmy Page and engineered by Ron Nevison.

# 8 – Dancing Days

In the number eight spot, we present the song entitled “Dancing Days.” This is one of those Led Zeppelin songs that I could listen to every day and never get bored with. The song was released on the album entitled Houses Of The Holy. The album was released in 1973. The album was primarily recorded at Stargroves, Mick Jagger’s country home, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, with additional work done at Olympic Studios in London. The song’s inescapable riff was played by Jimmy Page on a 1959 Fender Telecaster through a Leslie speaker to achieve its distinct swirling sound. Page and Plant wrote the song during a trip to Bombay, where they had gone to explore the possibilities of fusing rock music with Indian sounds. The track reached No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became a staple of FM rock radio.

# 7 – Good Times Bad Times

How many times did you play air drums to the beginning of this amazing Led Zeppelin song? Hello world, my name is John Bonham and I’m probably going to be your favorite drummer of all time. That’s about it. That’s about what happened.

“Good Times Bad Times” is the opening track on Led Zeppelin’s debut album, released in January 1969. The album was recorded in September 1968 at Olympic Studios in London and was produced by Jimmy Page.  The song was released as a single in the U.S. and reached No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Though not released as a single in the UK, it still received substantial radio airplay.

# 6 -Hey Hey What Can I Do

I never understood why Led Zeppelin did not release this song on one of their albums. I first discovered this song as a B-side and played it for my friends and blew them away when I had discovered a Led Zeppelin song that they had never heard of. “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do”  was recorded in 1970 during the sessions for the band’s third studio album, Led Zeppelin III, but was not included on the album. Instead, it was released as the B-side to the “Immigrant Song” single. The recording took place at Olympic Studios and Headley Grange. Even though the song didn’t appear on any of Led Zeppelin’s original studio albums, its inclusion in later compilations like Coda and The Complete Studio Recordings has helped cement its status as a classic Zeppelin track.

# 5 – Achilles Last Stand

It feels like yesterday when this one came out. When I saw Led Zeppelin in 1977 at Madison Square Garden the band opened the concert with this song. I had loved it before, but seeing Led Zeppelin for the first time in the flesh while they were playing this song was probably the most spiritual rock and roll experience I have ever been through. I believe that the eighteen thousand people at the Garden felt the same exact way on that magical night back in June of 1977 in New York City. It all began with this song.

# 4 – Dazed And Confused

Not many songs define the spirit of the 1970s like this one does. Yes, I know it came out in 1969, but it set the tone for life as a teenager growing up in the 1970s with all that came with it. If you know what I mean. The second you heard that bass line, everything else around you stopped. “Dazed and Confused”  was released on the band’s debut album released in 1969. The song was recorded in September 1968 at Olympic Studios in London and was produced by Jimmy Page. While the song was inspired by a folk song of the same name by Jake Holmes, Led Zeppelin’s rendition took the concept in a heavier, more psychedelic direction, and the songwriting credit was initially given solely to Page.

# 3 – Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)

This is pretty much a two for one in the number three spot on our favorite Led Zeppelin songs list. Have you ever heard Heartbreaker on the radio without the DJ playing “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)” right after it? On the album, the song starts immediately after the last note of “Heartbreaker.” Both harmonically and rhythmically the connection between the two songs is seamless. Both songs were released on the iconic Led Zeppelin II album in 1969.

# 2 – The Ocean

If one wants to describe to a young person what a classic rock guitar riff is, all they would have to do is play the song “The Ocean.”  Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones’ jubilant riff that opens the song is one of legend. Everyone loved this song. John Bonham’s famous opening line “We’ve done four already, but now we’re steady and then they went, 1… 2… 3. was memorized by all Led Zeppelin fans. Why they left of the live version of the song on the original live Songs Remains the Same album was a bad decision. It should have been included because the live version was just as exciting as the album cut.

# 1 – Kashmir

Is there a more powerful song in classic rock history than Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir?” Released on Physical Graffiti in 1973, “Kashmir” is Led Zeppelin’s musical peak. It’s eight minutes of pure cinematic rock and roll fueled by the extraordinary talent of four musicians who all became icons on their instruments, but even more so together as a group that stands easily as the greatest rock band in history. Many people look back at songs like “Stairway To Heaven,” or “Whole Lotta Love” as Led Zeppelin’s best. Maybe from a commercial point, they were. Yet, hands down, “Kashmir,” is Led Zeppelin’s ultimate masterpiece.

10 Of Our Favorite Led Zeppelin Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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