Some of the best cover versions of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” have been performed by party bands, garage bands, and frat bands over the course of the past 40 years in clubs and theaters around the world. However, the track has also been covered by a collection of famous rock and roll bands, and in many cases, officially released on live albums and greatest hits packages. Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll,” has always been the perfect surprise encore or show opener for many legendary artists. ClassicRockHistory.com has created a list of some of the best cover versions of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.”
For those who may not know, Led Zeppelins’s “Rock and Roll,” was originally released on the band’s fourth album. The album was originally released on November 8th 1971. The song “Rock and Roll,” appeared as the second song on the album behind the album’s opening track “Black Dog.” All four members of the band, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones were given writing credit on the song. The great 8th note piano playing on the track was performed by Ian Andrew Robert Stewart who was one of the co-founders of the Rolling Stones back in 1963.
# 10 – Sammy Hagar and Circle
The first of two Sammy Hagar appearances on this list. This version of “Rock and Roll,” is most notable because its showcases ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony singing lead on the second verse of the song. For that rarity alone, this version of the Led Zeppelin classic starts out our Top 10 Led Zeppelin classic “Rock and Roll,” covers list.
# 9 – Clarence Gatemouth Brown
An authentic old-school style blues version done by the great Clarence (Gatemouth) Brown. Almost all the cover versions of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll,” stay true to the original arrangement and style of the song. This version goes back home, What goes around comes around.
# 8 – Jason Bonham, Motley Crew,and Skid Row
This one is just pure entertainment. It’s the 1980s, and it looks and sounds just like the era of big hair and glam. Jason Bonham on drums playing Led Zeppelin is as close as you can get.
# 7 – Lita Ford
How can you not love Lita Ford. Lita is Rock and Roll. The former Runaways guitarist does a real nice job keeping it simple and pure. Lita Ford’s perfect raw rock and roll vocals and raucous guitar playing make this one an easy pick.
# 6 – Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow has always been the ultimate professional singer and musician. Her vocal on this one was pitch-perfect and full of passion. Sheryl’s guitarist Peter Stroud lit it up, and the rest of the band followed right behind in perfect time. The ultimate professional performance.
# 5 – Stevie Nicks
A totally unexpected cover by Stevie Nicks. However, Stevie and her golden voice ignite the performance. Stevie’s backup singers added some sweet harmonies to this very enjoyable cover of the Led Zeppelin classic.
# 4 – Foo Fighters
The Foo Fighters have been one of the greatest rock and roll bands of the past twenty years that have kept the spirit of pure loud rock and roll alive. The Led Zeppelin tribute at The Kennedy Center Honors was one of the most enjoyable shows of all time. Watching Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones react to all the acts performing Led Zeppelin songs was a joy in itself. Watch the video, nothing else needs to be said.
# 3 – Susan Tedeschi and Double Trouble
Susan Tedeschi’s blues background is clearly evident in her raw, rocking, organic, loud, and heavy version of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” With Stevie Ray Vaughan’s ex-bandmates Double Trouble on board and a great solo and vocal by Susan lands this one close to the top.
# 2 – Van Halen with Sammy Hagar
Killer version of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” Eddie’s solo pays tribute to Jimmy Page’s solo, but of course, adds Eddie’s signature sound. Sammy Hagar nails the vocals as we knew he would. The band tears it up on stage and the video really demonstrates why “Rock and Roll,” has always been the perfect encore song.
#1 – Heart
Only Ann Wilson of Heart could match Robert Plant’s legendary vocal performance on “Rock and Roll.” The band sounds great, but this is all about Ann Wilson. One of her greatest vocal performances ever. Listen to her sing those last couple of notes. WOW! Heart’s version is simply the best cover version ever of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.”
Photo Credit: By Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com/ (Contact us/Photo submission) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Best Cover Versions Of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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