Monday, November 18, 2013

Cool cover song of the week...

There are few rock songs as iconic as Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven. From the opening chords to the memorable lyrics (I'll admit I find myself saying, "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now" every now and again, but I'm odd) to the way the song changes tempo and volume as it progresses, it's amazing how this 8+-minute song has endured, more than 40 years after it was released in 1971.

Rolling Stone ranked Stairway to Heaven #31 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time," and in 2000, VH1 ranked the song #3 on its list of the 100 Greatest Rock Songs. It was the most requested song on FM radio stations in the United States in the 1970s, despite never having been officially released as a single there.

In 2012, Led Zeppelin was among the annual Kennedy Center Honorees. While the honor itself is pretty amazing, what's even cooler (at least in my opinion) is the talent they assemble each year to honor the recipients. There have been memorable speeches, emotional moments, and incredible performances (witness Tony winner Heather Headley's rendition of Your Song during the 2004 ceremony when Elton John was honored).

During the 2012 ceremony, Heart performed Stairway to Heaven. (And while Heart's heyday started in the 1970s, as a child of the 80s, I've always been a huge fan.) But if the performance itself wasn't enough, on the drums during this performance was Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin's legendary drummer, the late John Bonham.

So here's Heart's tribute performance of Stairway to Heaven:

And here's the classic original. (Have your lighter ready.)

Check out my previous Cool Cover Songs of the Week:

Borderline by The Counting Crows

How Deep Is Your Love by The Bird and The Bee

Life in a Northern Town by Sugarland, Little Big Town, and Jake Owen

I Don't Want to Talk About It by The Indigo Girls

Only You by Joshua Radin

Pure Imagination by Maroon 5

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Blake Stratton

What a Fool Believes by Neri Per Caso

Poker Face by Daughtry

Back to Black by Ronnie Spector

I Will Survive by Cake

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by The Stereophonics

Rolling in the Deep by John Legend

Go Your Own Way by Lissie

Winner Takes it All by McFly

What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone

Careless Whisper by Seether

I Walk the Line by Live

Dear Prudence by Siouxsie and The Banshees

Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm

Who Wants to Live Forever by Breaking Benjamin

Redemption Song by Chris Cornell and Audioslave

Love Me Tender by Chris Isaak and Brandi Carlile

All You Need is Love by The Flaming Lips

Lovesong by Adele

I Love It by Robin Thicke

Billie Jean by The Civil Wars

Across the Universe by The Scorpions

Can't Hold Us by Pentatonix

Wicked Game by James Vincent McMorrow

Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) by The Postal Service

Jolene by The White Stripes

Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) by Justin Timberlake

More Than This by Norah Jones

Royals by Mayer Hawthorne

I Can't Go for That (No Can Do) by The Bird and The Bee

Ain't No Sunshine by Silent Rider

Crazy by Ray Lamontagne

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