A Journey Through Led Zeppelin’s Undisputed Classics, Ranked By Fans

Led Zeppelin, the titans of rock and roll, rose from the ashes of the Yardbirds in 1968. Their music, a potent blend of blues, rock, folk, and even Eastern influences ignited a generation and forever changed the landscape of hard rock. But with a discography as vast and iconic as theirs, where do you even begin? This guide will navigate the legendary riffs, soaring vocals, and epic journeys that define Led Zeppelin, highlighting the band’s essential tracks you simply can’t miss.

Ready to rock out to some of the greatest tunes of all time? We turned to 10 expert lists to find the best Led Zeppelin songs in the band’s impressive catalog. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

The List: Best Led Zeppelin Songs, According to Fans

1. “Kashmir” (1975)

“Kashmir” is Led Zeppelin’s self-described greatest work. “Kashmir” is a song so deeply ingrained into the soul of classic rock that it is unmistakable from the downbeat. MOJO raves, “In a 1988 interview with MOJO’s Robert Fricke, Robert Plant gently knocked back a suggestion that ‘Stairway To Heaven’ was Zeppelin’s finest song. ‘It’s a nice, pleasant, well-meaning naive little song, very English,’ he smiled. ‘It’s not the definitive Led Zeppelin song – Kashmir is.’ Who are we to argue?”

Vulture praises “Kashmir” by way of throwing shade at a dismissive Rolling Stone review, “The song starts out at a high pitch and stays there, producing a hypnotic M.C. Escher staircase of a guitar riff; always moving upward, yet somehow always coming around to create itself again. And it’s all built on a herky-jerky beat that Bonham (dismissed as ‘plodding’ in the Rolling Stone review) uses to drive the band forward.”

For the vehement “Stairway” stans shouting that nothing can be better, Planet Rock says it belongs at the top: “Receiving a whopping 18% of the total vote in our Zeptember poll – almost double the vote of ‘Stairway To Heaven’ in second spot – the towering musical behemoth that is ‘Kashmir’ took its rightful place at the summit. A track so good that it has you thumbing at the thesaurus looking for suitable superlatives, it’s no surprise that the surviving members of Led Zeppelin regard ‘Kashmir’ as one of their crowning glories.”

2. “Stairway to Heaven” (1971)

“Stairway to Heaven” is one of the most famous classic rock tunes of all time. This epic track starts slow before building momentum into the song’s second half. AV Club says, “Once so ubiquitous its very title served as an easy punchline, ‘Stairway To Heaven’ remains a thing of wonder. A crystallization of nearly everything Led Zeppelin did well, ‘Stairway To Heaven’ captures their delicate folk-rock side and their overwhelming might, building from a gently plucked opening section to a cataclysmic conclusion.”

SingersRoom adds, “‘Stairway To Heaven’ – the iconic Led Zeppelin song which showcases their musical finesse and lyrical depth. Its appeal never fades with its intricate guitar solos, haunting melodies and powerful narrative. It has stood the test of time and still captivates listeners across generations.”

According to Ultimate Classic Rock, “It’s overplayed and second only to ‘Free Bird’ when it comes to an easy classic-rock target. It also pretty much set the template for every over-baked power ballad that surfaced over the next two decades. But there’s no denying the timeless pull of ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ From the soft, pastoral intro to the awesome guitar solo that nearly capsizes the ending, it’s a truly monumental piece of work.”

3. “Whole Lotta Love” (1969)

“Whole Lotta Love” is another Zeppelin track where the guitar is more like a backup singer. Rolling Stone comments, “Led Zeppelin’s defining song – obscene, brutish, and utterly awesome. ‘Way down inside,’ squeals Robert Plant, ‘I’m gonna give you every inch of my love’ – adding, ‘I wanna be your backdoor man!’ just for extra romance.”

The main riff of this track is iconic and compliments the lasciviously lewd lyrics. “Probably the most recognizable Zeppelin song outside of ‘Stairway,’ ‘Whole Lotta Love’ changed the music scene overnight… It is simple, pure unadulterated heavy-metal and was also one of the most hated songs in 1970 by anyone over the age of 40. Zeppelin hated releasing singles, but even they couldn’t deny the incredible impact the song had for their enduring popularity,” adds Rate Your Music.

“‘Whole Lotta Love’ is the song that Plant once feared he would be forced to sing when he was old and in a wheelchair. While Plant seems to dislike the heavier side of Zeppelin nowadays — and this song appears to be at the heart of what he is trying to avoid by not doing a Zeppelin reunion — it’s still one he plays with the Shape Shifters, and he also does a pretty faithful rendition,” details billboard.

4. “Immigrant Song” (1970)

“Immigrant Song” enjoyed a surge of popularity after being featured heavily in the Marvel film “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017). Before this, the track also made a musical cameo in beloved animated movie “Shrek The Third” (2007). This track is an epic Viking-inspired song that feels like it could be a magic spell. Louder explains, “Immigrant Song was released as a single in the U.S., coupled with ‘Hey, Hey What Can I Do’ in November. It went on to claim the number one hot spot during a 13-week run in the Billboard chart.”

According to MOJO, “If, like ‘Apocalypse Now’s’ (1979) Wagner-blasting fleet of choppers, Viking longships had come equipped with speakers in the 9th century then ‘Immigrant Song’s’ wail and thunder would have been the only choice to strike terror into those about to be plundered. An instance of words and music in perfect synergy.”

“This Norse mini-epic is perennially prized by metalheads (see, for example, Jack Black in ‘School of Rock’) for its attack, cauterizing even by Page standards, its straight-outta-Asgard lyrics, the wild sounds, and its being the source of the definitive Zeppelin aperçu— ‘Hammer of the Gods?!?!’ — delivered by Plant with a hilarious Dr. Evil –esque lilt,” states Vulture.

5. “When the Levee Breaks” (1971)

Led Zeppelin never shied away from experimenting with acoustics to capture the most epic sound possible for their studio recordings. Louder says, “Words like ‘epic’ and ‘awesome’ have become drained and devalued by sheer repetition, but here they’re entirely justified. No heavy band ever played funkier, and no funk band ever played heavier.”

“When the Levee Breaks” exemplifies this as a track that is best enjoyed with headphones or surround sound to fully take in this richly layered track. Planet Rock claims, “While the lyrics stay true to the original, musically Led Zeppelin reimagined ‘When The Levee Breaks’ as an aptly apocalyptic sounding, blues-tinged hard rock powerhouse. From the fabled opening beats, it’s undoubtedly John Bonham who grabs the limelight and defines the song with his vigorous and instantly recognizable drumming.”

“Based on 1928 recording by Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy, Page turned the song inside out and created an elemental masterpiece. John Bonham famously set-up at the bottom of the stairwell creating one of the most evocative drum performances of all time,” writes MOJO.

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Comments

  1. Any best of Led zeppelin list without Achilles Last Stand at the top isna joke. Even Jimmy Page said itbwas the best song they made.

  2. Just like the last reply on the best five songs they are all awesome my favorite though since I’ve been loving you of course Stairway to heaven Led Zeppelin the best rock band ever!!!

  3. I think that Led Zeppelin is the kings of rock roll and that 5bis just too few to call a best of any kind, but as long were throwing in our own 2 bits worth I think you can’t leave out The best drummer’s crowning solo of “Moby Dick”, or the great ocean, or even the apetomy of the era and all of us die hard fans would say that we are all just “dazed and confused”

  4. Good Times Bad Times gets my vote i believe it has it all… Love the lyrics when my woman left home for another man but i just dont seem to care…Not to.mention it was 1st song on album 1…

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