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Sterling Whitaker

Sterling Whitaker is a Nashville-based musician and music journalist. He is the author of two books; 'Unsung Heroes of Rock Guitar,' and 'The Grand Delusion: The Unauthorized True Story of Styx.' He has appeared as a guest on VH1, BBC Radio, and radio all over North America. Whitaker is also very involved in animal rescue.

No. 15: ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’ – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs

Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images

Led Zeppelin's classic-beyond-classic first album was perhaps the heaviest debut in rock history to that point. But the album also hinted at Zeppelin's more prosaic side with today's entry on our countdown of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs, 'Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You' -- an acoustic song the musicians recorded as an homage to folk queen Joan Baez.

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No. 19: ‘Dancing Days’ – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs

Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images

Led Zeppelin certainly took a turn for the unusual with 'Dancing Days' from the 'Houses of the Holy' album, which is No. 19 on our countdown of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs. With its multi-tracked guitars, unusual melody and danceable groove --  a true rarity among Zeppelin tracks -- the song was a hard rock track, pop song, dance track and world music opus all rolled into one.

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No. 32: ‘You Shook Me’ – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs

Zep_MichaelOchsArchives

Few groups in rock history could pull off straight blues rock as well as Led Zeppelin, as evidenced by 'You Shook Me,' the next entry on our countdown of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs, from the group's self-titled first album. Zeppelin essentially re-invented rock music arranging with this track, which elevates the drums to a principal instrument in the mix.

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No. 37: ‘The Rain Song’ – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs

Zep_MichaelOchsArchives

Led Zeppelin fans have George Harrison to thank for inspiring 'The Rain Song,' which is No. 37 on our list of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs. The Beatles guitarist reportedly remarked to John Bonham that the problem with the heavy rock group was that they never recorded any ballads -- which prompted Jimmy Page to write the music for the track, even tweaking Harrison's nose by borrowing the first two chords from 'Something.'

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No. 39: ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs

Zep_MichaelOchsArchives

Jimmy Page proved once and for all his absolute mastery of the blues rock idiom with 'Since I've Been Loving You' from Led Zeppelin's third album. An anomaly for a record mostly featuring material that was a turn away from Zeppelin's trademark brand of heavy blues rock, the track, which is No. 39 on our countdown of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs, was a ridiculously good juxtaposition of the group's primary influences and has long been a fan favorite.

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No. 40: ‘Custard Pie’ – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs

Zep_MichaelOchsArchives

The blues and rock and roll are full of sexual innuendo  -- in fact, "rock and roll" is a sexual euphemism in and of itself. Led Zeppelin were certainly no strangers to the topic, both in their hedonistic road exploits and their lyrics, and 'Custard Pie,' No. 40 on our countdown of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs, is a prime example.

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