'Rock and Roll' holds the distinction of being one Led Zeppelin composition that is credited to all four members (most were credited only to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant), as it came about during a warm-up session in the studio. The track, No. 11 on our countdown of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs, was later recorded at the Headley Grange Mansion with the assistance of adjunct Rolling Stone Ian Stewart on piano.
To say that Led Zeppelin’s seven-minute opus ‘No Quarter’ -- No. 10 on our countdown of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs -- is “a little psychedelic” is a vast understatement. Between Robert Plant’s processed, distorted vocals and John Paul Jones’ roiling electric piano to the slow-churning tempo and Jimmy Page’s dull guitar buzz, the song from 1973’s ‘Houses Of The Holy’ is sinister and woozy.
From the very beginning, part of what made Led Zeppelin so unique was the band's curiosity with traditional genre forms. They've been known, throughout the years, as musical plagiarists--and there's some truth to that claim, judging by their slew of copyright lawsuits from blues legends like Willie Dixon. But even when they were borrowing from folk and blues songs without permission, Zeppelin were unafraid to explore, refine, and update the music that came before them, such as on 'In My Time of Dying,' which is No. 6 on our list of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs.
When Led Zeppelin dropped the distortion and brought out the acoustic guitars for 1970's 'Led Zeppelin III,' many fans and critics were perplexed. These guys were supposed to be the hardest-hitting blues-rock band on the planet -- they had no business in strumming or starry-eyed reflection.
By 1973's 'Houses of the Holy,' Led Zeppelin were no longer psychedelic blues-rock warriors. Sure, that was one page in their stylistic playbook, but with each subsequent album, their aspirations grew wilder and more unpredictable. 'Houses of the Holy' is arguably the band's most eclectic album, branching into funk and art-rock balladry and metallic prog.
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.
Led Zeppelin weren't a funk band by any stretch of the imagination, but they could sure cook up a deep groove when the mood struck. The No. 16 song on our list of the Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs, 'Trampled Under Foot' is a stand-out from the band's 1975 double-album 'Physical Graffiti' and five-and-a-half minutes of pure sexual adrenaline, and it is, without a doubt, the funkiest these four white Brits ever got.