Is there a feeling you get when you look to the west? Is your spirit crying for leaving? Then you're probably already aware of your connection with the enigma that is Led Zeppelin. A mere mention of the name conjures images of devil worship, Norse gods, debauchery, and velvety moon pants. From the bluesy, humid, voodoo oozing swamps of the deep American south, to a Shangri-la beneath the summer's moon; Zeppelin had a penchant for painting musical landscapes in the mind of the listener. Whether whaling out lamentations of the afterlife or hopping over misty mountains, their music can take you from "the very depths of your soul" to the "springtime of (your) loving".
Though they may have dabbled in the work of Aleister Crowley, and written some of their most commercially successful pieces by way of automatic writing, there is a deep rooted, forward facing message that transcends all hype: love. Rock & Roll image aside, Led Zeppelin's journey was as much a spiritual one as it was physically and musically.
Their music became an expression of the spiritual journey they had found themselves on. A spiritual undertow that can unknowingly drag even the most conscious listener out to sea under the hail storm of menacing guitar, beautifully orchestrated movements, heavy drums and other-worldly vocals. Volumes could be written about the depths and heights of Zeppelins catalog, but since "the hand on the clock just don't seem to stop" and time is not an easy commodity to come by, we did our best to contain our list to the top 5 Zep songs that take us to a higher plane. We hope you enjoy reading the list as much as we did writing it.
1. In The Light
The first selection is arguably the most spiritually potent and honest songs ever recorded. It comes off their most ambitious album: Physical Graffiti. With the haunting synthesizers and Organ work that plays like incense burning in the halls of some ancient temple and lyrics that read like religious text, this 8 minute and 46 second masterpiece is sure to take you on a metaphysical journey. We start our journey in these dark halls of sound, dimly lit with these flickering lyrics to guide us through "And if you feel, that you can't go on, and your will is sinking low. Just believe and you can't go wrong, in the light you will find the road". Just have FAITH, just believe. In what? "In the light you will find the road". Whats the light? We light the path of our own spiritual journey with love. Instead of placing our faith in the darkness, in fear, we are told to put it in the light: a task much easier said than done a times. As the song progresses we find ourselves descending deeper in the darkened temple, the music becoming heavier and overbearing. Then suddenly the music breaks, and we've entered the holiest of holy realms. The chorus feels like a well adorned room of Akashic knowledge, and splendid light. "When love is pain it can devour you, if you are never alone"... This song is all about your own spiritual journey and how to light your way.
2. The Rain Song
A most beautiful and all encompassing love song off of Houses of the Holy. Each progression in the song like the subtle changing of weather from season to season, bringing with them their own beauties and tragedies. Beginning in the spring, the notes almost make one feel like budding flowers in the warm sunshine. The delicate notes of the piano play like delicate drops of rain. Crashing symbols and drums usher in the coldness of winter. In love and life, we go through different changes in emotions. We can learn how to take these cycles in stride, like the changing weather. "I see the torch we all must hold" - no matter how bad the coldest winter night gets, its our duty to carry the torch, preserve our light and illuminate with love. "These are the seasons of emotion" and "upon us all just a little rain must fall". There's no use in battling these changes in life just like there's no use trying to prevent summer from turning to fall, fall to winter. It gets cold but we have faith the summer will return again.
3. The Rover
Dark riffs, heavy drums, and a steady driving bass line compose this heavy but often overlooked masterpiece. This second selection also comes off Physical Graffiti, and nothing about this sound makes us feel like we're flying to a higher plane, but maybe sinking to another realm. Que the lyrics. "The flat worlds flyin', there's a new plague on the land" - rolling into 2017, i'm sure you've heard of the flat earth movement, but could that really be what Led Zeppelin was referring to here? Very possibly. Whether you subscribe to heliocentric or Geocentric earth, "If we could just join hands, if we could just join hands" i'm sure we could figure this out, right people? "That's all it takes". "Is the new world rising from the shambles of the old?" One can only hope. The message of joining hands and uniting reigns true especially today, with division and disunity being used as a for profit organization in our minds...
4. Going to California
This song. This song speaks. Especially the first two lines, but this isn't the place for that story... All kidding aside, this song is off the album "VI" and is one of the most beautifully introspective songs ever written. The depth of the acoustics accompanied by the tragic hope of a mandolin, sets the tone. "Mountains and canyons start to tremble and shake, as the children of the sun begin to awake" this particular lyric is open for interpretation given its symbolic nature but we cant help but relate to the deeper inner meaning this line holds for each listener. Could he be singing of the early morning earthquakes and tremors experienced by Californians due to the San Andreas fault line? I suppose, but its unlikely. Favorite line in the song -"standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams, telling myself its not as hard as it seems"-, put your hand in the air if you know this feeling well, we certainly hope you do.
5. Fool In The Rain
A Latin samba inspired beat, playful Jamaican xylophones, reflective lyrics with a dry English twist, and the fuzziest guitar solo ever combine to create a song that, well, makes us feel like we're a lovelorn fool running about in the rain. With lines like "there's a light in your eye that keeps shining, like a star that cant wait for the night" and "the warmth of your smile starts a burning, an the thrill of your touch gives me fright" its easy to understand how this endearing song made the list. Full of passion, wonder, and worry, this song takes us through the desperate inner thoughts of a man who gets stood up. Or so he thinks. Reaching and grasping at straws, he decides to wait "another ten minutes no longer, then i'm turning around, round". By the end of the song he realizes that he's "just a fool waiting on the wrong block". We're glad he realized the error of his ways, but without this blunder we would never have been witness to the captivating thoughts of a dear fool, "an the thoughts of a fool gotta count".
The brush was their respective instrument, the paint was love, and the canvas was in the minds of millions. The hand was, of course, the hand that sews time.