Led Zeppelin covers

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I already know that some of you are fans, but, just for fun, which Led Zeppelin songs do you feel David could cover with interesting results?

‘Stairway to Heaven’, obviously? ‘Rain Song’, possibly? ‘Bron-Yr-Aur’, certainly?

Here’s some early footage from back in the day when the world’s television studios were frequently blessed with classic performances, complete with legendary riff, violin bow and some drumming of the highest calibre from the late and always great John Bonham.

Interestingly, on this day in 1973, ‘Houses of the Holy’ began a three-week spell at the top of the US album chart. Four years and two albums later, Led Zeppelin received the Ivor Novello ‘Outstanding Contribution to British Music’ accolade.

If you care to trawl back through the passages of (blog) time, you’ll discover that we’ve already considered the sprawling back catalogues of Elvis, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, as well as the Beatles, Eagles and Beach Boys, but you’re still welcome to add your suggestions.

Alas, there’s no chat today, but the chatroom doors will be heaved open between 14:00 and 16:00 (UK) tomorrow. If you’ve never visited before, drop in.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

99 thoughts on “Led Zeppelin covers”

  1. That ‘Dazed and Confused’ video is awesome.

    I’m a big Zep fan and can vividly imagine David playing ‘Stairway to Heaven’ with just an acoustic guitar.

    I’d love it for David to do an entire concert with just him on acoustic.

    Thanks for featuring one of my favourite bands ever. Zep and Floyd will always be my two favourite bands.

    1. Nice idea, Dunc. If minimal accompaniment would do, how about the MTV Unplugged format? No doubt we could all visualise that, with both solo and Floyd numbers as well as choice favourites.

      Now there’s a topic for another time…

      Do they still do MTV Unplugged? I haven’t watched MTV in years.

    2. An entire concert with just David playing acoustic would be an absolutely great show!

      I’ve heard on a 102.1 out here in Cali, somebody covered Stairway to Heaven with an acoustic guitar and no words. Does anyone know who that was? I personally couldn’t stand it. It was like elevator music and I certainly can’t stand that.

      As for MTV doing anything worth watching anymore, that’s laughable!! Hahaha. They’re absolute crap now.

    3. Let’s not forget DG’s Meltdown and Royal Festival Hall concerts in 2002…

      The majority of the concerts were acoustic.

    4. my favourite bands ever. Zep and Floyd

      I saw both of those bands in 77, and I think only a few months apart. That was a great year for shows!

      However, Jimmy was heavily under the influence, you could say, and was barely able to play. Someone was lighting off fire crackers and pissed Robert off, to the point where he had to have a little talk with them. To top it off, the pyro-technicians prematurely set off the flash bombs on stage, blowing Jimmy back about 10 feet.

      But what the hell, it was still Led Zeppelin.

    5. That would be great if David did an MTV Unplugged type thing. I would love to see him do something with a PF tune similar to what Eric Clapton did with “Layla”.

  2. Led Zep, for me, has always been an overrated band. 😮

    That said, “The Rain Song” is one of the most fabulous songs ever recorded and David would kick ass with “No Quarter”.

    I was fortunate enough to see them for the “Physical Graffiti” tour and it was an amazing concert…

    1. Its just that when I look over their entire body of work there are only two albums that I absolutely love. The rest are just good or O.K. with a few standout songs on them.

    2. I’d probably agree on the studio albums but if you listen to “How the West was Won” you see that they were in essence a fantastic live act (in an era when that counted for a lot) – it also plays as pretty much a ‘greatest hits’, which helps.

  3. Hello Fed, it has been a long time!!!! I’ve been too busy playin’ my Gilmour Strat!!!!

    I’d love to hear David playing “Going to California”, with his Gibson Acoustic and his beautiful voice!!!!!

    1. Seconded! I’m just listening to it now as a friend from Texas has just informed me she is ‘Leaving from California’ today. 🙂

  4. “In The Evening” and “I’m Gonna Crawl” would suit Mr. Gilmour quite nicely. 8)

  5. This weekend was my husband’s funeral (he was 46). For the program I printed the words to “Fat Old Sun” instead of a Bible verse and for the video we used “All My Love” by Led Zeppelin because my husband in 1979 stopped traffic in his 1972 yellow Camero to sing that song to me. It also showed his John Stamos mullet during those years.

    During the eulogy, my brother-in-law mentioned his love of peanut butter and jelly.

    The opening line for the pastor was: “Pink Floyd in the program, Led Zeppelin as a love song, peanut butter and jelly and mullets, we could have been good friends.”

    (Gary, my love, I know you found peace.)

    Thanks for having a Led Zeppelin theme so I could put this in.

    1. My sincerest condolences, tres…

      Gary sounds like a cool cat and 46 is way too young for him to have passed on… stay strong.

    2. …thinking of he found peace and sings with Rick, Syd, Bonzo, Keith, Jim… what a wonderful chorus!

      With love,
      diana

    3. Tres, so very sorry for your loss. The DG blogger community is surely sending you their collective condolences and love in this difficult time.

    4. Wishing you peace and comfort which only arrives with the passage of time.

  6. It would have to be ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and the ‘Song Remains the Same’ version of ‘Dazed and Confused’ for me.

    ‘Bron-Yr -Aur’ would be an excellent choice for an acoustic jam. That is a fun one to play. Incidentally, what is ‘a blue-eyed merle’? Is it dowg?

    1. I should have said ‘Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp’ and to answer my own question, I think blue-eyed Merle was a dog.

    2. Sure was.

      There was an American band called Blue Merle. Does anyone remember them? I always thought the singer sounded a bit like Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

  7. This is a tough one. I’d say ‘For Your Life’, maybe ‘All My Love’.

    That MTV Unplugged idea sounds cool. Solo with no one else. Like the Meltdown shows when he played ‘Shine On’.

  8. … “Immigrant Song” and “Achilles Last Stand” would be my favorites, but Robert Plant’s and DG’s voices are quite different, so that the songs would have to be newly arranged, I suppose.

    Best regards from the rainy Bavaria (where has spring gone?),
    Taki

  9. I would love to hear David play some of those riffs from “Dazed and Confused” and another favorite, “Rock and Roll.”

    David usually peels the notes off so slowly that it’s hard to imagine him playing some of this material, but I’d love to hear him try.

  10. I spotted Mr Plant the other weekend at a local event. I was sure it wasn’t him as I had seen this guy around a few times… turned out it was! He apparently spent the evening guesting on some Reggae covers with a local band in the local pub where I now go… except for that night of course! I’ll be keeping an eye out now. 😉

    I think this is the first video of Zep I ever saw. The perfect audience too. 🙂

    A ‘blue-eyed merle’ is indeed a dog, a tri-colour Collie usually.

  11. I agree with Matt about ‘The Rain Song’ and ‘No Quarter’, but I would also love to hear David do his own version of ‘Ten Years Gone’.

    Fed, MTV hasn’t been about music in years. Shameful… I really liked some of the Unplugged shows too.

    1. MTV hasn’t been about music in years. Shameful…

      So I see. I’ve just had a look at the listings… My Super Sweet 16?! Sounds entirely vacuous.

      There’s also VH1’s Storytellers, of course, which also had its moments.

  12. FEd,

    It’s been a while and I hope all is well.

    Anyhow, I’m choosing one from each album:

    Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
    Thank You
    Since I’ve Been Loving You
    When the Levee Breaks
    The Rain Song
    In the Light
    Achilles Last stand
    I’m Gonna Crawl

  13. Ooo, good to be back at the blog – I think Kashmir and/or The Ocean would make really interesting covers for David.

  14. I think a slower track like ‘No Quarter’ would suit David’s style the best – it’s also my favourite track, especially the live version on The Song Remains the Same.

  15. Pingback: Led Zeppelin News
  16. Whole Lotta Love!

    I know it sounds great with the right Gilmour guitar gear. 8)

  17. I think he could really do “All My Love” justice. It’s such a poignant song but it still rocks.

    I will not share my recurring fantasy about a live version of “Kashmir” with an all star (all-talent) guitar orchestra, Jimmy Page included, but I have that one often. I would have such guitar overload and I definitely think David belongs there.

  18. “Rain Song” would be wonderful. I’d also dig David’s interpretation of “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”, though in his contented state I’d doubt the lyrics would resonate for him.

    Now I’m with Julie, “Since I’ve Been Loving You” would be something to witness as well, though again the subject matter may not be up his alley.

    Love to all!

  19. Ooo, that’s a treat. Noticed Jimmy’s playing a Tele… I know he usually favors his Les Pauls…

  20. Well, to be completely honest, when I think of David I don’t really connect that with bringing the Led out. With that in mind:

    Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
    What Is and What Should Never Be
    The Battle of Evermore
    When the Levee Breaks
    Stairway to Heaven (yes, obviously)
    No Quarter
    Kashmir (oh, what fun things David could do with this)
    All My Love
    In the Evening
    Thank You (can’t you just imagine?)
    Going to California
    Over The Hills and Far Away
    Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp

    Could generate interesting results.

    As for entries not yet explored, why not Genesis? Both Gabriel era and Post-Gabriel. Speaking of which maybe some solo Peter Gabriel stuff? It can’t be any further off base than David and Zeppelin.

    On the Gabriel subject I’m just hoping beyond hope, crossing my fingers twice that these two musical geniuses will collaborate on SOMETHING… really anything would do… I hope it’s not just my rock and roll fantasy.

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

  21. I like Led Zeppelin a lot (not all their songs, though).

    Among my favourites:

    ‘Immigrant song’ – It would be fun to hear David scream on this one 😉
    ‘Kashmir’
    ‘Whole Lotta Love’

    I think David could do great covers of ‘Thank You’ and ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’.

    But my favourite Led Zeppelin song of all time is this one, the beautiful acoustic ‘Going To California’.

    Michèle

  22. Definitely a fan – rarely have power and blues sensibility met quite so well.

    My very favourite track – so naturally one I’d like to hear David have a pop at – is “Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You” – although I think Mr G would need to get past that famous “reserve” of his to cut loose on that one.

    Covers can be an interesting exercise – does the artist re-interpret the song in their own style or use the song as a way of breaking into new territory? Usually the former but in this case I would be interested to see how rough and bluesy David was prepared to get the old black Strat to sound.

    Most good songs can happily convert to a pared down, unplugged version and David has of course done particularly fine work with “Shine On” and other songs in “In Concert” mode.

    Sitting as I am in Nassau airport at the moment, I’ll take the trouble to fish a few suggestions out of the iPod… 8)

    How about:

    “Over the Hills and Far Away”
    “What Is and What Should Never Be”
    “Dazed and Confused” (suitably looooong version)
    “Ocean” (as long as he “threw” those notes a la Page)

    …and for old times sake “Rock’n’Roll” – a chance to get that Macca ensemble back together again. Led Zep weren’t afraid to do a good rock LP medley of old standards, as “How the West Was Won” will testify.

  23. “Over the Hills and Far Away” would be a good fit. And I always thought “In the Light” would be a great song to do with Rick (alas, it’s too late). 🙁

  24. Hi FEd,

    Led Zep and Pink Floyd were and are two beloved bands all over the world: I think they are two different sides of the same soul-rock dimension, with the same “feeling sound”.

    David could cover with brilliant results “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” for that little drop of blues inside. But I think “No Quarter” too, could reserve a delicious surprise because David’s voice nuances got some sadness day by day as time goes by.

    In my very green years (1975) I wrote for an Italian magazine and lived in London since 1972 so I remember very well stages and backstages in those days and – considering some IMPORTANT differences – (ways of life and attitudes) girls, fans and groupies had a similar trends of love for “our” forever young bands.

    With a lot of (happy) memories,
    diana

  25. Great vid.

    Led Zeppelin totally ruled! John Bonham was the man when it came to playing rock drums. Just amazing.

    Thanks.

  26. Thank you all for your condolences!!

    When the final conversations would get too heavy of him being scared he actually would talk about letting Syd and Rick know about how much I love their work. It gave him something to look forward to.

  27. I actually did not care for Zep during my younger days. As I’ve grown older I’ve developed a much deeper appreciation for their music. They are indeed rock behemoths.

    I would say that Zeppelin is one of those bands whose music wouldn’t translate that well for Gilmour. I don’t know why, but I can’t picture him playing much of their music and not sounding out of place.

    Having said that, I’d love to hear him give The Rain Song a go.

  28. Hi everybody,

    “Over The Hills and Far Away” and “Going to California” are the ones I love most.

  29. Great topic today, Fed.

    I think David would be best playing slide on “In My Time of Dying.” Can’t you just see him on stage sitting behind his lap slide with John Bonham behind him?

    “Oh my Jesus” indeed.

    1. Hey Bob! You just swam through my brain yesterday and I got to wondering how you were. 😀

      Nice to see you again. Hope everything’s just groovy! 8)

  30. Over the Hills and Far Away.

    David could do a lot of Zep stuff, hard to choose.

  31. I love Led Zeppelin – another fantastic band.

    My first choice – as for many others here – for David would be “Going to California” but also “Thank You” would be a very good song to cover.

    I saw Robert Plant last year together with Alison Krauss and he still rocks.

  32. It would be interesting to hear David’s interpretation of Achilles’ Last Stand, done in classic PF half-time. Of course, as with any Zep covers, he would likely have to adjust the key to suit his vocal range.

    Down By the Seaside may work as well, just to hear those Country-tinged guitar bits.

    I wonder if any of these cover suggestions are carried out in some of those famous “Barn Jams”…

    Cheers;
    Bill C

  33. 13% of Bloggers are not fans of Led Zep, surely not. And I can’t agree that they are over-rated. As someone who saw them in concert, please be assured that they are very under-rated. Floyd, Who and Zeppelin remain the mightiest of the mighty and there are no bands around today who come even close.

    It would be nice to see David tackle All Of My Love and/or Ten Years Gone.

  34. For Dave to cover with great results: Thank you, Good Times Bad Times, Tangerine

    For sheer fun: Rock and Roll

    As an absolute must: When The Levee Breaks (one of my favorites), Going To California

    For blues fun: I Can’t Quite You Baby, Since I’ve Been Loving You

  35. I would love to hear David’s rendition of When the Levee Breaks. I love that song.

  36. Saw them on tour for II, (not braggin’, just sayin’), so I’ll go with ‘The Lemon Song”. Endless possibilities there for David to dazzle-on-demand.

  37. I had the pleasure of seeing the original band for the Physical Tour in Montreal and the last tour in Detroit.

    My best twin friends were Zep freaks and I was the Floyd fan. We went to several concerts to support both.

    For myself, Since I’ve Been Loving You and Kashmir would be my faves for David to play. On acoustics would be Going to California and Thank You.

  38. I’d love to hear David play “Down by the Seaside” from Physical Graffiti.

    Henning

  39. I just had to do it.

    I just had to put on ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’. Man, I wish these goosebumps would go away. Gosh, I love music. It really moves me.

    Robert Plant does this blues song such justice.

    Oh, no! Now the tears are coming.

  40. Since I’ve Been Loving You would be awesome – David excels at anything blues-tinged.

    No Quarter would be very interesting too, as it has a certain dark side to it.

  41. I like Led Zep but I am having real trouble seeing David perform any Led Zep song.

    It must be an imagination breakdown.

    1. I agree with you Graham but only from a vocal perspective. To me, David doesn’t have that hard, bluesy voice like Plant. I can’t see him making those same gutteral sounds from deep down. Face it, Plant’s performance is very sexually charged and David is way too private and reserved for that.

      However, I do see him playing some of Page’s licks. Since I’ve Been Loving You and Rock and Roll come to mind as two songs David could pull off.

      So who would do the vocal duties?? Guy Pratt?? Nah….

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    2. Robert Plant covered ‘If I were A Carpenter’ (originally composed by Tim Hardin) in such a beautiful way. Listen to it here.

      I think that David’s voice would sound wonderful on this one.

    3. So who would do the vocal duties?? Guy Pratt?? Nah.

      😀 That was a good one!

      Taki

  42. Turned the radio on one day last week to catch a celebrity picking his favourite songs just in time for ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Listened and enjoyed and said to hubby, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to hear David have a go at that one?’

    So that would definitely be my choice.

  43. My Zep story while we’re sharing…

    I was walking home from track practice in my track uniform when some friends pulled up and said they were on their way to see Led Zep and they had an extra ticket as someone else had bailed. I immediately got in the car and off we went. I never called my folks and naturally caught a verbal beating and grounding when I finally arrived home at 1 am but I didn’t care, I saw Led Zeppelin! 8)

  44. Hello everyone.

    I think all of these choices are amazing. I don’t think anyone mentioned Big Log from Plant’s first solo record… as far as guitar playing goes. That guitar tone would suit DG quite well IMO. Love the song.

    I never had the pleasure of seeing the original Pink Floyd or the original Led Zeppelin. I was born in 1968 and grew up in Mobile, Alabama and was a little young for those concerts. And they never toured anywhere near there (although I understand Zep had a pretty amazing show in Mobile in 1973… I was 5 so there ya go). Having said that, I have seen DG quite a lot and Roger Waters a lot and Robert Plant a lot and Plant and Page together a few times. Plant and Alison Krausse here in Nash last summer… amazing band that toured with them. All were absolutely amazing but I only wish I could have had the experience of the original line-ups.

    Matt, that is fantastic… parents got over it but you will always have that Zeppelin memory. Priceless! What tour was that?

    Blake in Nashville

    1. Big Log absolutely. But Tall Cool One? I’m not thinking so.

      By the way, I kinda like the idea of David doing an instrumental album of covers. Something like what Peter Frampton did with his release Fingerprints.

      What do people think about that??

      Thanks.

      Andrew

  45. As the live version of No Quarter from the Song Remains the Same film has to be one of my favourite guitar solos ever (even though you don’t get to see Jimmy Page actually playing the bloody solo in the film), I would like to see/hear DG playing that track. I would imagine it would sound better with a Les Paul than a Strat though… or maybe even on that frying pan thing Mr Gilmour uses on Then I Close my Eyes. 🙂

  46. It’s good to be back to the Blog and find you’re talking about Led Zeppelin. 🙂

    It’s hard for me to imagine David singing on their music, for the same reason expressed by Andrew, but I can easily imagine him playing on some of their songs such as “The Rain Song”, “No Quarter”, “Good Times Bad Times” and, even if it’s obvious, “Stairway to Heaven” and “Bron-Yr-Aur”.

    I also agree with Michèle who said that Robert Plant’s cover of “If I Were a Carpenter” is beautiful and could be suitable to David’s voice.

    Some other Robert Plant songs could be “Memory Song (Hello Hello)” and “29 Palms”.

    1. It’s good to be back to the Blog

      Hi, Alessandra, I was just wondering where you were…

      If you were on holiday, I hope you enjoyed yourself. 🙂

      And what do you think about this song by Robert Plant: ‘Shine It All Around’? I love it.

    2. I wasn’t on holiday, unfortunately, just very busy and rarely at home. It’s very relaxing to be here again. 🙂

      Thank you for the link, another great song.

  47. Roy Harper featured with both Zep and Floyd, and I have to say “One of those Days in England” would permeate any collaboration, David on Vocals, Jimmy on Guitar, or Robert on Vocals, David on Guitar.

    Also a lot of the solo material Robert has put out does stand up on its own, and the direction Robert has taken it to an audience is to be applauded. He has mostly shunned the bigger arenas for intimate gigs, something that appears to appeal to David. Hats off to the both of them.

  48. I’d love to hear David put his unique musical imprint on these songs:

    Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You
    The Rain Song
    Kashmir
    No Quarter

    My best to David, Polly, the Mighty FEd 😛 , and all the Irregulars!

    Peace. 🙂

  49. ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ would be my ultimate choice of Zep track for David to cover. But he could cover virtually the whole of their catalogue with ‘interesting results’.

    Other notable favourites of mine would have to be:

    Rain Song
    Tangerine
    That’s The Way
    Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
    What Is And What Should Never Be

    D’Yer Mak’er would be an interesting, fun one.

  50. ‘Ten Years Gone’ and ‘Thank You’, my favorite Zeptunes. 😛

  51. If I remember well, Dave took part – some years ago – in a remake of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” with Blackmore and many fellows.

    Could be interesting to hear another giant piece of Rock History played – entirely this time – by Dave.

    I think he could play “Stairway to Heaven” mixing a “Wish You Were Here” flavoured intro with a more “The Wall” sound in the developing and overall in the coda with a “Comfortably Numb” inspired razor guitar solo.

    Hoping to have it ready to download as soon as possible on iTunes. 🙂

  52. For David… Hmm…

    Would be nice to hear his version of Since I’ve Been Loving You. Just instrumental. It’s typical blues, that’s why I think it will fit David…

  53. What about “Tea For One”? No one mentioned it.

    It could be interesting, David on that one, in my opinion at least.

  54. Don’t care what David would cover, as long as I could see him jamming with Jimmy Page. That would be awesome, to see two of the worlds greatest guitarist together! They could do both Floyd and Zep songs?

  55. Obviously “NO QUARTER”, the most ‘Pink Floydian’ among LZ songs!!

  56. Over the Hills and Far Away and Down By the Seaside would be crackin’!!!

  57. Personally, I would just rather hear David do his own thing, be it blues or his spacey sounding songs. Led Zep has their own thing and David has his.

    But as far as acoustic vs electric, I will never tire of him playing his “Strat”.

  58. I’m a huge Pink Floyd and Led Zep fan and would love to hear what David could do with “Since I’ve Been Loving You”.

    Can you imagine the sustained and note bends that he could do on it… could you imagine a duet with David and Jimmy?

    Now that would be music. 8)

  59. As Percy Plant grew up in my hometown of Halesowen and I was at Stourbridge college with his daughter, I would have to nominate ‘Black County Woman’.

  60. No Quarter!

    Back in the 70s I made a mix tape that had 4 songs on side 2 (45 minutes) that still sounds great today. Very different artists who all seemed to capture the same groove in these live performances.

    It was:

    1. Fat Old Sun (a live version circa 1970)
    2. No Quarter (from the live Song Remains the Same)
    3. Fat Angel (Jefferson Airplane live cover of a Donovan song from “Bless Its Pointed Little Head”)
    4. Going Down the Road Feeling Bad/Not Fade Away (Live Grateful Dead – Skull and Roses album)

    If you have these recordings, try them in this sequence for a great listening experience.

  61. How much would the banner that hung on stage behind Led Zeppelin at their 1977 Omni Concert in Atlanta, Georgia be worth to a collector? It is in very good condition. Or does anyone know a collector that could contact me?

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