Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ voted greatest guitar solo ever

1971 track was recently the subject of a lawsuit

Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ has been voted the greatest guitar solo ever.

The track was recently the subject of a lawsuit which the band won after after a jury deemed that the band did not plagiarise Spirit’s song ‘Taurus’.

Now, Jimmy Page’s guitar solo on the 1971 track has been voted the greatest ever by Classic Rock magazine.


Despite the victory, Page disagreed with the accolade. “Is Stairway To Heaven my best Zeppelin guitar solo?” he said. “No, but it’s pretty damn good. The solo was done very quickly – in actual fact there were already layers underneath, the bottleneck you can hear was on before the solo.

“Anyway, I just said, ‘Roll it,’ took a deep breath, that’s what I usually do, and then go. I had a couple of cracks at it because you didn’t have as many options as you would have now. Back then you had 16 tracks and could only put guitar solos down where the vocal wasn’t.

“You’d save maybe three tracks to lay guitar solos into which meant you could have two or three cracks at it and then choose the best.”

He added: “If everyone else says it’s my best solo then that’s great, that’s good, but there are others that I prefer.”

Earlier this year, the band were accused of copying part of Spirit’s 1968 song in a case brought to court by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the late Randy California (real name Randy Wolfe), who played guitar in US rock band Spirit, who had toured with Led Zeppelin in 1968 and 1969.


Shortly after the verdict, publishing company Warner/Chappell Music filed for the reimbursement of legal fees from the claimants, arguing that the lawsuit was frivolous and intended to take advantage of the band’s deep pockets. However, a Los Angeles judge dismissed this argument, saying there was no evidence Skidmore and the trustees “harboured nefarious motives”.

Skidmore and the trustees have already filed an appeal against the original verdict, with their lawyer saying there are “many appealable issues” for him to build a case on.

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