Undoubtedly, Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands of all time. In its day, the band refused to release singles, creating the way for “album-oriented rock.” With its legendary release of Stairway to Heaven, the song went on to become the most-requested and the most-played song on the radio without ever having been released as a single. So when performers attempt to cover this song, they have a huge pair of shoes to fill.
Mary and Ann Wilson of Heart accepted the challenge and dominated. In December 2012, CBS aired its broadcast of the annual Kennedy Center Honors, which awards exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts. That year, the British classic rock band was one of the honorees. To pay tribute, Mary and Ann covered their song, and the result was one of the members being moved to tears.
Stairway to Heaven was released in 1971 and is often referred to as the greatest rock songs of all time. For any guitarist, learning each note of the intro is basically a birthright. When Heart members Ann and Nancy Wilson came on stage to perform their rendition, the result was bone-chilling. Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin’s famed frontman, was overcome with joy when the Wilson sisters were joined by late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s emotional son Jason on the drums.
Musicians will tell you that this is an incredibly difficult song to perform, let alone, perform it live. Its authoritative energy, building climax, and intricate vocals are hard to master, but Ann took full command of the classic tune, leaving the entire audience speechless.
It is one of the best covers you will ever see, and I think the members of Led Zeppelin agree.
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