Possibly the greatest guitarist still alive today, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, turns 77 today.
For decades, Page has graced us with innovative guitar power that had only previously been hinted at. When it comes to guitar solos, Jimmy Page is simply the best. That’s why, in celebration of the rock icon’s birthday, we’ve compiled this list of Page’s top five guitar solos.
Stairway To Heaven (1971)
Before you say anything, we know it’s obvious. That’s why we’re getting it out the way at the start. However, it’s obvious for a reason. The song and guitar work are beyond brilliant. During an interview, Glen Hughes of the band Trapeze talks about hearing the song for the first time, “I’m only 19 years old, and I’m thinking: ‘Bloody hell, this is earth-shattering,’” says Hughes. Fifty years later, people are still saying the same thing.
Dazed and Confused (1969)
Page never stuck to traditional chords or riffs. Instead, he managed to create sounds no one had ever known could come out of a guitar before. Here, he creates otherworldly sounds that haunt alongside lead vocalist Robert Plant.
Since I’ve Been Loving You (1970)
Page proves that you cannot box him into just one musical category. The bluesy riffs of this song are enough to make anyone fall in love.
During an interview, Plant reveals that he believes Kashmir is the band’s best song. “I wish we were remembered for ‘Kashmir’ more than ‘Stairway To Heaven,'” says Plant. “It’s so right. There’s nothing overblown, no vocal hysterics. Perfect Zeppelin,” he adds.
Page also says that he’s proud of the song. “He (drummer John Bohman) started the drums, and I did the riff and the overdubs, which in fact get duplicated by an orchestra at the end, which brought it even more to life. It seemed so sort of ominous and had a particular quality to it. It’s nice to go for an actual mood and know that you’ve pulled it off,” says Page.
Ten Years Ago (1975)
Page originally intended for this song to be an instrumental piece. He recorded around 14 guitar tracks to overdub the harmony section. Plant later added lyrics about an old girlfriend who, ten years earlier, made him choose between her or his music.
Page’s talent cannot be summed up in just five songs. Even if we made a list of 50 songs, we wouldn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what he brought to the world through music. Happy Birthday, Jimmy!