As an adolescent, growing up in Rhode Island in the early-90s, on the local rock station, 94 HJY, each day they had an hour of programming called "Get the Led Out,"devoted to the worship of my rock gods: Led Zeppelin. And each day, I was tickled fucking pink. Mind you, by this point, John Bonham was already a decade dead, and the band's last album, In Through the Out Door was an afterthought (note: I don't count Coda as a real Zeppelin album; it was swag thrown together to honor a contract). As Pearl Jam and Nirvana and grunge began to replace the hair bands of 80s, Zeppelin was already being considered a relic, a staple of your rock diet, but definitely not hip. Jimmy Page was working with David Coverdale of Whitesnake, and Robert Plant had yet to tap the hot indie/folk chick musician market, yet Led Zeppelin was still very much alive in my baked teenage eyes.
As an adolescent, my bedroom was papered with Led Zeppelin posters. When my door was closed, I quietly dreamed of being skinny enough to wear Jimmy Page's jumpsuits with the Oriental snakes and moons and stars and black magic allusions embroidered on the leg. I lusted for Robert Plant's hair---as most women I know, to this day, still do. My wardrobe consisted of torn jeans, flannel shirts, and black Led Zeppelin concert t-shirts, although I did own a couple of Pink Floyd and Guns N' Roses shirts, as well. And I took heed of the advice from Fast Times at Ridgemont High about playing Led Zeppelin when you were alone with your girlfriend. Consequently, I'm sure my high school girlfriends throw knives at their husbands when a Led Zeppelin song plays in the background.
In short, I was all about Led Zeppelin.
I'm now 36 years-old, and I've kicked my unhealthy obsession with Led Zeppelin to cyber-stalk the Red Sox, and, oh, and I have a wife and kids and all that stuff, too. But some days, I just need a taste of my old smack and this morning, when I woke up with a lingering headache, I knew the only way to resolve the problem was to get my fucking Led out.
Earlier today, I asked my close and intimate Facebook friends the question: What Led Zeppelin song would have to be included on the consummate Zep playlist? I limited my list to 15 songs and knew I'd have some tough decisions to make. So I listened to others, drank a lot of beer, and ultimately arrived at the following:
1. "Bron-y-aur" (from Physical Graffiti, not "The Bron-y-aur Stomp" from Led Zeppelin III)
2. "Good Times, Bad Times" (Led Zeppelin I)
3. "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do?" (a B-side of "Immigrant Song" from Led Zeppelin III)
4. "In the Evening" (In Through the Out Door)
5. "Night Flight" (Physical Graffiti)
6. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" (Presence)
7. "The Ocean" (Houses of the Holy)
8. "Out of the Tiles" (Led Zeppelin III)
9. "The Rain Song" (Houses of the Holy)
10. "The Rover" (Physical Graffiti)
11. "Tangerine" (Led Zeppelin II)
12. "Ten Years Gone" (Physical Graffiti)
13. "Thank You" (live version from The BBC Sessions)
14. "Travelling Riverside Blues" (a Robert Johnson cover released as a single)
15. "Whole Lotta Love" (Led Zeppelin II)