Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is undoubtedly one of the most iconic songs in the history of rock music. Composed by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the song has been covered by several artists, but only one cover has been approved by Page himself.
At Kennedy Center Honors in 2012, Heart performed a live rendition of ‘Stairway to Heaven’, with accompaniment from an orchestra, two choirs, and John Bonham’s son, Jason Bonham. During the performance, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were in attendance and were impressed by the musicians.
During an interview, Nancy Wilson of Heart confirmed that Plant and Page appreciated the band’s performance. Plant admitted that he had grown to hate the song due to the numerous unsuccessful covers, but Heart’s version had done the song justice. Similarly, Page praised the band for their lovely performance.
“It went off really great. Afterward, the Zeppelin guys each came back individually. Jones was like, ‘Wow, you did a great job’ and Robert Plant goes, ‘Whoah, I learned to just hate that song because everybody murders it – but you did it justice,” she told to Eddie Trunk. “Way to go!’ And Jimmy Page goes ‘You played that great; just lovely.‘”
Apart from being successful, Heart’s rendition of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ also had an important impact. Following the disbandment of Led Zeppelin, Page decided not to allow any other musician to sing the song as he believed that they couldn’t do it justice. He only allowed the song to be played as an instrumental track. However, Heart’s rendition changed his mind, and he approved of it.
While many artists have covered Led Zeppelin’s iconic song ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ only Heart’s rendition has gained the approval of Jimmy Page. This sets Heart’s version apart from the countless other covers that have been performed throughout the years. The rock band, which consisted of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, achieved significant success during their time together and their music continues to be celebrated today.