Led Zeppelin, the legendary pioneers of heavy rock in the 1970s, left an enduring mark on the world of music. The quartet – Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham – crafted some of the most iconic guitar tracks ever, from the timeless ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to the energetic ‘Immigrant Song’.
Their musical prowess spanned short and striking tunes to sprawling and immersive soundscapes. Some of their tracks are as extensive as their legacy.
So, which Led Zeppelin songs are the lengthiest studio recordings?
Kicking off the list is ‘In the Light’ from their 1975 album “Physical Graffiti,” clocking in at eight minutes and 46 seconds.
The song featured Page playing his guitar with a violin bow and a lengthy synth-based intro from Jones. Interestingly, Led Zeppelin never performed this song live due to its synth-heavy nature.
Just trailing ‘In the Light’ is ‘Tea for One,’ claiming the fourth-longest spot in the Led Zeppelin collection.
This melancholic bluesy piece concludes their seventh studio album “Presence” from 1976, with a runtime of nine minutes and 28 seconds. In an interview with Trouser Press, Page mentioned that he aimed for a “really laid-back” feel for this track.
Stepping into the top three, we find ‘Achilles Last Stand’ at ten minutes and 31 seconds.
This track acted as both the opener and monumental statement for the “Presence” album. Plant, in an interview with Mojo magazine, described it as a display of their utmost proficiency: “a Bonzo track where nobody could even believe a human could do it.”
Claiming the second spot is ‘Carouselambra,’ surpassing ‘Achilles Last Stand’ by a mere three seconds.
With a length of ten minutes and 34 seconds, this song delves into Led Zeppelin’s history. Plant noted in an interview with Mojo that the lyrics reflect the band’s struggles during that time, capturing the story of their later years. The irony, he says, is that he can’t even make out the lyrics now.
However, the crown for the longest Led Zeppelin song rests on ‘In My Time of Dying.’
Appearing on “Physical Graffiti” in 1975, this track stretches to 11 minutes and eight seconds. A reimagining of Blind Willie Johnson’s gospel blues composition, the Led Zeppelin version takes listeners on a journey far beyond its origins. Notably, Bob Dylan also covered this song on his debut album, but Led Zeppelin’s rendition boasts an epic scope.
To sum it up, here’s the lineup of the longest Led Zeppelin songs:
- ‘In My Time of Dying’ – 11:08
- ‘Carouselambra’ – 10:34
- ‘Achilles Last Stand’ – 10:31
- ‘Tea for One’ – 9:28
- ‘In the Light’ – 8:47