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I used to love this song. But I haven't played it for decades. Avoiding this song is one reason I will not listen to classic rock radio. Tonight I decided to give it a spin, but took a slightly circuitous route by playing the version on the live Led Zeppelin album, How The West Was Won.

My reaction was not unexpected. I love the melody, and I love the arrangement, but the lyrics made me cringe, and they still make me cringe. Nonetheless this live version, which I had never heard before, had the good effect of taking back to the day when I saw Led Zeppelin live, way back in 1973 at Earl's Court in London.

At the time I was not a huge fan of the band – never really have been, to be quite honest – but despite the muddy sound and a few songs that evoked more tedium than excitement, I could see why they were so highly regarded. I came away and played Led Zeppelin IV to death, rapidly reaching a crescendo in my appreciation of the band. By 1975, despite the very worthy Physical Graffiti, I'd pretty much heard all I wanted.

And there it stands. I probably won't play Stairway To Heaven again for another 10 years.

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