Those shadows aren’t so tall

Once again, it’s that time of year:

Classic rock radio stations — both on terrestrial and satellite radio — will present their “Greatest Rock Songs of All Time” list, also known as “Why Do We Even Have You Send In Your Votes When The List Is The Same Every New Year’s Eve?” holiday playlist. You know, the one where the listeners send in their top five or ten classic rock songs, the station tallies up the votes and you get a bunch of people rocking into New Year’s Eve to “Stairway to Heaven.” Sometimes a new song will poke its head into the list but more often than not it’s something like Nickelback, which tells you all you need to know about the people sending in their ballots.

Is there anyone over the age of twelve who does not already have a copy of “Stairway to Heaven”? The older ones probably ponied up for the fourth Zeppelin album, the younger ones probably heisted it from some Web site with “mp3” in its URL; but regardless of demographic, nobody can possibly have been waiting a whole year to hear this drippy Druid chestnut.

If I have to count down to the New Year with classic rock, I’m starting at 11:51:30 pm on the 31st, with a single song — which, albeit in butchered form, was actually issued as a single, which “Stairway” generally wasn’t, except for a handful of DJ promo 45s — that ends with a proper burst of noise instead of a plaintive solo voice lost in the dropping of the ball. Meet the new year, same as the old year.


  1. McGehee »

    11 December 2012 · 8:08 am

    Is there anyone over the age of twelve who does not already have a copy of “Stairway to Heaven”?

    My brother had a copy of the album “Stairway” was on. When I was twelve. Does that count?

    Last time I heard the whole song was years ago at a bar in Birmingham that had a karaoke machine. Poor guy gave it all he had though.

  2. McGehee »

    11 December 2012 · 8:10 am

    …but I most certainly do have a copy of that other song, and played it for my own personal enjoyment just a few days ago. The beards do just keep getting longer.

  3. fillyjonk »

    11 December 2012 · 8:33 am

    I will observe I think I enjoy these playlists more than the obligatory “countdown of the 10 biggest news stories of the past year.”

    Though hopefully this year, “The world didn’t end like lots of people believed” will be on that list.

    Also: I’m over 12 and don’t own a copy of “Stairway.” But then we’ve already established that I’m abnormal.

  4. KingShamus »

    11 December 2012 · 8:50 am

    I am older than twelve and I have at least two copies of ‘Stairway” lying around somewhere.

    If it really is the end of the world this year, I say we get the party started and crank the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

  5. nightfly »

    11 December 2012 · 11:21 am

    The local classic rock outfit here runs this countdown over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, #1 is always Stairway. One year, however, the DJ announced an upset winner, and then played “Don’t Pull Your Love” by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds.

  6. Baby M »

    12 December 2012 · 12:42 pm

    I prefer the Rodrigo Y Gabriella acoustic instrumental rendition to the Led Zeppelin original, but you also have to respect the Rolf Harris cover version.

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