In the original Wayne's World, Wayne was taken to task by the owner of what was most likely a Guitar Center for playing the first few notes of 'Stairway to Heaven'.
Rightfully so, I might add.
As classic as the song may be, there are better Zeppelin songs than that one. It just seems to be the most iconic. It is one of those songs no one truly fucks with or even covers.
Or do they????
Almost a decade ago someone dared to take it on and it is anyone in the top 50 list of artists you think might. Sure Shatner comes to mind. Even Nimoy, perhaps. Yankovic might even pop in your head. But it was none of those. Nope.
How about: Dolly Parton??
Yeah, you read that right. Dolly Parton.
It came from her 2002 disk that went back from her schlock country stuff which she has done, to bluegrass. And it works. Mostly.
I would say for the first two-thirds of it (or a little longer) the song totally works in Dolly's favour...and the listener's, if they can open their minds slightly to what many would call a travesty, if they were to look at this on paper only.
Having heard about it, I "shared" this from one of my "peers" on Limewire or some such program. So while I would have been curious, I was never curious enough to pay for it. I suspect some of you are in that same boat.
But if I'm to be honest, when I talk about the last third of the song, it does drag, and I'll get re-beat-up by the high school folks who bled Led, when I say the same is true about the original. It goes on too long and doesn't know how to end - that is, until the last line.
Maybe the song is about America. Maybe it's about the Statue of Liberty. Maybe it is not. I am not really invested enough to care or to even wiki it.
So here is a live version of Dolly singing 'Stairway to Heaven'. I'll give her this, live sounds pretty close to her recorded version, so she doesn't gussy it up in the studio at all. Like it or not, I thought I'd toss it out there for you.
Nice one - gotta love Dolly!
Here is one of my favorite covers of this song:
She performed this live when we saw her at the Hollywood Bowl a few months ago. It actually sounded great, and we were surprised byt it. But I think her best cover is of Shine from Collective Soul. And yes, her bluegrass stuff is fantastic.
I remember a comedy spoof called "Stairways to Heaven' where K-tel was offering a record of various recordings of the song, done by a spectrum of singers.
what a song.
Like Greg said, I think one of her best covers is Collective Soul's "Shine" on her Little Sparrow album. I actually almost prefer it to their original now.
As for Stairway to Heaven... I'm not so sure. Then again, I never liked Led Zeppelin either.
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