You’ve heard “Stairway to Heaven” countless times. Maybe you’ve even played it more times than you can recall. But have you ever heard Jimmy Page talk about how the song came together?
In the video below, Page sits down with a copy of the album, a record player and a memory that is long on detail. Recorded by the BBC in 2014, the resulting clip offers an unprecedented look into the making of the rock classic, originally released in 1971 on Led Zeppelin IV.
“This was during the period that we were at Headley Grange that the thing was put together,” Page says, referring to the former poorhouse and orphanage in Hampshire, England, where Zeppelin worked on IV. “It was slightly complicated to be doing this whole thing without a vocal, because at the time there weren’t any lyrics. It was a tricky thing to do because there’s a lot of music and changes in it.”
Page also talks about the contributions of the other band members—singer Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham—to the composition and final track.
“All of this stuff was planned, you know,” he says. “It wasn’t just an accident or everyone chipping in. It really was a sort of design.”
Give it a look—and enjoy.