Very few bands have fewer “deep cuts” than Led Zeppelin. With a paltry total of 73 album tracks over the course of their career (excluding 1982’s Coda compilation) and most of them becoming seminal rock n’ roll tracks, the majority of Zeppelin’s discography has received its well-earned dues.
That being said, there a still a few tracks that may have been overshadowed by colossal hits “Stairway to Heaven” or “Immigrant Song” and we’re going to go through five of them below. Showcasing the versatile, cheeky and adventurous sides of the band, here are a few Zeppelin songs you may not have known that could refresh your playlist.
1. “Wearing and Tearing” (From Coda)
“Wearing and Tearing” is one of the most fierce rockers in Led Zeppelin’s catalog. Despite being recorded during the In Through the Out Door sessions in the late ’70s, the song made its debut on their compilation album Coda a few years later, following the band’s breakup.
“Wearing and Tearing” came at a time when the band’s appeal was being eclipsed by the burgeoning punk and new wave movements. This five and half-minute jam proved that if Zeppelin were going to go out, they were going to do it in a true blue, rock n’ roll blaze of glory.
2. “Carouselambra” (From In Through the Out Door)
“Carouselambra” is among the most experimental tracks Zeppelin ever recorded. The longest track on In Through the Out Door, this groovy 10 and half-minute suite blends a myriad of rock subgenres. Featuring three distinct sections—the first led by John Paul Jones’ sprawling synth riffs, the middle featuring the only album appearance of Jimmy Page’s Gibson double-neck guitar, and the third melding synth sounds with cinematic orchestral elements —this song sees the band at its most daring.
3. “Bron-Yr-Aur” (From Physical Graffiti)
While “Moby Dick” is by far Zeppelin’s most famous instrumental, following closely behind is this track from Physical Graffiti. “Bron-Yr-Aur” pays homage to the rural Welsh retreat wherein Page and Robert Plant wrote the majority of Led Zeppelin III. “Bron-Yr-Aur” showcases a tender side of the band’s musicality, evoking the pastoral setting it was written in.
4. “I’m Gonna Crawl” (From In Through the Out Door)
The final song on In Through the Out Door is rich in lavish synth arrangements and gave fans one last glimpse of the magic that Page and Plant could create together. In “I’m Gonna Crawl,” Plant delivers a powerhouse performance that evokes the soul of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, while Page’s work matches the vocal melody in intensity.
Though not as celebrated as “Fool in the Rain” or “All of My Love,” this track is just as evocative of Zeppelin’s world domination in the ’70s as any.
5. “Ten Years Gone” (From Physical Graffiti)
Capping off the third side of Physical Graffiti, “Ten Years Gone” is a masterclass of Page’s electric guitar prowess and skills as a producer. As Plant contributes lyrics about a lost love with characteristic pageantry (Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn’t have to grow / But as the eagle leaves the nest, it’s got so far to go), Page adds layers of guitar riffs, culminating in a devastating mesh of harmonies.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images