It must be impossible to pick your favourite child, and we imagine that Led Zeppelin’s guitarist and de facto leader, Jimmy Page has the same difficulty when picking his favourite song or album. However, in a past interview, that’s exactly what he did as he made the ultimate choice and selected his preferred track.
The huge plethora of marvellous Led Zeppelin hits means that the guitar impresario has got many songs to pick from when selecting his favourite—not a great place to be. When you add to this the difficulty music lovers will have with picking their favourite song anyhow, let alone one form their favourite band, and you have a tough choice ahead. The guitarist’s incredible catalogue may make choosing difficult, but Page managed to pick the ultimate Led Zeppelin track and give his fans a taste of his own preferences.
Now, we know what you’re thinking, there are literally hundreds of songs that could be put down here as some of Led Zeppelin’s best but there was only one for Page. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ may have been one of the most influential riffs of all time, something Page commented on back in 2014 saying, “We felt the riff was addictive, like a forbidden thing,” a similar case can be made for ‘Black Dog’, too—but it’s not his ultimate favourite.
He was asked by Rolling Stone in 2012 which song he felt contained the greatest Led Zeppelin riff and his response may well not be what you’re expecting, especially considering the myriad of songs he could have selected. Page, famed for his evolving blues-rock sound instead picked his Eastern-influenced gem from Physical Graffiti, the brilliant ‘Kashmir’, saying quite simply that the track “has to be the one.”
He acknowledges that while his riff may well be the biggest moment on some Zepplin songs, Led Zeppelin would never have reached the heights they did without the rest of the band’s incredible input. “It’s difficult to be asked, ‘What’s your favourite Zeppelin track?’ They all were,” Page told Fricke of Rolling Stone with a knowing buoyance. “They were all intended to be on those albums.” But he decided to narrow it down soon after. “I suppose ‘Kashmir’ has to be the one,” he said.
“All of the guitar parts would be on there,” he said. “But the orchestra needed to sit there, reflecting those other parts, doing what the guitars were but with the colours of a symphony.” John Paul Jones scored the orchestral part of the track with Page working closely with him.
Page was asked how he delivered such sounds, his reply was naturally coy “Riffs come out of the ether, out of nowhere,” he said. “Will you tell me where that is? Because no one knows.” Well, not quite. ‘Kashmir’ had begun its life during some sessions at Headley Grange in 1973 where Page and Zep’s drummer John Bonham, “It’s the first thing I ran through with Bonzo,” Page said.
“I just know that [Bonham] is gonna love it, and he loves it, and we just play the riff over and over and over, because it’s like a child’s riff,” Page remembered. It’s one of the band’s undying anthems and a bastion of what made Led Zeppelin one of the greatest bands on the planet.
Jimmy Page’s favourite Led Zeppelin song of all time