A ballad so says the Merriam-Webster is a slow romantic or sentimental song. We can add to that, in contrast with Led Zeppelin’s, or their peers of heavy music, a light and simple song. And, oh boy, Led Zeppelin were the band that could do that marvelously.
“Stairway to Heaven” is not their only good piece of ballads. Check it out:
In “Led Zeppelin I,” there is the pretty “Your Time Is Gonna Come” and one of the most beautiful keyboard passages and catchy choruses in history of hard rock:
Soon after “Led Zeppelin II” features the beautiful “Thank You” also with remarkable keyboard passages:
In “Led Zeppelin III” there are two great ballads: the blues-based “Since I’ve Been Loving You” where Jimmy Page does his astonishing interventions, and “Tangerine” a very simple, but huge acoustic theme:
“Led Zeppelin IV” is not only “Stairway to Heaven.” “Going to California” leaves its stapler:
And then comes “Houses of the Holy” with two great slow themes: the epic “The Rain Song”and the mesmerizing “No Quarter”:
And the last, but not the least, the song that dared to rivalize in terms of popularity and beauty: “All My Love.” Mr. John Paul Jones shows here everything he’s got: