Wednesday, May 29, 2024

If It's Wednesday, There Must Be a Stairway to Heaven

From 1989 or '90, and the Australian comedy talk show show The Money or the Gun, please enjoy highly fetching Sydney-based New Wave/power popsters The Whipper Snappers and their adorable take on that insufferable Led Zeppelin classic.

The show must have been a lot of fun, BTW.

Each week a guest would perform their own version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". Versions would occasionally tie in with the theme of the episode ("Guns - the Musical" had a Broadway-style version by Jodie Gilles as the conclusion, while the episode on Australian Comedy had the Doug Anthony All Stars performing it with the assistance of Barry Crocker) but the most surprising of all was the version by Rolf Harris which eventually reached number 7 on the UK singles chart. Generally the performance of "Stairway" would be a break in the program and the artists would have no other part in the program. The CD release won an Aria Award in Australia in 1993 and was subsequently released on the Atlantic Label in the USA though truncated.

I'm told there was also a commercially available video with 27 of the STH performances, but alas, it only made it to VHS.

[h/t Peter Scott]


Gummo said...

This has to be a record - 2 days in a row, you've published tracks I really like.

Reimagining a song so calcified in our collective consciousness is harder than it sounds -- this is a wonderfully irreverent version, and very catchy and fun on its own merits.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I seem to remember stumbling upon the Whipper's rendition of this song, - when I can't recall - thought it was interesting at the time

Mark said...

Still the best version of Stairway, and with Plant, Page, and Jones present, and Jason Bonham on drums.

Alzo said...

You are right, sir. They made the insufferable sufferable. Good Jangle.

Anonymous said...

I still really like Zep's STH, even after a zillion plays, and I really like this version, too; it spurred me to give an ear to some of the other versions from the show, on YouTube, and the Beatnix version was pretty dang good, too, albeit in a novelty song kinda way. This Whippersnappers version, tho, is a legit rethink cover and very good.
C in California

Alzo said...

...and speaking of Jangle, my 20-year-old recently professed a liking for it. So I recommended the Byrds and they now have a new fan. Thought you'd like that.

M_Sharp said...

That's a fine tune, but it just sounds a little weird when I hear those lyrics on it. The original is too ingrained. But they're babelicious, so I don't mind it.

I wouldn't mind hearing that comp, though, it might sound less weird amongst the other covers.

Anonymous said...

C in California -

That Beatnix version is brilliant.

The Whipper Snappers are cuties but the song is too "samey." The girls' vocals could be a little more dynamic. Visually, they take me back to when Sandy and I were in a shortlived, mixed gender new-wave band named the Corks (as in slang for tampons). Though I look more like a cross between Barbara Parkins, Eileen O'Neill and Boxcar Bertha Barbara Hershey.