Note: most Led Zeppelin fans have favorite songs, and most of them are the warhorses"Stairway To Heaven" etc – from the band's 12-year career. This list includes my favorite obscure Zeppelin tracks, those never heard on the radio or other media. My choices also reach beyond Led Zeppelin's lifespan and into the later careers of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, on the theory that, after all this time, the song remains the same.
- Travelling Riverside Blues: This brilliant version of Robert Johnson's licentious blues song was recorded for BBC Radio in 1969, and released only on an Atlantic Records vinyl sampler in the United States. The track remained obscure until 1990, when it was included on Led Zeppelin's 4-disc boxed set, released that year.
- Hey Hey What Can I Do: Influenced by the music of The Band and the southern California rockers, this mandolin-saturated track was recorded in 1970 and only released as the B-side of the "Immigrant Song" single in November of that year. Credited to all four Zeppelin musicians, the track wasn't officially re-released until it appeared on Led Zeppelin: The Complete Studio Recordings in 1993.
- We're Gonna Groove: This hellacious sonic grenade was a one-time Zeppelin show opener. Adapted from a song by Ben E. King, "Groove" is a potent reminder of how ferocious was Led Zeppelin's attack in the earliest days of the band. This concert version from 1970 was treated with guitar overdubs and released on Zeppelin's last album, Coda, in 1982.
- Four Sticks: Totally obscured by the sensational electric madrigals of Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album, this volcanic rhythm track, recorded in 1971, showcases drummer John Bonham's incredible virtuosity and Jimmy Page's symphonic palette of effects designed to achieve an epic grandeur that was unique in the history of the rock movement.
- The Only One: Robert Plant contributed this song to Outrider, Jimmy Page's only solo album to date, in 1988. Featuring John Bonham's son Jason on drums, it gave false hope to legions of Zeppelin fans eager for the band to re-group.
- 29 Palms: Or any of the other tracks on Robert Plant's 1993 solo album Fate of Nations, which came close to replicating where Led Zeppelin might have traveled if the Devil hadn't called in the mortgage in 1980.
- Yallah: The word means "Let's go" in Moroccan Arabic, and so Page and Plant set up shop in the public square of Marrakech with some local voodoo musicians in 1994 and recorded this molten river whose tributaries are to be found in the Atlas Mountains and the hills of Snowdonia in deepest Wales. The track appeared, along with a companion piece, "City Don't Cry," on the excellent album No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded in 1994.
- Most High: Page and Plant made another superb album, Walking Into Clarksdale, in 1998, and this magisterial track sounded like a distant echo of driving to Kashmir back in the day. It's a wonderful hybrid of Moroccan music, Indian orchestration and the legendary troubadours of medieval France.
- Nobody's Fault But Mine: Not the great track from Presence, but a blistering version from Live At The Greek, a collaboration between Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes in the year 2000 that replicated the supercharged energy of Led Zeppelin, and took it even a level or two further, into infinity.
- Harm's Swift Way: The spirit of Led Zeppelin lives on, as long as its former musicians keep making recordings that spark with intelligence and fire. This track, written by the late troubadour Townes Van Zandt, was released in 2010 on Robert Plant's latest solo album, Band of Joy.