Mostly by way of the refined sense of epic that the band cemented as legendary, this album did it. From “Black Dog” and its nomadic blues, “The Battle of Evermore” lofting hard-rock-CSNY mantras about dragons and dark lords, the heart-on-sleeve twenty-something fingerpicking angst of “Going to California” in search of a “queen without a king,” in a mere eight songs, it captured a tapestry of 70s rock that hasn’t been taken down from the mantle for over 40 years.
Even without “Stairway to Heaven,” this would probably be the case. But for all y’all who’s ever picked up a guitar for the first time, or smoked a joint while your friend first learned to play a guitar, so goes a SONGLYRICS homage to one of the greatest songs and lyrics of all time, maybe about Lord of the Rings, maybe about a soulless woman, definitely about hope and rock and roll:
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all is one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll