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An essential Zeppelin digital playlist

1) "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"

From the band's first album, this is a prime example of Jimmy Page's acoustic guitar finger-picking, which is a hybrid of English folk music and the work of groundbreaking players like John Fahey and Bert Jansch, the latter of whom Page idolized. More significantly, this is proof that Zeppelin was far from one-dimensional, and displays in crystalline form Page's credo that the band explored a "light/shade" dynamic in its music. Still chill-inducing nearly 40 years on.

2) "The Lemon Song"

Lord, these four men had their way with the blues. Willie Dixon and Howlin' Wolf writ large and played loud. Bold. From the band's second album.

3) "That's the Way"

Gentle, introspective folk music, again in an open tuning, with beautiful tonal colors and a lambent, wistful lyric from Plant. From "Led Zeppelin III".

4) "Black Dog"

Raw sexuality, and a visceral reimagining of the blues. The main riff comes from Jones. The band interplay is astonishing. Plant sounds completely possessed. From the fourth effort.

5) "Rock and Roll/Celebration Day"

This live one-two punch opens "The Song Remains the Same," and is positively blistering. "Rock and Roll" is Little Richard through a full-tilt Marshall stack; "Celebration Day" is a harmonically dense genre unto itself.

6) "The Wanton Song"

Really, every rock fan with an ounce of self-respect should own the magnum opus "Physical Graffiti," from which "The Wanton Song" comes. But for the purposes of this playlist, grab this track, a swirling, strutting dash of funk, groove, power and passion.

7) "In the Light"

Exotic, long, spacey and based around Eastern modalities, this is Zeppelin doing an incredibly progressive version of what is also, at its core, pop music. Another one from "Physical Graffiti."

8) "Achilles Last Stand"

The brilliantly orchestrated layering of electric guitars over the driving, triplet-based rhythm-section gallop -- this is the very definition of "epic," as it applies to rock. Page wrote a new page in the book with this piece from "Presence."

9) "Fool in the Rain"

Zeppelin does Latin-tinged pop music? Yup. And it positively kills. The midsection near-Samba revolving around Jones' piano gives way to one of Page's finest (and strangest) guitar solos. From, sadly, the final official album, "In Through the Out Door."

10) "Stairway to Heaven"

It has been played almost to death. But this brilliant musical organism can't die. It builds beautifully, is flawlessly composed, impeccably performed and culminates in Page's finest guitar solo. Oft-imitated. Never duplicated.

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