Which Songs Have Made Led Zeppelin the Most Money?
Just as "Stairway to Heaven" has regularly topped classic-rock radio countdowns of the greatest songs ever made, it's also Led Zeppelin's most popular track in the digital age.
A new ranking based on revenue generated from consumer requests estimates that the Led Zeppelin IV song has earned the band close to $3 million over the past 11 years.
Billboard has taken data from Nielsen Media that computes online sales and on-demand streams of 94 Led Zeppelin songs from November 2007, when their catalog first became available on iTunes, through July 12, 2018, with streaming starting in December 2015. They applied per-song rates based on whether it was purchased or streamed (in both audio and video formats) and tabulated the results.
Because the study wanted to measure the popularity of each individual song with fans, programmed streams, radio play, full-album sales and physical sales weren't included. Instead, it included only those moments when a customer decided which song they wanted to play. Billboard didn't distinguish among multiple recordings of the same song, like the original release, live takes, bonus tracks, etc., and combined all the versions into one.
"Stairway to Heaven" blew away the competition, earning the band $2,903,223.42. That's more than twice as much as "Kashmir," which is No. 2 with $1,421,130.32. Coming in at the bottom of the list, with only $241.20 earned, is "Swan Song," a Physical Graffiti outtake that never got an official release, though it was reworked into the Firm's "Midnight Moonlight." The song appears on YouTube as a bootleg.
You can see the Top 10 below. The rest of the song rankings are at Billboard's site.
Top 10 Led Zeppelin Song's Ranked by Fan-Chosen Online Revenue
1. "Stairway to Heaven" ($2,903,223.42)
2. "Kashmir" ($1,421,130.32)
3. "Immigrant Song" ($1,306,140.94)
4. "Black Dog" ($1,167,232.19)
5. "Whole Lotta Love" ($1,034,129.29)
6. "Ramble On" ($888,793.61)
7. "Over the Hills and Far Away" ($757,125.57)
8. "Goin' to California" ($694,689.56)
9. "Rock n' Roll" ($636,985.97)
10. "D'yer Mak'er" ($553,459.73)