About eight or nine years ago, armed with a Sound Blaster 1.0 and a simple tape recorder, I pondered the mysteries of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven. Extremely popular back when it was released, still very popular today, it's often the first song that up and coming headbanger guitarists learn to play.
Stairway to Heaven is also rumored to contain hidden messages when the music is played backwards. Is there any truth in that statement? Perhaps, perhaps not. The only way to know for sure is to listen to it backwards yourself and be your own judge without anybody else to cloud your judgement. If someone tells you what you will hear, chances are good you will hear it. Being unwilling to record the entire length of the song into a CD quality wave file (about 75 megs) I just randomly grabbed some samples here and there. The first clip (where Robert Plant sings "oooooh, really makes me wonder") wasn't chosen accidently. Eight or nine years ago I chose that particular clip randomly and listened to it. The second clip, ("your stairway lies on the whispering wind") was chosen semi-randomly. I was sampling various parts of the song and I just happened to catch that one.
Submitted for your consideration are the two clips from the song. The original clips were 44khz 16bit stereo recordings directly from an mp3 of Stairway to Heaven. Each clip is 12 seconds in length, roughly 93k after being converted into 8khz 8bit mono recordings. The first six seconds of music are the particular clip played forwards, the following six seconds of music are of the previous six seconds being played backwards, back to back. Sure, that's a significant sound degradation, but it still takes nothing away from the clip itself. If you want, you can take your favorite wave file editor and play the clip backwards. Barring any loss of quality caused by the conversion, the clip should sound exactly the same in both directions.
"Really makes me wonder"
"Your stairway lies on the whispering wind"
While I cannot verify the authenticity of the mp3 itself, it would seem logical that the music is unmodified. After all, why go through that kind of trouble for a lousy controversy.
Enough Suspense, what are they saying???"