Traffic Jams: "Night Flight" — Led Zeppelin

Traffic sucks, so why not start your morning off with some music? You provide the toast and we’ll provide the jams.

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My husband and I have been in the midst of an ongoing argument for weeks now. The topic? What constitutes a Led Zeppelin banger. We don’t fight often, but when we do, we’re top-of-the-lungs hollering at each other about classic rock.

You see, he argues that hits like “Black Dog” or “Whole Lotta Love” can constitute a “banger” because they were hit singles. He argues that the music industry of the past would never have allowed most of today’s terrible music to hit the airways, with songs that are relevant for only a week. Instead, a single had to be a longstanding classic with lasting appeal — and those songs are, naturally, The Bangers. The reason they’re still popular today is evidence of that.

I don’t disagree with most of that logic, but I’ve been arguing in favor of some of the deeper cuts. I will never deny myself the pleasure of “Rock and Roll,” but I think that the definition of a banger should incorporate anything that you listen to that makes you say, “oh, hell yeah.” Sometimes, those are deep cuts that never saw extensive radio airtime. But their non-hit status does not mean they aren’t a banger.

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I used “Night Flight” as my example of my argument. Bluesy, with a thick rhythm that makes you just want to close your eyes and swing your hips and a lyrical composition worthy of the rock gods, this song is an unabashed banger. It’s been stuck in my head for a few weeks now, and it’s smack in the middle of what I believe to be one of the most underrated series of songs in music history (from Bron-Yr-Aur to Down by the Seaside to Ten Years Gone to Night Flight to The Wanton Song to Boogie With Stu, oh baby).

“Night Flight” is a banger. Physical Graffiti is a banger. I’ll hear no argument to the contrary.