Song first appeared on: Led Zeppelin's 1971 untitled fourth album, almost always referred to as Led Zeppelin IV
Jimmy Page's classic guitar solo on "Stairway to Heaven" was played on a 1958 Fender Telecaster plugged into a Supro amp. The other guitar parts on "Stairway to Heaven" were played using a Fender Electric XII (12-string).
Page recorded three different solos for "Stairway to Heaven", and finally chose the version of the solo you hear on the current recording, as he felt it best fit the theme of the song.
For live performance of "Stairway to Heaven", Page used a double-necked 6/12 1968 Gibson EDS-1275.
Led Zeppelin began working on "Stairway to Heaven" during the recording sessions for Led Zeppelin III, but finally recorded the song in December, 1970, for inclusion on Led Zeppelin IV.
Claims have been made that "Stairway to Heaven" contains backward Satanic messages, recorded into the song. In high school, I tested this theory myself, playing the song in reverse via a cassette multi-track recorder. During the "if there's a bustle in your hedgerow" portion of the song, there are a few seconds in which the backwards lyrics very vaguely echo "Satan my evil spirit", and "my sweet Satan". Curious, I recorded myself singing and playing that part of the song, and listened to the recording backwards, and found that these lines of dialogue were just as prevalent in my recording. My verdict was that the backwards lyrics were an utter coincidence.