Led Zeppelin - IV (Vinyl)

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Recorded at Headley Grange in Hampshire, Island Studios in London and Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, Led Zeppelin IV is the album that put Led Zeppelin into homes around the world, acting as a successful marriage of the hard rock from their second album with the folkier meanderings of their third. It is an album that demonstrates their subtlety and restraint as much as their stadium-filling grandstanding and it confirmed their superstar rock status. The actually untitled album (it was also known as Four Symbols or The Runes Album), a chart-topper on both sides of the Atlantic, captures the group’s schizophrenia perfectly. On the one hand, they wallop away through genre-defining rock standards such as “Rock And Roll”, “Black Dog” and “Misty Mountain Hop”; yet on the other, they are gentle and restrained on the folk mysticism of “Going To California” and the Sandy Denny co-sung “The Battle Of Evermore.” It is on their anthem, “Stairway To Heaven”, however, that both strands come together in perfect accord. Starting as a recorder-driven acoustic folk ballad, it culminates in its closing minutes as a full-on, much emulated rock classic, with Robert Plant’s vocals and Jimmy Page’s guitar both approaching career-bests. Led Zeppelin IV also demonstrates the singular talent that was drummer John Bonham – the blues driven “When The Levee Breaks” is one of the most heavily sampled drum tracks of all time. With immaculate playing (multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones’ contributions are not to be underestimated, either), a mystically obscure sleeve, and a remarkable range of tunes, Led Zeppelin IV, is still, for many, the best example of the group’s craft. Robert Plant thinks so himself. He has been quoted saying, simply: "the Fourth Album, that's it."


When I was 14, this went in my ears daily and the results were crudely scrawled ZoSo emblems on the desks of my high school. I proudly declared Black Dog to be my favorite song of all time to anyone who asked. I confidently asserted that Jimmy Page was not only the greatest guitarist but greatest musician who had ever lived. I could air guitar every note to the solo of Stairway (as in, I knew precisely when to "bend" a note and accordingly contort my face, when to stop playing, when to bring my hand higher up on the "fretboard" etc) and I displayed this talent many times in my friend Tyler's basement as we'd dance about the room air-guitaring in sync with each other. Once I was hanging out with some friends and a girl I liked and proudly displayed this ability in a pathetic attempt to impress her (?). I can vividly recall my voice cracking while screaming "ZEPPELIN RUUUUULES" at the top of my lungs while sitting in the back row at a pep rally during my freshman year of high school. I had at least four Zeppelin t-shirts, none of which fit me (I didn't realize this), and I made sure to wear at least one a week. I still have a piece of paper scotch taped to my bedroom door with the logo and four symbols on it (I leave it up to remember the old days). I frequently posted on a fansite's messageboard. It was a textbook pubescent suburban American white male lifestyle that I wouldn't have traded for anything. The thought of a few awkward teenagers all sprouting their first moustaches and reeking of B.O. in a basement air-guitaring to Stairway and mouthing every word as if they were devout Catholics reciting the Lord's Prayer almost brings a tear to my eye. That's youth, man.

By: Mookid

A1 Black Dog
A2 Rock And Roll
A3 The Battle Of Evermore
A4 Stairway To Heaven
B1 Misty Mountain Hop
B2 Four Sticks
B3 Going To California
B4 When The Levee Breaks

Printed on front cover sticker:
Includes Stairway To Heaven,
Black Dog & Rock And Roll
Remastered & Produced by Jimmy Page