Looking back at the epic “Led Zeppelin IV”

The album was released on November 8, 1971

Looking back at the epic “Led Zeppelin IV”

“Led Zeppelin IV” it’s possibly Led Zeppelin’s most well known album or at least the one that most people starts off with when introduced to the band. Released on November 8th 1971, the album it’s an enduring classic that features some of the band’s most memorable songs including the epic “Stairway To Heaven” that went on to become their signature song. After three successful albums, Led Zeppelin continued the formula of their previous album “Led Zeppelin III” by incorporating Folk music together with Hard Rock and Blues, although “Led Zeppelin IV” it’s a much heavier album.  While most commonly called “Led Zeppelin IV”, Atlantic Records catalogs have used the names “Four Symbols” and “The Fourth Album”. Page decided back in 1971 that the next Led Zeppelin album would not have a title and a cover with no reference to the band’s name neither, instead would feature four hand-drawn symbols on the inner sleeve and record label, each one chosen by the band member it represents. The album has also been referred to as “ZoSo” (which Page’s symbol appears to spell), “Untitled” and “Runes”. Page frequently refers to the album in interviews as “the fourth album” and “Led Zeppelin IV”. Including songs such as “Black Dog”, “Rock And Roll”, “Misty Mountain Hop” and “When The Levee Breaks”, “Led Zeppelin IV”, that has now sold over 37 million copies worldwide, it’s one of the best selling albums of all time. Their first album, “Led Zeppelin” from 1969 always will be the right choice for you to to be introduced to the music of Led Zeppelin, however, “Led Zeppelin IV” condensates a much mature sound of the band that blends almost all genres that were influential in developing their sound. From the classic Hard Rock Blues sound in “Black Dog”, the Psychedelic Folk of “Going To California”, the guitar epic of “Stairway To Heaven”, the 1960’s reminiscence of “Misty Mountain Hop” and the deep involving “When The Levee Break”, this is an essential album for music fans, it crosses the boundaries of Rock, maybe a classic for all times, including those to come.

Side 1
1 “Black Dog” John Paul Jones Jimmy Page Robert Plant
2 “Rock and Roll” John Bonham Jones Page Plant
3 “The Battle of Evermore” Page Plant
4 “Stairway to Heaven” Page Plant

Side 2
5 “Misty Mountain Hop” Jones Page Plant
6 “Four Sticks” Page Plant
7 “Going to California” Page Plant
8 “When the Levee Breaks” Bonham Jones Memphis Minnie Page Plant

John Bonham: drums, percussion
John Paul Jones: bass guitar, electric piano, mandolin on “Going to California”, recorders, EMS VCS 3, acoustic guitar on “The Battle of Evermore”
Jimmy Page: electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin on “The Battle of Evermore”,production, mastering, digital remastering
Robert Plant: lead and overdubbed backing vocals, tambourine, harmonica on “When the Levee Breaks”
Sandy Denny: vocals on “The Battle of Evermore”
Ian Stewart: piano on “Rock and Roll”

Produced by: Jimmy Page
Recorded during: November 1970 – January 1971 at Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, Headley Grange, East Hampshire; Island Studios, London
Released: November 8th, 1971
Label: Atlantic

“Black Dog/Misty Mountain Hop” Released: 2 December 1971
“Rock and Roll/Four Sticks” Released: 21 February 1972

Strongest tracks:

Watch Led Zeppelin performing “Stairway To Heaven” live in 1973 from the film “The Song Remains The Same”

Listen to “Led Zeppelin IV” on Spotify

Watch more Led Zeppelin related videos


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