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davidjdeal

Led Zeppelin IV: 40 years later

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Forty years ago this year, Led Zeppelin issued an album without a name, catalog number, or any other recognizable information on the cover. Can you imagine Lady Gaga being so gutsy to do something like that? I recently wrote a blog post discussing how the packaging of the album contributes to its mystique even in today's digital era. Do you remember what it was like to first encounter Led Zeppelin's fourth album? What was your experience like? Meantime here's my blog post http://superhypeblog.com/?p=5270

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Great blog.

One thing that's always annoyed me though about Led Zeppelin IV.......nobody in 1971 or 1972 ever, EVER called it "Zoso". I had a part time job as a teenager in a large retail record store chain back then. Led IV sold heavily and steadily for the year and a half that I had my job there. Nobody ever walked into any of our stores and asked for..................Zoso. It was always "hey where's the new Zeppelin album or, where's Led IV". NEVER Zoso. When referring to the album, everyone I knew (and even those I didn't really know) always referred to it as Led Zeppelin IV. The record store I first worked at when the album was released had a hand written sign pointing to the album on the new releases rack claiming it to be "Led Zeppelin IV".

Latter day revisionism annoys the hell out of me, sorry.

Edited by dazedcat

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It was the music (some of their best) that made the album so successful not a "marketing ploy". The band released the album without a title nor band name as a statement to the critics.

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It's ironic, isn't it? Led Zeppelin released an album without any information on it to show the critics that its music could stand alone on its own terms -- and the album packaging ended up inspiring a conversation of its own, anyway. The appeal of the music almost seems beyond analysis at this point, but, suffice it to say, the artistic merits of the music are enormous.

It was the music (some of their best) that made the album so successful not a "marketing ploy". The band released the album without a title nor band name as a statement to the critics.

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Thank you for the insight about your experiences selling the album. At what point did customers start asking for "the album with 'Stairway to Heaven' on it?" Was the impact of the song immediate?

Great blog.

One thing that's always annoyed me though about Led Zeppelin IV.......nobody in 1971 or 1972 ever, EVER called it "Zoso". I had a part time job as a teenager in a large retail record store chain back then. Led IV sold heavily and steadily for the year and a half that I had my job there. Nobody ever walked into any of our stores and asked for..................Zoso. It was always "hey where's the new Zeppelin album or, where's Led IV". NEVER Zoso. When referring to the album, everyone I knew (and even those I didn't really know) always referred to it as Led Zeppelin IV. The record store I first worked at when the album was released had a hand written sign pointing to the album on the new releases rack claiming it to be "Led Zeppelin IV".

Latter day revisionism annoys the hell out of me, sorry.

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Thank you for the insight about your experiences selling the album. At what point did customers start asking for "the album with 'Stairway to Heaven' on it?" Was the impact of the song immediate?

Faded memory tells me that around springtime of 1972 is when customers started asking for the single 45 of Stairway. We of course told them there was no single, you had to buy the LP to get the song. Faded memory also reminds me that the two stores I worked at never ran out of the LP, we always had extra copies on hand in the stock room. I quit in the winter of '73 (not enough hours and I needed to save to college tuition) and I honestly recall the album still selling steadily. A couple regular customers had already purchased their second copy, wearing out the first one they bought from us.

Led IV was quite the record, really was.

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As tomorrow (here in the states) Led Zeppelin Untitled (as I will always refer to it) when I bought my album in 1971, and still have it:-) released November 8, 1971. I still think that 40 years later it is IMHO the best overall album ever made. I think of the memories of growing up with this music and hearing STH when it first came out.

I remember asking for the latest Led Zeppelin album and the guy walked me over to it, when I got home I think I literally burned the turntable up as I played it over and over and over. Thank God my Mom understood as I had already played I,II and III as I had bought those earlier in the year and those were also played over and over. I remember pulling her off the sofa and making her dance with me to Rock and Roll and how much fun we had.

Anyway, I wanted to give a big shout out and say that this fan is putting this on again and cranking it up 40 years later....and reminding me of the memories of so many times in my life that this music has always been with me. By the way, still gives me a huge smile :peace:

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40 years is such a long time.

Is this proof of timeless album? When it hits 2021 and it's 50 years old the impact will be the same. It's amazing what Led Zeppelin have done to music and this album is a pivotal point in the history of music and will be remember for century's to come. I know I will be listening to it all day tomorrow.

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I don't understand the wikipedia article, apparently there was an alternate cover of the album, with an image like this?

RWS_Tarot_09_Hermit.jpg

Edited by Driver8

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I don't understand the wikipedia article, apparently there was an alternate cover of the album, with an image like this?

RWS_Tarot_09_Hermit.jpg

"Varied versions of the artwork within the album exist. Some versions depict a longhaired and bearded supplicant climbing at the base of the mountain, while some others do not show the six pointed star within the hermit's lantern. If the inside cover of the album is held vertically against a mirror, a man's face can be seen hidden in the rocks below the hermit. Speculation exists that the face is actually that of a black dog"3132837.jpgLebanese

3264561.jpgIndian

Edited by TheStairwayRemainsTheSame

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40 years is such a long time.

Is this proof of timeless album? When it hits 2021 and it's 50 years old the impact will be the same. It's amazing what Led Zeppelin have done to music and this album is a pivotal point in the history of music and will be remember for century's to come. I know I will be listening to it all day tomorrow.

If I am still breathing at 61 I am absolutely sure I will still be listening to this. My friends all joke with me that I will be in a rocking chair still listening to them:-)..I just nod my head yes and smile!!!! WTLB is on and I am having a hard time sitting here and typing this as I want to get up and move!!! :party:

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A friend of mine worked in Record World in Roosevelt Field Mall, meaning l got a lot of records for free. When LZ IV came out, he brought it over my house to record on my 8-track tape contraption to play in our cars. After Black Dog & Rock and Roll, we both nodded at each other & said YEAH ! Then, after the first few notes of The Battle of Evermore, we both looked at each other and my friend said "Uh oh !" The reason being, at the time, there were always these rumors of LZ "going acoustic". So, it stood to reason that, to us heavy metal (at the time) fans, anything by Zep without crunching guitar, would be received with less than enthusiasm. Funny, but I don't recall our reaction to the first notes of Stairway to Heaven......As far as it being called Zoso, I never actually heard it called that. It was always LZ IV. I've read it in print a million times, but never heard anyone call it that. I actually for years thought the symbol was "Zofo", or that's the way it looked to me.

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Yeah rarely anyone anymore ever calls it Runes or ZoSo, it would be unfair to call it ZoSo anyone considering that's just Jimmy's the official title should be:

ZoSo ring with feather 3 rings and 3 triangles and ring

Edited by TheStairwayRemainsTheSame

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Can't believe it's been 40 years, but I was unaware of it, when it was released being too young to get into something like this at the time. I had never heard of this band, until about the fall of 1976, when I heard the live version of "Stairway To Heaven" from TSRTS, around this time. So in reality, I actually had heard the live version of Stairway from MSG, before the studio version. It wouldn't be until about three years later when I started to get into Led Zeppelin.

One of their best albums as well as diverse. My second favorite, next to Physical Graffiti. Most of the songs on this seminal and monumental work, still get the airplay as they have for nearly forty years. So many influences, from blues, jazz,straight out rock, Arabic/Indian, Celtic and so on are contained here within eight songs. No need to elaborate more as it speaks for itself. I'm sure I'll be giving this a spin tomorrow...and yes I mean spin on my turntable. Only way to give this album it's justice (the way it was meant to be played) on it's 40th! :thumbsup:

Edited by SuperDave

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Driving home today I heard some goofy DJ say that Page & Plant based "Black Dog" on "Oh Well" by Fleetwood Mac and that Page claimed Peter Green was a huge influence on him. All this was new to me, never mind that John Paul Jones is supposedly the architect of "Black Dog."

Has anyone else ever heard this?

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In The Studio With

Led Zeppelin

"These four decades later , it is startling to most fans to find out that the members of Led Zeppelin , particularly founding guitarist/producer Jimmy Page , were growing increasingly harassed by the constant barrage of attacks from the powerful English music press , while in America the then-influential Rolling Stone magazine had accused the British foursome of Page , lead singer Robert Plant, bass player John Paul Jones , and drummer John Bonham of outright plagiarizing several American blues musicians on the band’s second album . So while fans on both sides of the Atlantic made Led Zeppelin’s first two uber-electric blues/rock albums wildly successful , back home the London press bashed the band mercilessly for Led Zeppelin’s unapologetic focus on the much larger North American market , plus a lack of deference to these self-appointed ( and self-important ) kingmakers . As you listen to this week’s classic rock interview with Page and Plant In The Studio, it’s important to realize that this legendary fourth effort was made and released forty years ago this week amidst a defiant siege mentality. - Redbeard"

http://www.inthestudio.net/this-week-in-the-studio/led-zeppelin-4

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Wasn't it a "70's thing" to release an untitled album? Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles both released untitled albums referred to as their White album, yes?That may have been a marketing ploy but, I agree that the music sold itself. Some of the best music ever made came out of the 70's. In contrast,the music written in the 80's made me sad. It was so awful in comparison!

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Wasn't it a "70's thing" to release an untitled album? Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles both released untitled albums referred to as their White album, yes?That may have been a marketing ploy but, I agree that the music sold itself. Some of the best music ever made came out of the 70's. In contrast,the music written in the 80's made me sad. It was so awful in comparison!

The White Album had "the Beatles" embossed on the cover whereas Led Zeppelin IV had nothing written on the cover or spine letting anyone know that it was a Led Zeppelin record. As for it being a "marketing ploy", yes, I'm sure that played a role but it was also Zeppelin's way of sending a "fuck you" to the industry in general. In regards to the 80s, some of my very favorite music was made in that decade. If all you listened to was MTV, then maybe I could understand your frustration but there was much more to the music world back then than MTV. Funny, the people that miss MTV list that as it's "golden age" but they're also the same people that knock the 80s music-wise. Never have understood that. Sounds like an attempt to have your cake and eat it too.

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The White Album had "the Beatles" embossed on the cover whereas Led Zeppelin IV had nothing written on the cover or spine letting anyone know that it was a Led Zeppelin record. As for it being a "marketing ploy", yes, I'm sure that played a role but it was also Zeppelin's way of sending a "fuck you" to the industry in general. In regards to the 80s, some of my very favorite music was made in that decade. If all you listened to was MTV, then maybe I could understand your frustration but there was much more to the music world back then than MTV. Funny, the people that miss MTV list that as it's "golden age" but they're also the same people that knock the 80s music-wise. Never have understood that. Sounds like an attempt to have your cake and eat it too.

Well done Jahfin. Definitely, in agreement. Lots of great music in the 80's, with somewho weren't big staples on MTV from the English Beat, The Smiths, B-52's, REM, U2, Talking Heads and many more. Hitting a blank right now. :bagoverhead: Many more, I'm sure you can come up with that I was into then.

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The White Album had "the Beatles" embossed on the cover whereas Led Zeppelin IV had nothing written on the cover or spine letting anyone know that it was a Led Zeppelin record. As for it being a "marketing ploy", yes, I'm sure that played a role but it was also Zeppelin's way of sending a "fuck you" to the industry in general. In regards to the 80s, some of my very favorite music was made in that decade. If all you listened to was MTV, then maybe I could understand your frustration but there was much more to the music world back then than MTV. Funny, the people that miss MTV list that as it's "golden age" but they're also the same people that knock the 80s music-wise. Never have understood that. Sounds like an attempt to have your cake and eat it too.

Here, here! I agree wholeheartedly. The 80s had some good and bad music as with any decade. C'mon, enough of the 80s bashing!!

I think it was a great way of forcing listeners to shut up and enjoy the music without pretense or prejudice.

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