With sales of 37 million copies making it the eleventh biggest selling album of all time, there's not much that hasn't been said about the colossus of Led Zeppelin's ground-breaking forth album. The untitled set, most commonly referred to as 'Led Zeppelin IV' is one of the most significant releases in music history. A hugely influential set, 52 years after its initial 1971 release, it remains a striking piece of work.
A cursory glance at the track listing tells you all you need to know. Opening with an a cappella Robert Plant in his exuberant seventies' pomp, and one of Jimmy Page's finest riffs, the call and response perfection of 'Black Dog' is followed by the archetypal 'Rock and Roll'. With 'the folksy 'The Battle of Evermore' sandwiched in between these and the one about "the lady who knows all that glitters is gold", side one alone contains arguably the cornerstones of an entire genre.
This was Led Zeppelin rising to their powerhouse peak as one of the greatest rock bands ever, and while less celebrated, side two isn't much far off side one's monumental achievements. With the beautifully whimsical 'Going to California', the awesome power of the John Bonham showcase 'Four Sticks', and the hypnotically propulsive 'When the Levee Breaks' all within its grooves, it may just be the most perfect set of songs the band ever released.
Pressed on stunning crystal-clear, 180g vinyl, although over five hundred different vinyl pressings have been produced over the years - according to Discogs - this release marks the first time that a transparent version has officially been made available.
Reissued in conjunction with Rhino Entertainment, 'Led Zeppelin IV' is one of ninety albums which comprise the year-long campaign. Spanning the entire history of Atlantic Records, from its earliest days until the present, the series encompasses iconic and acclaimed albums, many of which have never been available on vinyl. The series has been curated by Atlantic Records Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman, who – in addition to his role as the label’s chief executive – is one of the world’s foremost audiophiles.
Other releases in the series available now include Yes's 'Fragile', Halestorm's 'The Strange Case of…', Stone Temple Pilots' 'Purple', and Phil Collins' 'No Jacket Required', with Led Zeppelin 'IV' available on 27th October 2023.
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