The instant classic Led Zeppelin IV turns 46 today, released officially on November 8th, 1971. Packed with some of the band’s most recognizable music, Led Zeppelin was actually in somewhat of a lull when they released IV. Their third album, Led Zeppelin III, garnered something of a lukewarm reception following their first two successful releases, and the band took time off to really define themselves.
Though the album is frequently referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, it is technically an untitled release. The album cover doesn’t even feature Led Zeppelin’s name or the tracklisting, only the artwork seen above and the four symbols, chosen by each of the four band members. The band’s publicists were shocked at their decision, and strongly encouraged them to deliberately represent themselves in an attempt to restore their rock and roll reputation. Despite not listening to the publicists’ advice, the band undeniably revitalized their legacy, proving themselves millions of times over with some of their best music.
“Black Dog”. “Rock and Roll”. “The Battle Of Evermore”. “Stairway To Heaven”. “Misty Mountain Hop”. “Four Sticks”. “Going To California”. “When The Levee Breaks”.
With those eight songs on the album, Led Zeppelin didn’t need to put their name on the cover. “We decided that on the fourth album, we would deliberately play down the group name, and there wouldn’t be any information whatsoever on the outer jacket”, said guitarist Jimmy Page at the time. “Names, titles and things like that do not mean a thing.” Thus, Led Zeppelin IV cemented its place as one of the all-time great efforts in the history of rock and roll.
Take a few moments and listen to this classic album on the day of its release. Enjoy!