Facts About Led Zeppelin IV
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A Tour De Force
“Led Zeppelin IV” showcased the band at the height of their creative powers. Their previous releases were strong efforts but nothing came close to this. At this point, even if they already churned out songs that became instant classics, critics were still left unimpressed. And so this was their answer – heavy-hitting, aggressive, and unapologetic LP.
Even with so many stellar albums released in the ’70s, this stood out. It also cemented their spot as rock deities. Check out these facts about the LP.
7. There were more than eight songs recorded.
There are three songs that didn’t make the cut – “Down by the Seaside,” “Night Flight,” and “Boogie with Stu” which ended up on their sixth studio album Physical Graffiti.
6. The songs were not recorded in one place.
They first started recording at Island Records’ Basing Street Studios, London before moving to Headley Grange. Jimmy Page wanted “the sort of facilities where we could have a cup of tea and wander around the garden and go in and do what we had to do.”
5. The album cover doesn’t have the band’s name.
Neither the title nor their name can be found on the cover but it’s not so much as a direct statement but Page wanted “other people to savour” the artwork.
4. The 19th century oil painting on the cover was bought by Robert Plant at an antique store in Reading, Berkshire.
For the cover shoot, it was then placed on the papered wall of a partly demolished house.
3. “When the Levee Breaks” was difficult to record and it was even more challenging to play in a live setting.
They recorded John Bonham’s drumming in the Headley Grange lobby. Some of the parts were recorded in a different tempo before being slowed down.
2. “Stairway to Heaven” has no hidden messages.
Rumors of a backmasking started in 1982 on a TV program hosted by Paul Crouch. According to them, there’s a Satanic message when the song was played backwards. Although the band members weren’t bothered by it and basically ignored the rumors, Swan Song Records had to release a statement that said, “Our turntables only play in one direction—forwards.”
1. Everyone around them was against the idea of not having a title but Led Zeppelin stood their ground.
In a 2001 interview with Brad Tolinski, Page said: “The cover wasn’t meant to antagonize the record company. It was designed as our response to the music critics who maintained that the success of our first three albums was driven by hype and not talent. … So, we stripped everything away, and let the music do the talking.”