Led Zeppelin's fourth album was released on November 8, 1971.
We have compiled for you 50 interesting facts about one of Rock's greatest albums:
1. The title "Led Zeppelin IV" by which we usually call the album is not the name of the album. The album does not actually have a name.
2. Not only does the album does not have a name, but its front cover does not even include the band name.
3. The original release of the album did not even include a serial number on the cover.
4. And if that's not enough, then even the record company's logo was not shown on the cover.
5. Guitarist Jimmy Page was the one who decided not to give the album a name. He was tired of the reviews the band received following the previous album Led Zeppelin III and the claim thatthe band's success stems from a trend of the "Led Zeppelin" brand and not necessarily from their talent.
6. At first Page thought of creating one symbol to be stamped on the cover replacing the band's name.
7. Eventually Page decided that each of the four members would design a symbol representing him, which would be shown on the inner sleave of the album.
8.Jimmy Page's logo was "Zoso". Page did not provide an explanation for it. One hypothesis is that it is a symbol based on the writings of Aleister Crowley whom Page admired.
9. Another hypothesis is that the symbol was taken from an ancient book by the mathematician Jerome Cardan, from 1557. Cardan was also interested in astrology and used the symbol in the context of Saturn, which controls Capricorn, the astrological sign of Jimmy Page.
10. The symbol Robert Plant chose consists of a feather, sign of the Egyptian goddess of justice Ma’at. The symbol represents truth, justice, fairness and also writing, which is attributed to the planet as a lyricist. The feather is surrounded by a circle that symbolizes life.
11. According to another version provided by Robert Plant himself, his symbol was influenced by the vanishing civilization "Mu" that existed 15,000 years ago.
13. John Bonham's symbol consists of three cross-linked rings respectively and it represents the connection between a man, a woman and a child.
14. The symbol of John Paul Jones, was taken from Rudolf's Koch's "the book of signs" and represents a competitive person, with abilities and self-confidence.
15. The album's credits include a fifth icon belonging to singer Sandy Denny who is a guest on the song "The Battle Of Evermore". Its symbol consists of three triangles that form the shape of an asterisk, so that all triangles have a common vertex.
16. The idea for the symbols was not the only marketing prank associated with the album. During the recordings, the band's manager Peter Grant spread a rumor that the band had disbanded. He was not satisfied with that and also made sure to hide the band members from the public eye. they did not give interviews and were not observed together.
17. As part of fueling that false rumor, the band even turned down an offer to perform live via satellite broadcast, for a fee of $ 1 million.
18. The picture on the album cover is a 19th century painting purchased by Robert Plant at an antique shop.
19. On the back cover of the album you can see the "Salisbury" tower in Birmingham.
20. The painting on the inside cover with the man holding a night lantern is called "The Hermit" and is based on a tarot card of the same name.
21. The fonts in which the song "Stairway to Heaven" is written on the inner cover, were specially designed at the request of Jimmy Page after seeing an ancient inscription from the 19th century.
22. The recordings for the album were made in several studios. The band began recording at the "Basing Street" studio in London. At the same time, "Jethro Tull" recorded her masterful album "Aqualung".
23. On the advice of members of the band "Fleetwood Mac", the recordings continued at the "Headley Grange" mansion in a Victorian-era building in Hampshire. The relaxed and pleasant atmosphere at "Headley Grange" helped a lot in the creation of the band which completed the writing of most of the songs on the album.
24. The song "Black Dog" was influenced by a black Labrador Retriever who walked around "Headley Grange" during the recordings.
25. Singer Robert Plant recorded the vocals for the song in just two takes.
26. Bassist John Paul Jones, got the idea for the song's composition after listening to Muddy Waters' 1968 album "Electric Mud".
27. The a-chapel excerpts at the beginning and end of the song are influenced by the song "Oh Well" by "Fleetwood Mac".
28. The sound of the guitar at the beginning of the song is a recording of Jimmy Page's "warm-up" exercise in playing the guitar. He called it "Waking up the army of guitars."
29. "Rock and Roll" was born during a jam session of the band members during the writing of the song "Four Sticks". The title of the song during the recordings was "It's Been a Long Time".
30. "The Battle of Evermore" was written after Jimmy Page took the mandolin from John Paul Jones, an instrument he had never played before, and began to play with it. The song was barely performed in the band's performances and even when it was performed John Paul Jones sang Sandy Denny's singing roles.
31. Although J. R. R. Tolkien fans see the song as influenced by the "Lord of the Rings" book "Return Of The King", especially in the part on "Battle of Pelennor", Planet claimed to have written "The Battle of Evermore" after reading a book on Scottish history.
32. Planet noted that the song "Stairway to Heaven" was written about a woman who always gets what she wants, but never returns.
33. Although the song was never released as a single in the countries of the world, except for the Philippines, it became the most successful song on the album and even the most successful of the band.
34. Although the length of the song, over 8 minutes, it has also become one of the most played songs on radio stations in the world.
35. It was played so much that Robert Plant even donated $ 10,000 to the KBOO radio station in Oregon so that it would never be played again.
36. There are rumors that the song includes satanic and dark messages if played backwards. It's not!
37. "Led Zeppelin" were not the first to give the title "Stairway to Heaven" to a song. Singer Neil Sedaka did it first in 1960.
38. This song was the basis for an ongoing lawsuit by representatives of the band "Spirit" who claimed that the song was influenced by the instrumental section "Taurus", which they released back in 1968. Listen to it, because despite the similarity the courts thought otherwise.
39. It is possible that the conclusion the court reached lies, among other things, in the fact that the resemblance to the famous guitar strumming existed also in an instrumental section from 1959 called "Cry Me A River" by guitarist Davy Graham.
40. The title of the song "Misty Mountain Hop" is probably influenced by the "Misty Mountain" from the book "The Hobbit". As is well known Robert Plant has been influenced in the past by this book in his writing. The song opens with an electric piano playing by John Paul Jones.
41. The lyrics refer to a rally held in favor of legalizing cannabis in 1968, in which protesters were arrested for possession of marijuana.
43. "Going to California" was apparently written by Robert Plant about Joni Mitchell, with whom he was in love with. A hint of this can be found in the words "To find a queen without a king, they say she plays guitar and cries and sings" which correspond well with the song "I Had a King" by Mitchell.
44. The idea for the song began following an earthquake that Jimmy Page experienced in Los Angeles during the mixes for the album.
45. "When the Levee Breaks" is actually a cover version of a song recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929.
46. John Bonham's drumming in this song follows the guitar riff and not John Paul Jones' bass rhythm. By the way Bonham's formidable drumming in this song was sampled by the "Beastie Boys" in the song "Rhymin & Stealin", which opens their 1986 album "Licensed to Ill".
47. Robert Plant plays harmonica in this song with a "backward echo" effect in which the echo is heard first and then the note being played. Robert Plant's voice is the only one heard in the song at the righr speed of the original recording. All the other instruments were slowed down a bit to make the song sound heavier.
48. During the recordings, the band recorded three more songs that did not enter the album. "Down by the Seaside", "Night Flight", and "Boogie With Stu". These songs appeared four years later on the album "Physical Graffiti".
49. "Boogie with Stu" features the keyboardist Ian Stewart who accompanied the "Rolling Stones". He also plays in the song "Rock and Roll".
50. Needless to say, that this album is on the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time by rolling stone magazine. It is the band's best-selling album. With sales of over 40 million copies, it has become one of the best-selling albums of all times.