| It was on this date, Nov. 8 1971, Led Zeppelin released their fourth album. With no title printed on the album’s cover, it is the biggest selling L.P. In Rock history that was never legally titled! Nope! One of your all time favorite album’s, simply has no title! It was generally referred to as “Four Symbols”, ( a reference to the four original hand drawn images that appear only on the album’s inner sleeve and label. ) “The Fourth Album” or Led Zeppelin IV
However, even without an official title, the record has gone on to sell over 37 million copies worldwide! The front cover features a 19th century rustic oil painting which was purchased by Robert Plant from an antique shop in Reading, Berkshire, England. The back cover reveals a 20th century urban Apt. tower block ( see below ) located in Butterfield Court in Eves Hill, Dudley, England. According to the band, the contrast of the two photos was to represent the diversity and timeless nature of Led Zeppelin! Got it ? Nah, we didn’t either! Much to the horror of the bands record label, Atlantic, the entire album, front and back contains no text, not even the standard catalog number on the jacket’s spine! YIKES! The only graphics beyond the photograph’s front and back is the album’s “Inner sleeve” which features four unique hand drawn symbols that were individually created by each of the four members! AND, here is an SMS Trivia note you may not be aware of: The inner sleeve actually features a FIFTH symbol! ( an image resembling three upside down triangles) This extra image is meant to be an asterisk, referring to vocalist Sandy Denny from the band Fairport Convention! In an unusual move for “Zep” they brought Sandy in as a guest vocalist on “The Battle Of Evermore” THE “FIFTH ZEPPELIN” so to speak! So, naturally Sandy deserved her own symbol! Right?
But, hold on Black Dog, no need to run and rifle thru your old vinyl to check out those weird images, we’ve included the four original drawings and yes, the one you don’t remember that represents Sandy Denny
“20th century back cover”
These four are THE ZEP’S
Lto R; Page, Jones, Bonham and Plant
The triangles are Ms. Denny
Yes, each symbol was individually chosen or designed by each band member and, at least to them hold a deep significant meaning. All are rich with Medieval and Gothic lore!
With the exception of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper, no other record package has been the subject, study and analysis as Led Zeppelin IV In fact, as the record grew in popularity many journalists began calling the album “Zoso” A reference to Jimmy Page’s symbol ( top left ) see it?
Meanwhile, as a good friend of ours always says, “It’s what’s in the Jacket that matters” Perhaps!
With Led Zeppelin IV we all have our favorite tracks, but today, we have to hear the great Sandy Denny’s duet with Robert Plant, after all, she does have her own symbol!
Dig! The Battle Of Evermore
But wait! We know you have a favorite song, story, or perhaps symbol? When it comes to Led Zeppelin IV, we all do, WHAT’S YOUR’S ?
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