On this day (November 8th) in 1971, the world was given a gift in the form of an eight-track album from rock gods Led Zeppelin. Today, the untitled 4th studio album (IV, Four Symbols, ZoSo, whatever you want to call it) turns 40 years old.
Led Zeppelin IV is not a cult hit, or an underground masterpiece. It’s an album that’s been heard by nearly everyone that appreciates rock & roll music. It’s popular, and its accolades are numerous. There are some albums that are great because they feel like they were made specifically for you, and are special because you feel unique in your appreciation for it – this is not one of those albums.
This is a seminal album that was made for everyone – and if you don’t like it then there is probably something wrong with you. That’s just how it is.
But in the same vein, Led Zeppelin IV remains an important and personal album to any adolescent music fan – growing up in 1971 or 2011. It has the ability to be special for each and every person that listens to it.
And as many times as “Stairway to Heaven” or “Black Dog” is overplayed and murdered on your local rock radio station, it fails to make Led Zeppelin IV any less influential – or amazing.
Oh, and let us not forget that the closing combination of “Going to California” and “When the Levee Breaks” could be one of the best finishes in rock history.
Let’s take a musical journey through ZoSo, with the help of YouTube:
Black Dog (studio version)
Rock n’ Roll (live MSG 1973)
The Battle of Evermore (live Jimmy Page, Robert Plant 1994)
Stairway to Heaven (live, from “The Song Remains The Same”)
Misty Mountain Hop (studio version)
Four Sticks (studio version)
Going to California (live)
When the Levee Breaks (studio)
What are some of your favorite Led Zeppelin-related memories? Let us know in the comments.