Led Zeppelin IV turns 40-years-old today
Dust off your vinyl copies of Led Zeppelin IV and crank up "Stairway To Heaven," for the most commercially successful album in Zep's storied history turns 40-years-old today. The album, which never technically received a title from the band (hence all the various fan generated titles for the album -- , Four Symbols, ZoSo, etc...), is the third highest selling record in U.S. music history, selling well-over 20 million copies in the States alone, despite the fact that the band name was deliberately left off the album cover.
The album certainly proved to be a great comeback for the band after the relative commercial failure of their third record, and solidified them once again as the biggest band in the world. The album has aged remarkably well, with the group clearly on the same raucous page creatively. From the driving insistence of "Black Dog" and "Rock And Roll," to the wistful poignancy of "The Battle Of Evermore" and the aforementioned "Stairway," side one is pretty solid and damn near perfect.
The band clearly didn't let up on side two either, as John Bonham drives both "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Four Sticks" to their fitful destinations. And "Going To California" and "When The Levee Breaks" might just be the best one-two punch to ever bring an album to a close.
As I listened back to this record today, I couldn't help but wonder what albums from our time will still be held in such high regard in 40 years time? The industry certainly has changed, and bands aren't nearly as durable (or bankable) as they were in Led Zeppelin's time. But good music will prevail. It always does. Let us know in the comment section what records you think we will all still be celebrating four decades from now.
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