November 9th, 2020 Today on Music History

Front cover of Led Zeppelin IV

Led Zeppelin IV, was released on 8 November 1971 by Atlantic Records. Produced by guitarist Jimmy Page, it was recorded between November 1970 and January 1971 at several locations, most prominently the 18th-century house Headley Grange.

The front cover of the album is from a 19th Century painting that Robert Plant bought in an antique shop and the back cover is a 20th century urban tower block on the back of the full gatefold LP cover is Butterfield Court in Eves Hill, Dudley, England.

The picture of an old man carrying woodsticks was placed on the wall of a semi-demolished house, juxtaposed with the distant Birmingham housing that appears on the back cover. “It represented the change in the balance which was going on,” Page told ‘Trouser Press’ in 1977, referencing the conceptual balance of country and city. “There was the old countryman and the blocks of flats being knocked down. It was just a way of saying that we should look after the earth, not rape and pillage it.” Barrington Coleby painted the inner illustration, “The Hermit,” as a reference to the Rider-Waite tarot card.

In addition, on this LP we witness for the first time each member iconic symbols. Plant’s feather inside a circle is a reference to the mythical, ancient Mu civilization; Bonham’s is a trio of interlocking rings; Jones’ is a circle connected to a triquetra; and last but not least, Page’s symbol, which appears to spell “ZoSo” and as of today’s, no one knows what really means and he has never answered any question on his iconic and elaborate symbol.

The song Stairway to Heaven was a huge success and most recently came into controversy after the representative of an estate claim copyrights holdings on the riff from a 1960’s song. Recently the United States Supreme Court denied a petition of certiorari from the Estate of Michael Skidmore, leaving the ruling of a lower court valid.

Back cover Led Zeppelin IV

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