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10 November 2016 2,287 views 5 Comments


TBL Archive Special:

Led Zeppelin IV – 45 years gone…

November 1971 /Led Zeppelin IV 

45 years ago this month the fourth Led Zeppelin album emerged in a slightly mysterious manner with that enigmatic sleeve. I vividly remember the excitement and anticipation of the album in the music press that month. In fact the November 6 1971 issue of Melody Maker was something of an historic issue because it contained the first UK sighting the four individual symbols that would make up the title of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. Each symbol was featured on the end of a page – a series of teaser adverts for the forthcoming album though nobody really knew it. Now I had read a recent interview with Jimmy Page in which he had explained the album title would be made up of four runes – I did notice those symbols in that issue thinking they looked very odd – but I did not realise these were the very symbols that would become such an integral and lasting image of the band.



It was about to get even more exciting for me with the prospect of attending the November 21 Wembley Empire Pool show. Tickets a mere 75p! It’s fair to say that this advert announcing the second date was something of a life changer for me – as things were never quite the same in our house after what I witnessed on that cold November Sunday evening all of 45 years ago.

This wasn’t just a band…

Here’s some Led Zeppelin IV observations from the TBL Archive:

Of all their records, Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, released in late 1971, remains their listened toand  admired work, and with sales of 38 million and counting it is also far and away their most successful. Featuring both the often maligned Stairway To Heaven and the widely admired ‘When The Levee Breaks’, the set is without question the most accessible of their catalogue and it continues to attract new listeners by the week. Few albums in the history of rock can rival its influence.

The fact that much of the album was made in a mysterious, run-down, 18th century workhouse in the middle of rural Hampshire only adds to its legacy. It’s the product of a band given absolute musical freedom to do as they wished in an environment that encouraged the development of their ability to blend acoustic and electric influences within a rock framework, which they did more successfully than any other act before or since.

As a complete work it remains their most focused statement. From Page’s unimpeachable riffs, through Jones musical invention and Plant’s clarity of vocal to that titanic John Bonham drum sound – Led Zeppelin IV still emits a freshness that belies its age.



A guaranteed million seller well before release, perhaps in theory even before it was recorded, this long awaited fourth Zeppelin album is of greater importance than their controversial third LP. If Zep III gave the first indications that their music was by no means confined to power rock then this new album consolidates their expanding maturity. The eight cuts here follow through with unbridled confidence, expounding in greater details the ideas formulated on the previous album. Once again Led Zeppelin is airborne and the flight course looks very favourable. Roy Carr, New Musical Express

It might seem a bit incongruous to say that Led Zeppelin, a band never particularly known for its tendency to understate matters, has produced an album which is remarkable for its low keyed and tasteful subtlety. But that’s just the case here. The march of the dinosaur that broke the ground for their first epic release has apparently vanished. Taking along with it the splattering electronics of their second effort and the leaden acoustic moves that seem to weigh down their third album. One of the ways in which this is demonstrated is the sheer variety of the album. The got it down all right – this one was gold on the day of release. Not bad for a pack of Limey lemon squeezers. Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stones

After such a long wait one had begun to get a little worried about Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. What had gone wrong? After such a time lag and such mounting expectancy could it still be good? The answer is yes. It is brilliant. It is by far their best album to date, and has a depth and maturity to it which can only result from recording and performing experiences. It has many moods and many styles and seems far more emotionally loaded than any of their other albums – they seem to convey wisdom through experience into their music now. Caroline Boucher, Disc and Music Echo





Research by Nick Anderson:

Led Zeppelin IV was originally released in the UK on 19 November 1971 on the red and plum Atlantic label which was distributed by Polydor Records. Due to various labelling mistakes there are minute details to look out for when identifying genuine early pressings. Here is a summary of what to look out for:

1) Atlantic/Polydor 2401012 – red/plum labels, first pressing, first labels (£300)

The text “Led Zeppelin” is positioned towards the bottom of the label, below the track listing.
The “Under licence from Atlantic Recording Corpn., U.S.A” text is above the white line in the red part of the label.
Full publishing credits were omitted – only ‘Kinney Music Ltd’ is listed.
The first labels have an “Executive Producer: Peter Grant” credit.
“Misty Mountain Hop” is spelled correctly.
Side one has ‘’Pecko Duck’’ etched into the run out groove and side two has ‘’Porky’’ etched into the run out groove, which are the signature marks of English cutting engineer George Peckham. The vinyl matrix numbers are the earliest A//3, B//3
2) Atlantic/Polydor 2401012 – red/plum labels, first pressing, first labels with correction stickers (£150)

A “Led Zeppelin” sticker is placed in the top half of the label underneath the ‘Four symbols’ and above the “Atlantic Recording” credit,
A “Kinney Music Ltd/Superhype Music Inc. Produced by Jimmy Page” sticker is placed over the original Led Zeppelin, producer and executive producer credits on the lower half of the label.
3) Atlantic/Polydor 2401012 – red/plum labels, first pressing, second labels (£100)

The “Led Zeppelin” credit is printed in the top half of the label.
The “Atlantic Recording” credit is moved into the central white band.
The full “Kinney Music Ltd/Superhype Music Inc” credit is included.
The Peter Grant credit is removed.
“Misty Mountain Hop” is misspelled as “Misty Mountain Top”.
4) Atlantic/Polydor 2401012 – red/plum labels, first pressing, third labels (£65)

The fourth variant red/plum label is the same as the corrected third variant, but with the “Misty Mountain Top” misspelling corrected to “Misty Mountain Hop“.

5) Atlantic/Polydor 2401012 – red/plum labels, first pressing, fourth labels, stickered sleeve (£75)

Some corrected plum/red 2401012 fourth label pressings came with a sticker (white with red printing) on the sleeve with the Atlantic logo, K50008, audio information and record label credits. This was outstanding stock acquired by the Kinney group from Polydor and duly stickered on the sleeve with the new Kinney catalogue number – see details below

Note – the inner sleeve on all original pressings is a buff colour matt finish with flip over back. Later issues had no flipover back and for a brief time switched to white.  The gatefold outer sleeve is a matt finish – later issues have a sheen.

6) In 1969, Warner Bros.-Seven Arts was sold to the Kinney National Company. Kinney (later to be known as Warner Communications) combined the operations of all of its record labels. The following year, Kinney bought Elektra Records and its sister label Nonesuch Records, and assembled the labels into a group known as Warner-Elektra-Atlantic, also called WEA for short, or Warner Music Group. In early 1972 the distribution of the Atlantic label in the UK was switched from Polydor Records to the newly formed Kinney set up under the WEA (Warner/Elektra/Atlantic) banner. All catalogue numbers were changed to a simple K prefix and number with Led Zeppelin IV taking on the new catalogue number of K50008 with green and orange labels. Of note to collectors here is Atlantic K50008 – green/orange labels, second pressing, first labels, transitional stamper (£75)

This pressing has dual matrix numbers – both the first pressing 2401012 and later K50008 matrix numbers are included in the run-out grooves.
The ‘Four symbols’ are omitted from the label.
“Misty Mountain Hop” is again misspelled as “Misty Mountain Top”.

In the UK, a pressing plant error resulted in a few hundred pressings of Led Zeppelin IV appearing on the Asylum label. This again occurred in 1972 when distribution of the Atlantic label was switched to the Kinney stable under the WEA imprint (Warner, Elektra, Atlantic). Asylum was an offshoot of the WEA set up and most notably The Eagles’ label. Thus, Asylum Zep IV UK pressings on the K50008 catalogue number are highly prized amongst collectors and are valued at around £150.

Amongst the many worldwide pressings of Led Zeppelin IV, a handful of highly prized rare pressing variations have surfaced.


In the late 1970s, Dave Sands, a young apprentice builder working at Jimmy Page’s home, was handed a unique promo pressing of Led Zeppelin IV by the guitarist himself. ‘’I was 19 and working as an apprentice builder for a local Sussex building firm,’’ recalls Dave. In the spring of 1978, we undertook some work to build a recording studio for Jimmy Page at his Plumpton home. While we were there Jimmy gave me a t-shirt and a batch of albums. The t-shirt was from their 1977 US tour, while the albums included Led Zeppelin II (the rare pressing which has Lemon Song listed as Killing Floor), Led Zeppelin III and IV, Houses Of The Holy, Presence, The Song Remains The Same, and the first Detective album issued on Swan Song. All were on the usual Atlantic and Swan Song labels except the Led Zeppelin IV album (this appears on a plain cream label with track listing).

Jimmy’s generosity put Dave in possession of a unique Led Zeppelin IV promo pressing. This copy has the same typography and label design used for the advance US promo Atlantic pressings sent out at the time of the album’s release but, significantly, the label is a distinct yellow colour as opposed to the more common white label US promos. It comes packaged in what appears to be a mock up single sleeve. The back cover has the same design as the officially released inner sleeve with track listings. The front cover has the symbols and track listing printed on the front cover unlike the wordless standard sleeve design. The regular US white label stereo promos go for around £100, so this rare version obtained directly from Page himself is of much greater value and would easily triple in value at auction.

Another very rare pressing anomaly occurred in Canada where a unique gold and black vinyl multi coloured pressing of the fourth album surfaced a few years ago. This is almost impossible to value as it has not changed hands since it was discovered, but it is fair to assume that should it come onto the market it would be likely reach a price up to £1,000.

Rare pressings guide Compiled by Nick Anderson

Led Zeppelin IV 45 years gone – to be continued…


LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:
In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Jimmy Page
immy Page has promoted the opening of the “Flaming June: The Making Of An Icon” art exhibition at the Leighton House Museum in London. He posed for photographs alongside the painting “Flaming June” last week, and gave interviews about it to The Evening Standard and GQ. “To be able to see it close up and really appreciate what it is and see it in Leighton House, where it was painted, well it’s quite a day,” Page told The Evening Standard. He also spoke at the opening of the exhibition on November 3.

Jimmy Page was photographed backstage at the Jeff Beck and Van Morrison show in London on October 30. He was photographed with Richie Sambora and Stevie Van Zandt at the O2 Arena.

Eddie Harsch, the keyboard player who performed with The Black Crowes and Jimmy Page, died on November 4. He performed with The Black Crowes and Jimmy Page in 1999 and 2000.

Robert Plant
Robert Plant has given a new interview to The Sunday Times magazine with his son Logan Plant.
The full recording of Robert Plant’s performance at Bill Wyman’s 80th birthday gala in London on October 28 has been posted online. Listen to Plant perform “I Feel So Bad”, “Let The Boogie Woogie Roll” and “I Need Your Loving”.

Upcoming events:
November 11 – Jimmy Page will attend the Classic Rock Awards in Tokyo.

The Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:


Mick Ralphs:

I was very concerned to hear that Mottt The Hoople/ Bad Company legendary guitarist Mick Ralphs has suffered a stroke. I am sure I speak for all TBL readers in wishing him a speedy recovery.



Robert and Logan Plant – Sunday Times Magazine Relative Values:

I have long since been an admirer of the Sunday Times magazine feature Relative Values. This is a weekly column that features famous family members commenting on each other.

It was with much surprise that I found that this week’s entry featured Robert Plant and his 37 year old son Logan talking about each other. It made for very revealing reading as Robert laid bare his thoughts on the latter Zep era, the passing of his son Karac and his relationship with Logan. There were some very revealing and moving observations.

Robert stated that by 1977 ” It felt like we were getting to the end of Led Zeppelin,” and described the 1977 US tour US as “lacklustre”.

Logan noted:

”Do I like Zeppelin? After I got my first Walkman, Dad gave me this whole collection of albums on cassette. He just said ‘’This was a band I used to be in’’. I didn’t know anything about them but they became my favourite band. Still are.

Talking about the 02 reunion (wrongly attributed to 2012 in the piece , it was of course 2007)

”I just wanted to see them play live I did eventually at the reunion. There were lots of tears that night.”

On thane night of nights at the 02 Arena, I was lucky enough to be  just behind where Logan and family were sitting and I remember vividly him dancing to Rock And Roll and his dad looking up from the stage an acknowledging him.

In a final summary Robert said  “I know that you’re only talking to me and Logan because I used to be in that band, but that band and my entire career have always fitted in and around the family. Father to son and now Logan to his son, Harlen.

Family, roots and love. That great, unfolding story that we are all a part of. The only stuff that matters.”

Sunday Times Subscription link here:


Stop Press:len-2

Leonard Cohen 1934 – 2016 RIP –

Very sad to wake up to the news this morning of the passing of Leonard Cohen – another part of the rich heritage of our music drifts away….

DL – November 11, 2016.

DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday vinyl treats at the Vinyl Barn last week – Bad Company Burnin Sky on Canadian Swan Song, a very nice pressing of Led Zep III on UK Atlantic orange and plum label and Jethro Tull Living In The Past and Traffic Feelin’ Alright original singles on Island…lovely – thanks Darren.

There’s been more work on TBL 42 this week – principally the Led Zeppelin Top 100 Valuable Albums listing, a round up of rare and interesting Song Remains The Same sound track album pressings to mark its 40th anniversary, more coverage of The Complete BBC Sessions album and the Jimmy Page biography. This focus on the work in progress TBL 42 It will now be full on into December – I am aiming at an early January publication.


Last night it was great to hook up with my good friend Kam Assi just before his 50th birthday.

Kam has been a long time local friend and TBL supporter and was part of many a TBL crew sketch in the 80s and 90s. I will always be in his debt for driving us to Leicester University on a  cold January Saturday night in 1988. The ensuing low key Robert Plant warm up gig for the Now & Zen tour was simply sensational. It was the first time I saw Robert sing numbers from the Zeppelin catalogue and it was just astonishing to witness it at such close quarters. That night remains in my all time top ten gigs list.

This, and other golden nights such as Robert Plant – Hammersmith 83, Robert Plant – Wembley Arena ’85, Robert Plant – The Kings Head pub ’93, Page & Plant Buxton ’94, Page & Plant Unledded ’94, Page & Plant – Shepherds Bush ’98 Page & Plant – ULU ’98, Priory Of  Brion – Red Lion Birmingham’99,  John Paul Jones – Shepherds Bush ’99, Robert Plant/Strange Sensation -Storytellers  TV recording 2002, Robert Plant /Strange Sensations – Cambridge 2005, Led Zeppelin – 02 Arena 2007 – Robert & Alison – Wembley Arena 2008, Jimmy Page – Guardian Q and A  Chelsea 2014 –  all of which we attended together, were discussed and dissected by us like they were old testament fables.

It’s only when you pause to look back, you realise how many remarkable life affirming nights we have spent in the company of these amazing musicians that continue to light up our life. It was a night of nostalgia reflection and Kam and I both reveled in it. The curry at the New Bombay restaurant in Bedford was pretty good too. A top night – the pic shows the handing over of his present – a copy of the Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 book – Happy 50th Birthday Kam for next week!

On the player.. here’s a list of top ten albums and singles recently acquired that are forming the DL November playlist here…


DL Top Ten Album Playlist for November:

1 – Led Zeppelin III – Led Zeppelin (original plum and orange UK Atlantic)

2- Still Crazy After All These Years – Paul Simon ( US Columbia promo)

3 – At His Best – Jack Bruce (Polydor)

4 – The Second Album – Spencer Davis Group (Fontana)

5 –  Sweet Baby James – James Taylor (Warner Brothers)

6 – Out Of Our Heads – the Rolling Stones (Decca mono)

7 – Music – Carole King (Ode Records)

8- Sings Lonely And Blue – Roy Orbison (UK London original)

9 – Best Of Mary Hopkin – Mary Hopkin (Apple)

10 – Burnin’ Sky – Bad Company (Canadian Swan Song)



DL Top Ten Singles Playlist for November:

1 – Because The Night – Patti Smith Group (Arista)

2 – Bowie 1965! – David Bowie (Parlophone)

3 – Two Fine People – Cat Stevens (Island promo)

4 – Say You Don’t Mind – Denny Laine (Deram)

5 – Living In The Past – Jethro Tull (Island)

6 – Them From Up The Junction – Manfred Mann (Fontana)

7 – Instant Karma (We All Shine On) – John Lennon Plastic Ono Band (US Apple)

8 – Girls Talk – Dave Edmunds (Swan Song)

9 – Travellin’ Band – Creedence Clearwater Revival (US Fantasy)

10  – Just A Song Before I Go – Crosby Stills & Nash (Atlantic)

There may be one or two new acquisitions  this weekend as we have the Bedford Pop Up Record Shop pitching up at the Entertainment Shed venue in Bedford on Saturday. That one is always worth a look and with a bar on tap the combination of a pint and records is pretty irresistible.





As mentioned last week, November is a month of important birthdays here and along with my good friends Kam and Phil Harris, the next in line is the newly married Michaela Tait. We are aiming to be in attendance at Michaela’s birthday party in Bletchley on Saturday night. The Led Zeppelin tribute band Coda will be providing the music. Their line up includes the excellent Simon Wicker on drums. I’m very much looking forward to seeing them. More details on the band at this link

Happy 50th birthday Michaela!



In a week gone mad…some quiet dignity….

Like millions of others, I will be observing the two minutes silence on Armistice day on Friday -and attending a Remembrance service on Sunday at the Embankment in Bedford to remember our war heroes…

Lest we ever forget….

poppysDave Lewis – November 11 , 2016.

Until next time – have a great weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis
with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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YouTube Clip:

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Stairway To Heaven –  Japan TV – November 10 1994:

22 years ago… one of the all time great performances…





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  • Pamela MacIntyre said:

    What a ride! Thank you Led Zeppelin for all that fun! We love you still. Zep’ Girl ’65

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    “Robert stated that by 1977 ” It felt like we were getting to the end of Led Zeppelin,” and described the 1977 US tour US as “lacklustre”.”

    My sense of that particular tour was one of survival. Mr. Plant’s near-fatal auto accident; the urgency of the recording of Presence and its release; the long delay in returning to the road following its release; as well as a serious bout of laryngitis leading to delay the start of the tour still further, lent to the entire affair an undercurrent of hazard, if not menace. To say nothing of its tragic conclusion.

    And looking (and listening) back through the crystal clear lens of hindsight, the 1977 tour lacked the intensity and coherence of earlier conquests, despite their considerable determination.

    At least in front of the drum kit.

  • MOK said:

    Dig the Jack Bruce Dave! Folk Song and Morning Story are the ones. Saw Mick Taylor decimate White Room at Shepherd’s Bush in second anniversary tribute a fortnight ago. All the best, Matt

  • Ian D said:

    Leonard Cohen – A troubadour and true poet to the end. With his own indomitable style and an ability to construct work that would adapt to so many cover styles, his legacy is part of the fabric of modern popular music. There is one more Angel to pray for us

  • josh said:

    jonesy sat in with sara watkins (bush hall, london) last night.

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