Day #1: The Year the LP starts with the Gods of Rock

Led Zeppelin IV album coverSeems like a good day to start a blog.

Let Wednesday, September 22, 2010 serve as the beginning of The Year of the LP!

So what album is kicking it off, you ask? Only one of the top-selling records of all time, containing the assumed most-requested rock song ever…

Led Zeppelin IV, released 1971.

Of course things would start out with the ultimate classic rock band, Led Zeppelin. They fit so perfectly into the era when vinyl was tops, and it clearly shows with this recording. A personal favorite of mine for a long time, Zeppelin IV has no band name or album title written anywhere on the cover. They hated the whole media-generated hype monster, and basically wanted to let the music speak for itself. Definitely passes the badass test.

Led Zeppelin IV back cover

The back cover

Awesome cover art; I’ve even seen some of these images replicated as tattoos. They’re pretty iconic pictures, and certainly add the mystique and uniqueness of Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin inner cover art

A close-up of the detailed town on the inside cover

The God of Thunder himself, Jon Bonham, destroyed his kit on these songs. The awesomely nifty drum fill at the end of “Rock n Roll” and continuous pounding on “When the Levee Breaks” are face-melting good. He definitely holds a spot on my personal Mt. Rushmore of drummers. And what can I say about Page and Plant that hasn’t already been said? Plus, I got the chance to see the less-appreciated John Paul Jones with Them Crooked Vultures last year. Trust me, he’s just as talented as the rest of Zeppelin. Rippin’ the Key-tar!

The sensational dynamics in “Stairway to Heaven” and the cohesiveness of “When the Levee Breaks” serve as a testament to their chemistry as a band. How cool would it have been to sit in on recording sessions for this album?

While listening, there were some significant pops caused by the ever-tyrannical dust flecks, but no real skips. The quality is great considering how old this particular copy of the album likely is.

Led Zeppelin IV Sleeve

The record sleeve inside Led Zeppelin IV

Making their debut on this album sleeve were the four symbols, representative of each band member. You know, the whole “Zoso” thing. I heard a rumor Bonham’s symbol, composed of three interlocking circles and pasted on his bass drum, was chosen because it was the logo of his favorite beer brewery. Natch.

Led Zeppein IV Inside Cover

The inside cover

All in all, a fantastic, very sought-after record, and a true gem of my collection. This was bought from Half Price Books in Corpus Christi, one of the last places to find vinyl in the entire town. I was pumped when I found it, and bought it before I even had a turntable.

So there you have it, the inaugural post. Some may be longer, some shorter. But there will always be one, so check back tomorrow for another installment of the Year of the LP.

-Eric

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