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Led Zeppelin IV
Audio CD | Remastered
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Led Zeppelin IV (Remastered)
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Recorded at Headley Grange in Hampshire, Island Studios in London and Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, Led Zeppelin IV is the album that put Led Zeppelin into homes around the world, acting as a successful marriage of the hard rock from their second album with the folkier meanderings of their third. It is an album that demonstrates their subtlety and restraint as much as their stadium-filling grandstanding and it confirmed their superstar rock status.
The actually untitled album (it was also known as Four Symbols or The Runes Album), a chart-topper on both sides of the Atlantic, captures the group’s schizophrenia perfectly. On the one hand, they wallop away through genre-defining rock standards such as “Rock And Roll”, “Black Dog” and “Misty Mountain Hop”; yet on the other, they are gentle and restrained on the folk mysticism of “Going To California” and the Sandy Denny co-sung “The Battle Of Evermore.”
It is on their anthem, “Stairway To Heaven”, however, that both strands come together in perfect accord. Starting as a recorder-driven acoustic folk ballad, it culminates in its closing minutes as a full-on, much emulated rock classic, with Robert Plant’s vocals and Jimmy Page’s guitar both approaching career-bests. Led Zeppelin IV also demonstrates the singular talent that was drummer John Bonham – the blues driven “When The Levee Breaks” is one of the most heavily sampled drum tracks of all time.
With immaculate playing (multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones’ contributions are not to be underestimated, either), a mystically obscure sleeve, and a remarkable range of tunes, Led Zeppelin IV, is still, for many, the best example of the group’s craft. Robert Plant thinks so himself. He has been quoted saying, simply: "the Fourth Album, that's it." --Daryl Easlea
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If you already own one of the previous releases you would perhaps have to be a real fan to justify owning this edition as well, but I do think LZ are one of the most important bands ever in the evolution of music and are a personal favourite. As this is within my top 3 LZ albums it was a no-brainer purchase.
The companion discs on these deluxe editions are interesting for a real fan and anyone with a keen interest in the band, as they do a great job of showing the evolution in the style of the band overall and individual tracks.
I think this music was made for vinyl as it has a powerful, raw and authentic sound, with excellent sound staging and a few rough edges and distortions, all of which makes it sound like you have the band performing in your living room. It was recorded and mastered with care and passion for sure.
This album contains no fillers at all and all tracks are superb, many being true classics known to almost everyone, whether fans or not.
The short but powerful “Black Dog” and the mighty, riffy “Rock n Roll”, with John Bonham’s iconic cymbal intro, are classic upbeat Led Zeppelin rock. However, “The Battle Of Evermore” is as mysterious and folky as anything on “III”, as indeed, is “Going To California” and then, of course, there is “Stairway To Heaven” where all styles meet in possibly the band’s most well-known song. The early acoustic verses take a while to reach the climax (over five minutes or so) when Jimmy Page’s guitar kicks in for real, and how. One of the best endings to a song ever.
“Misty Mountain Hop” isn’t the folky tune its title may suggest, but a pounding drum and keyboards insistent rock shuffle. The monumental “When The Levee Breaks” is one of those classic, extended, thrilling blues numbers that wouldn’t have been out of place on “I” or “II”. “Four Sticks” has an almost funky drum intro and provides a flavour of the sort of material that would later appear on “Houses Of The Holy” and “Physical Grafitti”.
Overall, there is as much “folky” material on here as there is on “III”, and in some cases they are more obviously so. Popular opinion would have it that the blend is fully realised here, however, (“every song has its correct place within the album” and so on). Personally, I prefer “III”.
BUT here's a review of the bonus disc. the bonus disc includes instrumental tracks of "Going To California" and "The Battle Of Evermore". "Stairway To Heaven" has an echo affect with sound boosted drums and guitar, also, after the solo, the vocals used are the 1st track of Roberts double tracked vocals and extra guitar bits that were buried in the original mix can now be heard. "Black Dog" is roughly the same but with different vocals on the "Oh Yeah!" part. "Rock And Roll" to me, has not much or maybe no difference to the original, same goes with "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Four Sticks. finally, "When The Levee Breaks" has noticeably louder drums.
Containing some of my favourite Led Zeppelin songs, this is an absolute classic album, in every sense of the word! "Rock n Roll", "Stairway To Heaven", "Black Dog"....every song a masterpiece!
I've got the "Remasters" and "How The West Was Won" albums on CD, but listening to this on vinyl is a completely different experience! This is how music was MEANT to be heard! It just sounds more 'alive'....and the crackle of the needle on the grooves? That just makes me happy.
I can't stop listening to this album! In fact, I'm listening to it on my Kindle right now as I type this! I love the fact that Amazon give you a digital copy as well as the vinyl! Already ordered a couple more Led Zeppelin vinyl albums.....happy days!
Music lovers please buy Vinyl. There is no better way to enjoy recorded music, imo.
Let's make the music industry great again.
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