Led Zeppelin released the album most call their greatest, ‘Led Zeppelin IV,’ 50 years ago today -- November 8th, 1971.
The album was originally untitled, only later coming to be known as ‘Led Zeppelin IV.’ It contains eight songs, seven of which became Zeppelin classics and legendary at their shows.
Here’s a look at the song list from the album, with the all-time classics in bold face:
- "Black Dog"
- "Rock and Roll"
- "The Battle of Evermore"
- "Stairway to Heaven"
- "Misty Mountain Hop"
- "Four Sticks"
- "Going to California"
- "When the Levee Breaks"
Recording started in December 1969 at Island Records' Basing Street Studios in London. Jimmy Page preferred doing it in a remote location because they could be all together and really concentrate on the sessions.
Talking about the location, Jimmy said:
"Fleetwood Mac had rehearsed there. They hadn't stayed in residence, so in other words it didn't appear as though there would be problems with the noise. So it was a large old Victorian sort of manse. In actual fact it had been a workhouse in its past. We didn't know that when we went in. And we had the Rolling Stones mobile truck that was the best around at the time. And Andy Johns was the engineer and I thought with all of these ingredients we got a really good shot here."
Legendary Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones also thought it was a good idea. He once said:
"We never actually been in one place and had recording facilities there. So that was really a new way of working for us and I think it was a really good way. We just had this huge old room with a big fireplace with all the equipment set up and you could just kind of wander down and start stuff up if nobody was there or somebody else would turn up and there would be a bit of a jam. And so there was sort of music making in some way all the time, which, as you can see by the result, worked out pretty well."
Page said the album having no name came from the band getting negative reviews after the release and success of ‘Led Zeppelin III.’ He said:
"It seemed as though it would an interesting proposition to actually put out an album with no information on it at all -- not saying who the group was and then see how it would sell. It led to a few problems with Atlantic [Records] because they said, 'Well, you have to have this on, and you have to have that on it.' But in the end we got our way on it and it proved to be a very interesting and sort of challenging thing to do."
[Source: Classic Hits Today]