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Led Zeppelin IV (aka ZOSO)

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  • Led Zeppelin’s second and third albums had both gone to number one and they had become the biggest band in music. Despite their legion of fans, the critics were not kind to them. Upon the release of their fourth record, they decided to let their music do the talking. The album is untitled (Though various names abound like Led Zeppelin IV, Runes, Zoso), contains no reference to band and has no track listing. The album contains a mere eight songs, but they are among the most powerful and memorable in rock music. There is a mystic and medieval aura emanating from the album. The album kicks off with the sledgehammer riffs of “Black Dog” that contains a heavily echoed vocal from Robert Plant. “Rock & Roll” is just what the title says, a frenetic song that rocks and rolls with manic fury. “Battle Of The Evermore” is a mystical song that plays to Zeppelin’s dark side. “Stairway To Heaven” is the most requested song in the history of FM radio and though it has been overplayed to death, it achieved its status for a reason. From the quiet opening of an acoustic guitar and flute that slowly builds to a crashing crescendo to its cryptic lyrics to its grandly majestic vocals and powerful instrumentation, the song strives for greatness and achieves it. “Misty Mountain Hop” is an almost funky song with some great keyboards from John Paul Jones. John Bonham pounds some mean skins on the powerful “Four Sticks” while “Going To California” is a lush and beautiful song that has a tender vocal from Mr. Plant. The album closes with a song that is almost an equal in the epic standards of “Stairway To Heaven”. “When The Levee Breaks” is a driving, pulsating, blues-based song that has a piercing harmonica and master guitar work by Jimmy Page. Surprising, this album never made it to number one. It spent four weeks at number two, but has gone on to sell over 20 million copies and ranks as one the ten best selling albums in music history. Not too shabby for an album that doesn’t even have a title.

    Posted on February 24, 2010