Led Zeppelin IV

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The fourth album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin was released on 8 November 1971. No title is printed on the album, so it is generally referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, following the naming standard used by the band's first three studio albums. Also the album has alternatively been referred to as the Four Symbols logo, Four Symbols, The Fourth Album (those two titles each having been used in the Atlantic Records catalogue), Untitled, Runes, Sticks, Man With Sticks, ZoSo and The Hermit. Zoso is also the moniker for the band's guitarist, Jimmy Page.

Upon its release, Led Zeppelin IV was a commercial and critical success. The album is one of the best-selling albums in history at 37 million units.[1] It has shipped over 23 million units in the United States alone, putting it third on the all-time list in the United States and twelfth world-wide.[2] In 2003, the album was ranked 66th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Contents

Recording sessions

The album was initially recorded at Island Records's newly opened Basing Street Studios, London, at the same time as Jethro Tull's Aqualung in December 1970.[3] Upon the suggestion of Fleetwood Mac,[4] the band then moved to Headley Grange, a remote Victorian house in East Hampshire, England, to conduct additional recordings. Here they used the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Guitarist Jimmy Page later recalled, "We needed the sort of facilities where we could have a cup of tea and wander around the garden and go in and do what we had to do."[5] This relaxed, atmospheric environment at Headley Grange also provided other advantages for the band. As is explained by Dave Lewis, "By moving into Headley Grange for the whole period of recording, many of the tracks [on the album] were made up on the spot and committed to tape almost there and then."[5]

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