Masterpiece, Robert's singing seems more Emotional and Inspiring than opera !
Black Dog and Going to California are my particular favorites on this CD. Sung with his needy , yearning, whining soul !
Got to buy it !
on August 16, 2000
THE BAND: Robert Plant (vocals), Jimmy Page (guitars), John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards), John Bonham (drums & percussion).
THE DISC: (1971) 8 songs clocking in at approximately 43 minutes. The digitally remastered version released in 1994. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song titles/credits, song lyrics to "Stairway To Heaven" (only), and all original album artwork. All songs written by members of Led Zeppelin. This is the band's 4th studio album. Recorded at Headley, Grange, Hampshire and Island Studios in London, England. Label - Swan Song / Atlantic.
COMMENTS: Zeppelin's 4th album (often referred to as "Zoso" or "Ruins") is the definitive Led Zeppelin recording. Here, the band's sound and concept, Plant's vocals, and Page's music and arranging skills finally crystallized into something completely distinct and original. 1971 was a great year for rock & roll. Black Sabbath had "Master of Reality". Deep Purple blazed with "Fireball". Rod Stewart told us "Every Picture Tells A Story". The Who had "Who's Next". T-Rex had his "Electric Warrior"... but nothing matched the magnitude of "Zoso". Every song is a classic and can still be heard on the radio today (over 3 decades later). Jimmy Page was the mastermind behind this band and the direction they were taking. He co-wrote every song and produced the album. Each song is a staple - "Black Dog", "Rock & Roll", "Battle of Evermore", "Stairway To Heaven", "Misty Mountain Hop", "Four Sticks", "Going to California", and "When The Levee Breaks". Hard to believe only two singles were released in the U.S. from this album in 1971-72: "Black Dog" reaching #15 (B-Side was "Misty Mountain Hop"), and "Rock And Roll reaching #47 (B-Side was "Four Sticks"). But don't forget Led Zeppelin's most celebrated composition "Stairway To Heaven"... which turned into their greatest rocking anthem. This album defines rock & roll. Classic disc (5 stars).
on September 18, 2001
I'll start by stating the obvious - This is not Led Zeppelin's best album. Not by a long shot. I could never quite decide which is the best one, but IV (aka Untitled, aka Rune Album, aka Zoso) is not that. It's extremely commercial, designed to be successful (and that worked, by the way; another problem of the album is that so many of the songs - especially Stairway To Heaven - have been so terribly overplayed on the radio and, well, anywhere else.) In order to achieve that, the band cleaned their act a little, smoothed some rough edges. The blues influences, very powerful on the first album, are present, but very lightly and moderately. The music still rocks, but not half as loud and rough as LZ II or III. Instrumental segments are kept to a minimum, because that kind of stuff doesn't sell. Sure, the four minute drum solo that is Moby Dick and the long jamming on Dazed And Confused are two of the highlights of the first albums, but how many of your avarege rock-pop fans have the patience for that? Also, the production is dreadfuly clean. Some of the best songs on the album could have benefited a lot from a rougher sound, and indeed sounded a lot better when played live (see the Black Dog performance on 'The Song Remains The Same'.)
It's just because of this that Led Zeppelin IV is the perfect Led Zeppelin album for the non-Led Zeppelin fan, or, on the other hand, the perfect introduction to the band for someone who thinks Led Zeppelin equals Stairway To Heaven. Those are sure to enjoy singing along to old favorites like Stairway and Rock And Roll, as well as the lesser known Going To California and Misty Mountain Hop while When The Levee Breaks and Black Dog prepare them for the real Led Zeppelin (albums I-III). Later they can listen to 'The Song Remains The Same' to hear those songs performed like they should be, and hear the brilliant playing of Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John "Bonzo" Bonham at full power.
There is, despite everything, a wonderful selection of songs here. Black Dog, a slightly bluesy track, is a marvelous song (though it sounds much better live), with powerful, soulful singing from Robert Plant. Rock And Roll is a fast, catchy rocker, the kind of tune that gets stuck in your head and gives you a strange, irresistable urge to sing along, tap your feet, or, in more extreme cases, play your air guitar or drum on the nearest available solid object. Lacking the depth of heavy metal classics like Whole Lotta Love and Immigrant Song, Rock And Roll is still extremely fun. The Battle Of Evermore is a brilliant, unusual turn for Page and Plant, and probably the only song which sounds fantastic in this clean, smooth production. It's the height of Led Zeppelin's Tolkien and mysticism obsession, and sounds like nothing else they've ever done. Stairway To Heaven, while it is one of the most overplayed songs in history, is still an excellent epic song with some great moments.
Side B is slightly weaker; Misty Mountain Hop, Four Sticks and Going To California are all great tracks, but none is especially original or memorable. Misty Mountain Hop is a song which was probably made to be heavy metal but was softened and cleaned. Four Sticks is heavier, but nothing exceptional. And Going To California is a sweet little ballad, a nice song but really too smooth for Led Zeppelin. The whole thing, though, is saved by When The Levee Breaks. Some of the negative reviews on this album said that the best song on it was When The Levee Breaks and it wasn't even their song. Yes, it is the best song on the album. No, it's not a Led Zeppelin original. I wonder, though, how many of the reviewers who made this comment actually heard Memphis Minnie's original song, because the two have very little in common; the brilliance of this track is Led Zeppelin's arrangement, which turned a good old blues song into one of Led Zeppelin's heaviest, dirtiest, most powerful pieces of music. Bonham, Page and Jones did a brilliant job, not to mention Plant who brought out his harmonica for the recording. After hearing this album, try to find a live recording of the song. It's guaranteed to blow your mind.
Whether or not you're a Led Zeppelin fan, this album is a must, an essential part of every collection. There's something here to please anyone, and if When The Levee Breaks is tough on your eardrums, listen to Stairway To Heaven again, or try Going To California. If you are a fan, don't have a grudge against this album because it was so successful - there's nothing wrong with compromising a little to expand one's audience.
on April 16, 2003
This album is of course Zeppelin's best-selling, because of guess which song, but a lot of people don't take the time to appreciate the incredible songs that populate the rest of the disk.
Black Dog--a sort of melding of blues and early heavy metal, this song's irregular rhythms and riffs, great solos and of course nonstop greatness from Bonham makes this one of the better songs on the disk. Like most of Zeppelin's songs, it gets better after repeated listening when you can appreciate the guitar playing skill of Page.
Rock and Roll--AKA 'The Cadillac Song'. I have more than once had to explain to someone hearing this song that no, in fact it is not The Cadillac Song, it is a Led Zeppelin song...oh well. After Black Dog with its random, roaming tunes, this song is pretty straightforward but not by any measure disappointing. Bonham really shows us what he's made of in a manner that rivals
'Kashmir', 'Levee' and 'Achilles', although the rest of the band isn't particularly great.
Battle of Evermore--very unusual-sounding mandolins, a great harmony between Robert Plant and Sandy Denny, and mystical lyrics form a great ode to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. A relaxing break from the hard rock of the preceding songs and it fits right into the sound of the next song.
Stairway to Heaven--there's not a lot more to say about this song that hasn't been said but that it got to its place as the most popular and most played out rock song of all time for a REASON. Great performance from all four band members, great arranging skill by Page, the best guitar solo ever (so it's said) and it's great from it's quiet soothing intro through all 8 minutes to the loud, metal-sounding ending. Not Zeppelin's best song, but certainly one of the best.
Misty Mountain Hop--a song allegedly about a kid on his first acid trip, with the title being a Tolkien reference. It'll grow on you, I promise. Bonham sounding his usual (i.e. great) and nothing special from the rest of the band.
Four Sticks--aside from the fact that Bonham used two sticks in each hand to play this song (takes a lot of skill and produces and unusual sound) there is nothing great about it. It's just good whereas Zeppelin's usual is fantastic.
Going to California--an underappreciated song about hippies. Listen to it and you'll come to like it.
When the Levee Breaks--one of Zeppelin's best 5 songs, easily. Turn the volume way up right for this and let the drums shake the earth. A smashing, steady rhythm combined with distorted, slightly psychedelic guitars and harmonica especially near the end on this mind-bogglingly good song will leave you hyped for more when the album ends.
on February 9, 2003
Led Zep's first 6 albums are absolutely essential. Of course all their albums are good, the first six are just especially great. I've listened to this album along with all of Zep's albums over and over again, and they never grow old.
1. Black Dog - Perfect opener, an odd timing that frustrated John Bonham, this is a great riff written by John Paul Jones and the song features incredible Plant vocals and great Page riffing. A Zeppelin radio staple. 10/10
2. Rock and Roll - Another well known Zeppelin classic. It starts out with Bonham doing a Little Richard beat, and it's a straight ahead rocker. Pure energy, and again every member of the band putting forth their top effort. 10/10
3. Battle of Evermore - Great song featuring Page playing a mandolin, it sounds like a Tolkien-esque war song. Like Immigrant Song's acoustic cousin. Very mystical, very atmospheric. 10/10
4. Stairway to Heaven - easily Zep's best known song, and the most played song on the radio. There is nothing more I can say about Stairway that hasn't already been said. 10/10
5. Misty Mountain Hop - another rocker. Good riffs, great vocals by plant, powerful Bonham drumming, pure zeppelin. 10/10
6. Four Sticks - one of the most difficult songs for Led Zep to record, mainly because of Bonham using four drum sticks to play the song (hence the title). Great powerful riffs, shows off plant's vocal range, and JPJ reinforcing the heavy, rolling riff. 10/10
7. Going to California - Another radio staple, this acoustic, piece gives Plant room to stretch out his voice. A classic 10/10
8. When The Levee Breaks - A great, if underrated Led Zep song. This blues number features Page playing heavy slide guitar, Plant wailing away on the harp, and Jonesy laying down some thinck heavy bass. The centerpiece of this song is Bonham's impossibly heavy drumming which was created by putting his drum set in a stairwell. Tremendous closer 10/10
This album is flawless, it's hard for me to pick a favorite Zeppelin album cause I like them all so much, it's like picking a favorite kid. But this one's definitely up there, and a strong case can be made for this as zep's best.
on April 11, 2015
How difficult to write a review for one of the most famous albums in the history of popular music. I have only one minor dissappointment with this edition. The back cover of the original lp/cd had the photo I include here, which I have always found complementary to the entire graphic layout. There is no trace of this on this edition. You would suppose that a deluxe edition such as this would not have letìft it out! Apart from this "minor" detail this edition is worth having, for it's remastering and better sound quality and for the added tracks on the bonus cd. I am buying the entire re-edition of course, a must-have!
on December 6, 2005
Wow. Almost 35 years have passed. It's hard to believe that we are (anyone over 40 :\) talking about a Led Zeppelin album on this thing called the Internet. I must admit that I still own the original vinyl (is that an oxymoron?) and have recently 'digitized' it; I love the analog bass sound of LPs.
Anyway. Great album/LP/CD. There's not much to say that hasn't already been said in 800+ reviews. But I do have a few comments for the kids that write about something they couldn't possibly understand.
For one, you were not alive when this album was made.
Second. We'll see in 40 yrs if the latest Slip Knot or Korn is as revered as a Led Zeppelin CD/DVD (or whatever). Chances are slim to none.
Third. Regarding these so called better bands. Where do think they learned to play? I hear Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix all over that stuff. I should know. I've been teaching guitar for 30+ years.
Fourth. Did you know that most recording acts of today are told what to play? In the time of Led Zeppelin, there was much more room for creativity by the artist, not a bunch of lawyers.
I don't have anything against younger bands, they are very talented as well. But today's generation mocks the very reason for it's culture. Loud guitars, bass and drums with screaming vocals are nothing new. So get in touch with your past and give this CD a serious listen or wait 20 yrs or so to grow up.
on October 19, 2004
Radio saturation of nearly every track on this record may jade some listeners into underappreciating just what a landmark album "IV" actually was. After getting the somber, acoustic vibe out of their system on the last album it was all systems go for the Page/Plant tandem, and what a one-two punch this one starts out with. "Black Dog" practically invented Whitesnake's entire oeuvre with it's demonic boogie riff and Plant's piercing shrieks, sex, violence and all manner of ritualistic hedonism smelted together into a cast iron monolith to perfection. Before "Rock and Roll" was relegated to automobile spots it put forth the notion: "what if crack had been invented back in Jerry Lee Lewis' heyday"? The fact that such an irrepressible hallelujah (you can't tell me this song isn't a spiritual experience) was created out of fairly sober minds (ok, there was the coke) is a tribute of the love for the genre these British lads proffered back in the day.
Proving "III" wasn't a fluke or botched experiment, "The Battle of Evermore" and "Stairway to Heaven" close out side one with ponderous odes to the band's Celtic heritage (the former) and God only knows (the latter). Lyrically "Evermore" is most akin to "The Immigrant Song", a Viking paeon from "III" that also ripped the paint off the walls, whereas "Evermore" is a gentler exploration of ancient British epic tales. On the other hand, scholars will be debating for centuries on the precise meaning of "Stairway" (I'd be satisfied with just narrowing down that "bustle in your hedgerow" business) but what is absolutely incontrovertible is it's significance in rock history, it's eternal place on "all time top 10" lists, and it's banishment from the ambience of guitar shops.
We're back in business on side two, opening with the breezy jam "Misty Mountain Hop", another flowers-in-their-hair anthem to unrestrained pleasure gratification. "Four Sticks" is another solid mid-tempo rocker showcasing Bonham's mastery of the skins while "Going to California" is an acoustic ballad which would also fit right at home on "III". Finally, Zep wrap it up with possibly the finest song on the album - and certainly one of the best of their career - an absolutely brain-mauling trawl through the blues staple "When the Levee Breaks". Plant's vocals bend, shriek, scrape, and soar through seven minutes of guitar sludge, intersticed with resounding harp moans echoing the browbeaten but defiant cries of the narrator. Simply astounding, heart shaking melodrama. Whoever said "always leave 'em wanting more" certainly got through to the boys in Led Zeppelin.
on August 13, 2000
Don't buy this album for "Stairway to Heaven," a song everyone has heard 2 million times. That's not disparaging a great song, but enough is enough already. Listen to this album for another reason; because it contains Zeppelin's greatest ballad by a wide margin, "Going to California." Page's acoustic guitar work is understated and brilliant here. The lyrical content of the song is also among the best the group ever did. Plant's vocal is a thing of beauty, no wailing, no garbled words you can't understand, just majestry.
It's impossible to add anything new to a review of such a towering and groundbreaking album. It is taut, mesmerizing and amazing. It belongs in any serious (or not-so-serious) musical collection.
on February 12, 2015
I knew I wanted this. And I knew I wanted all of these, and I knew I wanted Super Deluxe Editions. If you're going to do it go for the gold.
I received a $100.00 gift certificate for Christmas so I purchased it. It arrived very quickly. And the packaging was quite sufficient to withstand any shipping abuses. And the download card, which was included worked just fine.
We all know this album so I won't get into the song list. I will say this though...Well, first, I don't own a turntable right now. I'll have to purchase one to listen to the albums. However after the very first seconds of hearing Black Dog I was brought back to the days of getting high and listening to this album in a dark living room with headphones. You know the ritual. But not because of the music. Because of the sound.
The CDs sounded like an album. That warmth that only albums have. It's a case of you're so used to listening to CDs that you forget. And when you hear it again, all those memories come flooding in.
Now, maybe you had to have bought the album the first day it came out like I did and played it, played it, played it, played it, and played it. So you can hear and appreciate all the subtle nuances of this remastered epic. But they are there and you can spot them a mile away. If you were born too late, I'm sure sorry.
The second album for me was a real treat. I'm so glad Jimmy did this. I must say I love Four Sticks in this album better than the original as well as When The Levee Breaks. But my favorites are the versions of Battle of Evermore and Going To California which have no vocals.
I loved the book. I tried to look through it when I played the CDs, but I couldn't. I just wanted to close my eyes and listen. And remember.
Is it worth the price? That's a very subjective issue. For me there's no debate. Do I recommend it? Yes, with no equivocation. Based on this purchase would I buy all the other Super Deluxe Editions? It's not a question of if, or would I, but when. Next up is going to be Physical Graffiti.
I better save my money.