Happy Birthday, “Zeppelin IV”

Emily Hicks
Staff Writer

What do you think of when you hear the name Led Zeppelin? For a lot of people, their iconic song “Stairway to Heaven” comes to mind first. Even for those who aren’t avid listeners of the iconic rock and roll band of the late 60s and 70s, “Stairway to Heaven” is a classic that has been heard on the radio time and time again. Arguably, it is the track that pushed Led Zeppelin into rock and roll fame. 

Released November 8, 1971, “Zeppelin IV” was definitely a risky step for Led Zeppelin to take. After their third studio album, “Zeppelin III”, was not well received by listeners. The band was on thin ice in a way with the rock and roll community. After its release, “Zeppelin IV” became the band’s most popular album; selling a whopping thirty-seven million copies world wide. To this day, it is Led Zeppelin’s best selling album.

Even for people who don’t claim to be Led Zeppelin fans, this album has some familiar tunes. Other than “Stairway to Heaven, the album “Zeppelin IV” hosts the popular track “Going to California”, the timeless ballad about the search for a good spirited woman that vocalist, Robert Plant, knows is out there. The iconic lyric “Someone told me there’s a girl out there, with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.” was and still is a beautiful tribute to finding love. The song itself was written about the iconic Joni Mitchell, who was an inspiration for some of the members of the band. This acoustic number is also still well played on classic rock radio stations to this day.

Ever hear the song “Black Dog” while flipping through your radio presets? That upbeat track is also featured on “Zeppelin IV”. Being the first track on the album, “Black Dog” sets up listeners to have their mind blown with the rest of “Zeppelin IV” and how it was a different stroke from the band’s previous three albums. Where did the name “Black Dog” come from? It was actually titled after a dog that roamed the grounds of the country house called, Headley Grange, where the band retreated to record their most popular album.

If you aren’t the biggest rock and roll connoisseur, odds are that you still know the band “Led Zeppelin”. If you have yet to listen to them, or just want to revisit an old classic, take time this week to listen to “Zeppelin IV” in the week of its release. The iconicity of the band Led Zeppelin is not something that can be debated; they changed the history of rock and roll. 

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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