On November 8, 1971 Led Zeppelin IV or “Runes” came out and transformed Rock n’ Roll yet again. Some consider this to be the greatest Rock n’ Roll record ever made. Not only did it grab people by the balls (guys and gals… it’s a metaphor), it changed the way folks (okay, mostly dudes with long hair) would walk into guitar shops forever…
Anyone remember laughter? What about the sign in the guitar shop in Wayne’s World that said “No Stairway to Heaven.”
The good thing is that I was too young to remember when this album came out. The bad thing is that I am still feeling damn old… 40 years… That is like… biblical.
Either I forgot or simply did not realize how sexy Zep was until I started doing my Music To Make Love To lists and saw the way many of my new rocker friends responded to a hell of a lot of Zep songs. I went back and listened to a band I always loved but perhaps still missed a bit. The lighter in my brain flicked on. I got it in a big way… Well, no I did not get it in a BIG way… That was my problem with high school.
If I knew then what I know now… Wow! Wait a minute… I’m supposed to be writing about Zeppelin, but now Faces’ “Ooh La La” just popped into my head… Okay, we’ll go with it for a minute… Indulge me and join in, would you?
“I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger.
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was stronger.”
Thank you… Ahhh… I feel like I missed so much as a youth… Sigh… Suddenly I see the keys to so many doors… Where the hell is that time machine when you need it? Ah well…
The screen becomes wavy and fuzzy screen as odd sci-fi music plays… Da na na… da na na… da na na… Marc shakes his head and settles back into reality… the present…
We open with “Black Dog” and if you’re like me you’re thinking where the hell do you go from here… Well… They go! “Rock and Roll” is one of my favorite songs period. “The Battle of Evermore” is like some madrigal rock tune that I could see being played live on an ancient battlefield… I mean literally in ancient times… durrng a battle… and then, of course… “Stairway to Heaven.” Ahhh… Yeah, we’ve heard this song a gazillion times, but still… STILL!
“Going to California” and “When the Levee Breaks” close things out in such an amazing way. Yes, ladies… I get it… NOW!!! Years late and a buck short… but I get it!
40 years ago today an album meant something… a long player was a long player… and Rock n’ Roll was Rock n’ Roll!
Long Live Zep. Long live IV!
PS – I found this interesting enough to share… From Wikipeida:
“Page stated that he designed his own symbol and has never publicly disclosed any reasoning behind it. However, it has been argued that his symbol appeared as early as 1557 to represent Saturn. The symbol is sometimes referred to as “ZoSo”, though Page has explained that it was not in fact intended to be a word at all.
Bassist John Paul Jones‘ symbol, which he chose from Rudolf Koch’s Book of Signs, is a single circle intersecting three vesica pisces (a triquetra). It is intended to symbolise a person who possesses both confidence and competence.
Drummer John Bonham’s symbol, the three interlocking rings, was picked by the drummer from the same book. It represents the triad of mother, father and child, but also happens to be the logo for Ballantine beer.
Singer Robert Plant’s symbol was his own design, being based on the sign of the supposed Mu civilisation.
There is also a fifth, smaller symbol chosen by guest vocalist Sandy Denny representing her contribution to the track “The Battle of Evermore”; it appears in the credits list on the inner sleeve of the LP, serving as an asterisk and is shaped like three triangles touching at their points.”