Posts Tagged ‘The Runes’

Led Zeppelin IV turns 40

November 8, 2011

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Forty years ago today, Led Zeppelin released their legendary fourth album, featuring their classic track ‘Stairway To Heaven’.

No title was printed on the sleeve, so it became known as Led Zeppelin lV, following the naming standard used by the band’s first three studio albums. However, it is also often referred to as The Runes or Four Symbols because of the ancient runes and symbols depicted on the cover.

On its release, Led Zeppelin IV became an instant success. It entered the UK album chart at No. 1 and stayed on the chart for 62 weeks, becoming the greatest critical and commercial success of the band’s career.

The album is now recognised as one of the most successful albums of all time, having sold some 32 million copies worldwide. It has sold over 23 million copies in the United States alone, making it the third best-selling album ever in the US.

In 2003, the album was ranked 66th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In 2010, the British postal service, Royal Mail, included Led Zeppelin IV in a new set of stamps featuring classic album covers from the last 40 years.

Guitarist Jimmy Page, who also helped to design the artwork for the album, says: “Forty years after the album came out, nobody knows the old man who featured on the cover, nor the artist who painted him. That sort of sums up what we wanted to achieve with the album cover, which has remained both anonymous and enigmatic at the same time.”

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