Wednesday, April 1, 2015

7. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV

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"There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven." Stairway to Heaven

I was the old man heading to that stairway laden with a heavy bundle of sun-dried sticks on my aching back. There was nothing anymore to pick and there was no other place to go. The bundle was all I could carry to heaven, gathered from the pillaged earth I was standing on. And if on my way some stranger would stop me for a shot, and bring it to the decaying city where he lived, and mounted my picture
on the Victorian frame that he picked up from some garbage heap, and hung it on the peppered wall that was left of the tenement that was planned for a palace but actually half-finished
and now totally forgotten, then I would know that I was heading in the right direction. But by the time that was done my back might have been broken and the stranger would not even
care to know if I ever got to the first step. Still I would hope that he might.

My prose is junk; his pose is punk. Here's the original album covert art design.

No. 7, Billboard, The 300 Best-Selling Albums of All Time; No. 19, Rate Your Music, The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 42, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000; 
No. 69, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 79, Entertainment Weekly, 100 Greatest Albums Ever.

The painting on the front of the album, showing an old man carrying a bundle of sticks, was allegedly purchased from a junk shop in
Reading, Berkshire by a Led Zeppelin roadie (though Jimmy Page has stated it was bought by Robert Plant). Source

The 19th-century rustic oil painting on the front of the album was purchased from an antique shop in Reading, Berkshire by Plant.The painting was then juxtaposed and affixed to the internal,
papered wall of a partly demolished suburban house for the photograph to be taken. Page has explained that the cover of the fourth album was intended to bring out
a city/country dichotomy that had initially surfaced on Led Zeppelin IIIIt represented the change in the balance which was going on. There was the old
countryman and the blocks of flats being knocked down. It was just a way of saying that we should look after the earth, not rape and pillage it.

However, regarding the meaning of the album cover, he has also stated: The cover was supposed to be something that was for other people to savour rather than for me
to actually spell everything out, which would make the whole thing rather disappointing on that level of your own personal adventure into the music.

The album cover was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010. Full article

(A) Black Dog - Rock and Roll - The Battle of Evermore - Stairway to Heaven

(B) Misty Mountain Hop - Four Sticks - Going to California - When the Levee Breaks

"Stairway to Heaven" live from YeOldeRock on YouTube.