Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin IV

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A&C Black, Feb 18, 2005 - Music - 177 pages
2 Reviews

In this wickedly entertaining and thoroughly informed homage to one of rock music's towering pinnacles, Erik Davis investigates the magic black or otherwise that surrounds this album. Carefully peeling the layers from each song, Davis reveals their dark and often mystical roots and leaves the reader to decide whether [FOUR SYMBOLS] is some form of occult induction or just an inspired, brilliantly played rock album.

Excerpt:
Stripping Led Zeppelin's famous name off the fourth record was an almost petulant attempt to let their Great Work symbolically stand on its own two feet. But the wordless jacket also lent the album charisma. Fans hunted for hidden meanings, or, in failing to find them, sensed a strange reflection of their own mute refusal to communicate with the outside world. This helped to create one of the supreme paradoxes of rock history: an esoteric megahit, a blockbuster arcanum. Stripped of words and numbers, the album no longer referred to anything but itself: a concrete talisman that drew you into its world, into the frame. All the stopgap titles we throw at the thing are lame: Led Zeppelin IV, [Untitled], Runes, Zoso, Four Symbols. In an almost Lovecraftian sense, the album was nameless, a thing from beyond, charged with manna. And yet this uncanny fetish was about as easy to buy as a jockstrap.
 

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Review: Led Zeppelin IV (33⅓ #17)

User Review  - Gregory - Goodreads

Another great entry in the 33 1/3 series. Delves into one of the most famous rock albums of all time, one that had no band name on it, no title, and no band member names other than 4 mysterious ... Read full review

Review: Led Zeppelin IV (33⅓ #17)

User Review  - Carol - Goodreads

What I wanted to know was more about how the music was made (although now I know why the drums in "When the Levee Breaks" sound like that). What I got mostly was an analysis of the mystical, magickyl ... Read full review

Contents

PHYSICAL GRAFFITI
13
LET THE MUSIC BE YOUR MASTER
46
GOTTA ROLL
75
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AIR
94
WANDERING AND WONDERING
132
WHEN MOUNTAINS CRUMBLE
145
CODA IN THE EVENING
168
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About the author (2005)

Erik Davis has been writing about music, subcultures, and technoculture for fifteen years. His cult book Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (1998), was translated in 5 languages and is being republished with a new introduction by Serpents Tail. He is a regular contributor to Wired, and lives in San Francisco.

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