Four Sticks

By: sonofabeach96

Nov 08 2015

Category: Uncategorized


On this date, in 1971, Led Zeppelin released their fourth album.  The album was often referred to as Zeppelin IV, The Fourth Album, Untitled, The Hermit, or ZoSo as well.  One other common name for it was Symbols, based on the four symbols used on the inner sleeve design.  For those of you too young to remember vinyl records, there was an inner “sleeve” that the record slid into to protect it from scratches from the cardboard of the cover itself.

The symbols used on the inner sleeve represent each of the four band members.  After their previous album, Led Zeppelin III, was not well-received and was the subject of some harsh critical reviews, Jimmy Page, the producer of the album, decided to release their next album untitled, and with no name on the cover.  He stated, “After all this crap that we’d had with the critics, I put it to everybody else that it’d be a good idea to put out something totally anonymous.  At first I wanted just one symbol on it, but then it was decided that since it was our fourth album and there were four of us, we could each choose our own symbol.  I designed mine and everyone else had their own reasons for using the symbols that they used.”

The symbols used are:

Jimmy Page: His symbol was referred to as ZoSo.  It resembles a Sigil, as found in the magical philosophy of Austin Osman Spare.

John Bonham: His symbol is 3 interlocking rings representing mother, father, and child, and was from Rudolf Koch “Book of Signs”.

John Paul Jones: His symbol was a single circle intersecting 3 Vesica Piscis intended to symbolize possessing both confidence and competence, and was from the same Rudolf Koch book.

Robert Plant: His was a self-designed symbol of a feather within a circle, but was based on the symbol of the Mu Civilization.

There was also a fifth symbol, though much smaller, and used as an asterisk.  It was there in honor of Sandy Denny for her part in “The Battle of Evermore”.  It’s a design of 3 upside down triangles, one over two, that’s an old Christianity symbol for “Beyond that nothing is known about it”.

Zeppelin IV turned out to a smashing commercial success and was critically acclaimed.  It stayed on the UK charts for 90 weeks, rising to no. 1 in less than two weeks after release.  It only reached no. 2 on the US charts, but became the top selling album to not reach no. 1 and it stayed on the charts longer than any other Zeppelin album.  It garnered numerous awards over the years:  Mojo Magazine named it one of its 100 Greatest Albums of All-Time, it’s been named a Grammy Hall of Fame Album, Guitar Magazine named it Album of The Millennium, Rolling Stone ranked it 69th on the 500 Greatest Albums Ever, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named it one of its Definitive 200: Top 200 Albums of All-Time.

With all that acclaim and the number of sales, I think Jimmy Page’s plan worked out well.  It’s obviously one of the best albums ever, and for us Led Heads, it’s a must in the collection.  My songs of the day could be any you choose from the album, but I’ll choose 3 of my faves.  Happy Sunday!:

“The Battle of Evermore”

“When The Levee Breaks”

“Misty Mountain Hop”

7 comments on “Four Sticks”

  1. Good ole Zeppelin…….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, I know. I’m always droning on about Zeppelin. But, to me, greatest rock band of all time, bar none. Love all types of music and thousands of bands, but Zeppelin? The best! 🙂


  2. You’re not droning on.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That is cool!! I never knew about the symbols or their meaning!!

    Liked by 1 person

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