Robert Plant Doesn't Know What to Call Led Zeppelin's Fourth Album Either

Led Zeppelin IV vinyl
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(Courtesy of Atlantic)

It's among the most popular and well-known albums in rock history, owned and adored by fans around the world. What it doesn't have, however, is a title. Even the band's singer doesn't know what to call it.

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Such is the case with Led Zeppelin's legendary fourth album from 1971. It's where indelible rock and roll classics as "Stairway to Heaven" and "Black Dog" first appeared, and still stands as the best-selling full-length in the band's blockbuster catalog. Officially untitled, the record has been called a variety of names over the years, ranging from simply Led Zeppelin IV to The Runes Album, a reference to the individual icons crafted to represent each member of the band.

"I don't know," Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant mused during a recent edition of the Digging Deep podcast. "In those days in Zeppelin, we were so much of a deal, in fact it becomes almost like a kind of Spinal Tap thing, where sometimes you can't put the record out even though you've finished it, because you haven't got the artwork right," the singer said, referencing the famous 1984 mock-rock documentary,This is Spinal Tap. Listen to the full podcast below. 

"And then, are you going to put the name on the album cover? Are you kidding?! Put the name of the band on the album cover?! That's far too corporate," Plant continued in a joking voice to echo the sentiments of the time. "But of course we want everybody to know about it and buy it and sell it and hate it, love it and all that. so, yeah. I don't know what it's called. The Four Symbols is what it's sometimes called."

Plant's thoughts came during a breakdown of Led Zeppelin song "The Battle of Evermore," and how it highlighted the depth and diversity of the band: "We were very fortunate in the Zeppelin camp, because there was a lot of amazing variety of stylistic influence in everybody's play."

“I don’t know,” he replied. “In those days in Zeppelin, we were so much of a deal – in fact, it becomes almost like a kind of Spinal Tap thing where, sometime you can’t put the record out, even though you’ve finished it, because you haven’t got the artwork right.”

Read More: What Does Robert Plant Call Led Zeppelin’s Fourth Album? |
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