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33 1/3
Led Zeppelin
Rating :
Author(s) :
Erik Davis
Pages :
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
2005(pb,1st ed,fine,s)
Publisher :
"Stripping their famous name off the record was Led Zeppelin's almost petulant attempt to let their Great Work 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 blockuster arcanum. All the stopgap titles we throw at the thing are lame: Led Zeppelin IV, 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."

In this wickedly entertaining and thoroughly informed homage to one of rock's towering pinnacles, Erik Davis investigates the magic -- black or otherwise -- that surrounds this album. Davis reveals the dark and often mystical roots of each song -- and leaves the reader to decide whether Led Zeppelin IV is some form of occult induction or just an inspired, brilliantly played rock album.

Erik Davis has been writing about music, subcultures, and technology for fifteen years. His cult book Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (1998), was translated into five languages and has recently been republished with a new introduction by Serpents Tail. He is a regular contributor to Wired, and lives in San Francisco, where he is currently researching the history of California counterculture.