- Tiana Speter
MUSIC NEWS: 'Led Zeppelin III' turns half a century with a limited vinyl on the horizon!
When the start of 2020 feels like a lifetime ago, it practically seems an eternity to think back to 1970, aka the year The Beatles officially disbanded, Apollo 13 took its fateful run and one of the most iconic albums of all time made its way into the world: Led Zeppelin III. Critical and commercial acclaim undoubtedly followed this truly game-changing release, and now precisely 50 years later the band are reissuing a limited edition vinyl of the album's breakout hit Immigrant Song to celebrate this momentous milestone.
Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones released Led Zeppelin III 50 years ago in the U.S., on October 5, 1970, with the U.K. and other countries following a few weeks later. The band’s third album in less than two years, it would top the charts in several countries – including the U.S. and the U.K. – on its way to selling more than 13 million copies worldwide. Beyond its overwhelming commercial success, the album also represented a turning point musically for Led Zeppelin as the group expanded its hard-hitting sound to embrace a wider range of styles on acoustic-based songs like That’s The Way, Tangerine, and Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp.
In celebration of the record’s 50th anniversary, the band will reissue the Japanese version of the album’s only single – “Immigrant Song” b/w the non-album track “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” – on 7” vinyl. Limited to 19,700 copies, it comes in a sleeve that replicates the original artwork. The single will be released on January 15, 2021 and can be pre-ordered at www.ledzeppelin.com starting this Thursday.
“Immigrant Song” was a Top 20 hit in the U.S. and has gone on to become one of the band’s most popular and enduring songs, currently ranking as their second most-streamed track worldwide. It’s also had an enduring impact on pop culture thanks to several memorable appearances in blockbuster motion pictures such as School Of Rock and, most recently, in Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok.
“Immigrant Song” and its lyrical references to Norse mythology were inspired by the band’s concert in Reykjavik, Iceland on June 22, 1970. Six days later, the song made its live debut in England at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. That fall, it would appear as the lead-off track on Led Zeppelin III.
Beyond the music, the album is noteworthy for another reason; it’s innovative artwork. When it was originally released on vinyl, Led Zeppelin III came packaged in a gatefold sleeve, conceived by Page and designed by multi-media artist Zacron (aka Richard Drew), whom Page had met in the early 1960s when Drew was attending Kingston College of Art. For his design, Zacron created a surreal collection of images (planes, birds and butterflies) surrounding several cutout holes. Behind the cover, he placed a rotating disc (volvelle or wheel chart) that featured more images, including photos of all four band members. When the disc was turned by hand, different images would appear in the openings to create an interactive visual experience.
And what better way to celebrate such this jaw-dropping occasion from a band who truly changed the music game forever than with a super exclusive vinyl release to add to your collection. The limited edition reissue will be available to pre-order this Thursday, head HERE tomorrow to check it all out!
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BY TIANA SPETER