With Led Zeppelin celebrating the 50th anniversary today of the release of its classic 1971 untitled studio album, better known as Led Zeppelin IV, comes news that the record has just been certified 24 times Platinum by the RIAA for notching 24 million equivalent album unit sales in the U.S.
This moves Led Zeppelin IV into a tie with The Beatles‘ White Album for the fifth-best-selling album ever in the States.
The only albums ahead of Zeppelin IV are the Eagles‘ Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, at 38-times platinum; Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, at 34-times platinum; the Eagles’ Hotel California, at 26-times platinum; and AC/DC‘s Back in Black, at 25-times platinum.
Led Zeppelin recorded most of Led Zeppelin IV‘s basic tracks while staying at a country house called Headley Grange in Hampshire, England, using The Rolling Stones‘ mobile studio.
Led Zeppelin IV featured several of the band’s best-known tunes, including perhaps their most famous song of all, the epic rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven.”
Robert Plant recalls that he was at Headley Grange when he began writing the lyrics for “Stairway to Heaven.”
“I was sitting next to Jimmy [Page] in front of the fire…He’d written this chord sequence and was playing it to me,” Plant remembers. “I was holding a pencil and paper and suddenly my hand is writing the words ‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold…’ I sat there, looked at the words and almost leaped out from my seat. Looking back, I suppose I sat down at the right moment.”
Late drummer John Bonham said around the time of Led Zeppelin IV‘s release that he felt it was the best album the band had made up till that time.
“I love it,” he added.
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