Offered for sale is an original Japanese test pressing of Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album, also known as Led Zeppelin IV, including the original obi and very rare “star” sticker.
These test pressings were sent to radio stations and stores in advance of the album’s release to help promote it.
About this copy: This copy of Led Zeppelin IV is the first Japanese issue, released in 1971 with the “star” or “Rock Age” obi. This obi was only available for a few months and was changed shortly after the album’s original release.
It includes the original obi, lyric insert, and custom inner sleeve that contained the lyrics to “Stairway to Heaven.”
Also included is the rare star-shaped sticker that was intended to be used when giving the album as a gift. This sticker is almost always missing.
The cover is VG++ and close to M-, with trace corner wear and faint wear on the inside of the cover. The obi is VG++, with trace wear on the back side, but no tears. The “hojyuhyo,” or reorder tag, is still attached.
The star sticker is M- with no tears or writing.
The custom inner sleeve is M-. The lyric insert is VG+, with slight fading, but no tears or other issues.
The test pressing disc is VG on side one, with a couple of light scratches through the first track and a few sleeve scuffs. Side two is VG+ with some slight scuffing from the original heavy paper inner sleeve. It’s a clean disc that plays well with a bit of surface noise.
The label is plain white, aside from the catalog number and the word “sample,” printed in Japanese.
A nice, if imperfect, copy of an ultra-rare Led Zeppelin LP.
Background: I’m not sure how much we need to elaborate about Led Zeppelin IV. The album, which included “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” and “Stairway to Heaven,” reached #1 on the UK charts and #2 on the U.S. charts, where it has since sold more than 23 million copies.
Allmusic.com gave Led Zeppelin IV a 5 star review:
Encompassing heavy metal, folk, pure rock & roll, and blues, Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album is a monolithic record, defining not only Led Zeppelin but the sound and style of ’70s hard rock. Expanding on the breakthroughs of III, Zeppelin fuse their majestic hard rock with a mystical, rural English folk that gives the record an epic scope. … “Going to California” is the group’s best folk song, and the rockers are endlessly inventive, whether it’s the complex, multi-layered “Black Dog,” the pounding hippie satire “Misty Mountain Hop,” or the funky riffs of “Four Sticks.” But the closer, “When the Levee Breaks,” is the one song truly equal to “Stairway,” helping give IV the feeling of an epic. An apocalyptic slice of urban blues, “When the Levee Breaks” is as forceful and frightening as Zeppelin ever got, and its seismic rhythms and layered dynamics illustrate why none of their imitators could ever equal them.
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|Country of origin:||Japan|
|Year of Release:||1972|