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 epic scope. Even at its most basic -- the muscular, tradtionalist "Rock and Roll" -- the album has a grand sense of drama, which is deepened by Robert Plant's burgeoning obsession with mythology and mysticism. These obsessions come to a head on the eerie folk ballad "The Battle of Evermore," a mandolin-driven song with haunting vocals from Sandy Denny, and on the epic "Stairway to Heaven," which encapsulates the entire album in one song. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.113) - Ranked #66 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...Towering..."
Rolling Stone (12/23/71, p.63) - "...out of the eight cuts, there isn't one that steps on another's toes, [or] that tries to do too much all at once..." - Lenny Kaye
Spin (p.89) - "[With] whipsaw riffs that treated the blues like ancient runes..."
Q (6/00, p.76) - Ranked #26 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums"
Q (10/94, p.141) - 5 Stars - Indispensable - "...it's...big room ambience still best described by 'When The Levee Breaks'..."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #56 in NME's list of the 'Greatest Albums Of All Time.'