The mystery of the music from the iconic Led Zeppelin album was revealed half a century after its release

The mystery of the music from the iconic Led Zeppelin album was revealed half a century after its release
The mystery of the music from the iconic Led Zeppelin album was revealed half a century after its release

It will not be an obvious coincidence, that on the eve of the fifty-second anniversary of the famous record of the hard rock legend, the origin of the image that introduced the front page of the album was revealed.

If you open the booklet of the album unofficially known as Led Zeppelin IV, you will get an impressive image. The tattered picture on the tattered wallpaper hangs on a half-arched wall overlooking Birmingham’s Salisbury Tower. According to Robert Plant’s song and lyrics, it was meant to draw attention to the dichotomy between the countryside and the city and to remind people that they should take care of their planet.

But where the medium portrait of the man came from was not clear until November of this year. So far it has been assumed that this is a photograph of some kind of painting that Robert Plant discovered in an antique shop next to Jimmy Plant’s house in Berkshire.

The picture known as the man with the sticks is actually a colorized photograph, although its fate is unclear, the original is now known. And most importantly, the authenticity of the image. This is a man named Lot Long from the town of Mere in the south-western county of Wiltshire, about 130 kilometers from London, who was photographed by Ernest Farmer at the end of the 19th century. The original photo of the now forgotten author was found by Brian Edwards from the University of the West England during research when he looked through an album of period photographs. He was just looking for old photos of Stonehenge when, as a fan of the band, he was suddenly given a well-known motif.

The author was not listed in the album, but given the quality of the photo, the scientist concluded that he must have been a professional. And thanks to detailed research, Edwards was able to find the name of photographer Ernest Farmer. The album of the two photographs bore the title: Memories of the Shaftesbury Wedding. Svatodun svtky 1892. Drek tetice from Ernest.

An original photograph of the mysterious figure on the cover of Led Zeppelin IV has been discovered in an old photo album – and he’s been identified

November 8, 2023 at 2:02 pspvek archived: November 8, 2023 at 10:30 am

And with further detailed research, the scientist got to the name of Lot Long (sometimes Longyer), a witness from Wiltshire county. The subject of the photograph lived between 1823 and 1893. At the time of the photograph, he was a widower living in a small cottage on Shaftesbury Road in Mere.

ed beard underscoring his tanned face, the bent figure apparently stops for the photographer, his metal hands clenched to support the bundle of love on the walls. This is how the local museum now describes the photograph figuratively, which, after the discovery, decided to set up a building for the forgotten local photographer Farmer.

Today, it is well known that, as a photographer, he was a prominent figure in the development of photography as an art form. He captured the spirit of the people, villages and landscapes of Wiltshire and Dorset, which contrasted with life in London. It is fascinating how the darkness of the contrast between the city and the countryside was subsequently developed again by Led Zeppelin after seventy years, until the museum.

The cover of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, which includes the hits Stairway to Heaven and Black Dog and ends with a compelling cover version of the country song When the Levee Breaks, is known for other reasons as well. There isn’t even a letter on it to indicate which band it is, each Led Zeppelin song is represented by one symbol chosen by Plant, Page, Bonham and Jones.

One of the best albums in the history of Led Zeppelin was released on November 8, 1971, and sold more than 37 million copies worldwide.

Last month, the changed album came into the limelight again, also because Robert Plant turned on the most famous dog from it at a charity event. It was an event, because the otherwise very active musician refused to sing the hit Stairway to Heaven for a long time. So it was heard from him after a long dozen years.

The article is in Czech

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