The guitarist Jimmy Page is known as a serious student of the occult and a particularadmirer of Aleister Crowley, even purchasing his ex-residence Boleskine House on theshores of Loch Ness (fig 4). He has also associated with the Thelemic filmmakerKenneth Anger and gave Anger use of his London residence whilst the filmmakerworked on “Lucifer Rising” – a film for which Page was supposed to provide asoundtrack but never completing the work
Of all of their mystic and occult references none is more complex than that produced in1971:In November of thatyear, a new albumappeared in recordshops. The coverdepicts a picture of anold man carrying afaggot of sticks on awallpaper background.When the album isopened out, the pictureis revealed to behanging on the wall of a demolished building. In the distance are other derelict housesand tower blocks. The outer sleeve bears no title, group name or corporate logo. Thespine, similarly, has no identifying writing whatsoever. The inner gatefold shows thehermit of the tarot deck standing aloft a mountain. Below can be seen a long-hairedfigure gazing upwards, who appears to be making his way up the mountain. Alandscape of castles and towns is visible in the background (fig 5). Only upon taking outthe inner sleeve of the album are you given any indication of those responsible (fig 6). Four symbols appear at the top of the sleeve. A track listing is given. “Sandy Denny” is listednext to a cluster of triangles. Some may recognise the nameas the singer of the folk group Fairport Convention. Readingfurther, two names appear which give the strongest indicationof the group or person responsible. The credits list “Producedby Jimmy Page” and “Executive Producer – Peter Grant”.Those in the know would recognise both names as being orhaving been associated with two particular rock groups; TheYardbirds and Led Zeppelin. Once the record is removedfrom the inner sleeve it is only then made clear that the groupis indeed, Led Zeppelin. No clear title for the album seems tobe shown and this record is usually referred to as “LedZeppelin IV”. However, the actual name of the album hasalready been shown - it is entitled
The very act of releasing an “unnamed album” wasconsidered commercial suicide and the group had to fightagainst the wishes of Atlantic Records board members toretain artistic control of the album design.