Led Zeppelin IV A3/B3 UK Red/Plum Label (Inverted Feather & Misty Mountain "Top" credit)
This A3/B3 version of 'Zoso' or 'Four Symbols' is in excellent condition and with the two label miss-pressings is rarely seen today.
There are about eight red/plum pressings of this classic album in total and it took many attempts before the label accreditation was correct! This mega early pressing has the correct 'Jimmy Page' production credit (the 'Peter Grant' credit has been removed) and it also has the correct publishing credit of 'Kinney Music Ltd./Superhype Music Inc'.
However, what makes this A3/B3 pressing more rare and collectable is that it has the inverted (upside down) feather and the incorrect 'Misty Mountain Top' credit on the S2 label when it should be spelt as'...Hop'.
Of course it has PECKO DUCK and PORKY etched into the dead wax on each side.
2401012 // A/3 // 1 2 1 // Pecko Duck
2401012 // B/3 // 1 2 4 // Porky
The audio on S1 tracks 1 & 2 is Ex+ / Near Mint & tracks 3 & 4 are Ex (some sections Ex+)
The audio on S2is Ex (many sections Ex+ / 'Going To California' VG+/Ex)
The gatefold is Ex
The labels are Ex+
The original inner sleeve is VG++
For a vinyl approaching 50 years of age it is extremely clean. S1 in particular is in superb condition and there is only one obvious faint hairline that has no discernible affect on the audio. S2 has a couple of extra hairlines and one fingerprint type mark but overall the visual quality of this rare red/plum pressing does not disappoint. The audio as detailed below plays to an excellent standard.
'Black Dog' has only a minor amount of light static on the intro and then truly impresses with wonderfully clear audio. There is a little static in the quieter sections but it is not intrusive in any way and the track plays with stunning clarity and hardly any distortion.
'Rock and Roll' continues this fine quality with immense power and depth and is without doubt the best version I have ever heard. In fact it grades as Near Mint such is astounding quality here. The clarity and strength of the bass is just superb.
'The Battle of Evermore' has intermittent soft crackle for the first 5 seconds or so and one pop and then plays extremely well with only what I would call a little background static hiss on the top end. Don't let this put you off as it doesn't interference with the listen and is only sporadic anyway. The audio still plays very clearly and with no other 'background'.
The intro to 'Stairway to Heaven' so often plays with interference on these early red/plum pressings but I am pleased to report there is only the lightest of background static here and there. It really does play with excellent clarity and I haven't heard this section play so well in a long time. There is some static hiss on the top end again from the 'there's a feeling I get...' verse so perhaps this would benefit from a professional clean. Whilst the hiss remains the sound does not suffer from a lack of clarity and once Jimmy's guitar solo begins the sound is all encompassing and plays with excellent quality and the final louder verse plays exceptionally well, stunning in fact. The very quiet final few seconds plays beautifully with barely any interference. A superb end to such a classic track.
'Misty Mountain Hop' begins with hardly any lead in static and then plays very clearly with only a couple of seconds of crackle in the middle. There is a touch of background static here and there but is not intrusive. For a rare A3/B3 press now 46 years old the audio is of an excellent standard.
'Four Sticks' has audio that plays with even greater definition and clarity. There is no obvious interference, no crackle, static, clicks or pops. This is one of best versions of this track I have heard and even the fade out is devoid of any 'background'.
The run in to 'Going to California' is completely silent and the track then plays with very impressive audio but with a little static on the top end again. Of course it is the quietest track on the LP so any imperfection will be more obvious. On a vinyl of this age you expect some interference but in all honesty this track plays exceptionally well and there are no clicks or pops. The static does not interfere with the listening 'pleasure' and the second half in particular plays superbly well.
The drums kick off 'When the Levee Breaks' in stunning style and with no 'background'. This track always plays with distortion and this is due to it being the last track where the grooves are pressed closer together in order to 'fit' it on and this can cause some sound issues. Taking that into account this is still one of better versions I have heard and whilst the distortion is prevalent in some arears there are many sections that play very clearly. Again there are no clicks or pops and it is a fitting end to a classic album.
The gatefold has been verywellpreserved and has only minor shelfwear. The edges and spine are very clean with only a little rubbing. The corners have a minor amount of wear but they are certainly better than so many you see. The front cover itself is unmarked and the inside especially is in beautiful condition with only a minimal amount of white 'spotting'. The back cover is also in great shape with only a couple of tiny marks. The opening edge has only very light handling wear. Overall this is a great example of this iconic cover and will not disappoint.
This is definitely better than so many you find. It is very clean with no marking/writing and the only real area of wear is a large split on the bottom edge. However, it is a 'clean' split and not that obvious and there are no splits to the sides. There is a fine scratch type mark on the credits side and a small amount of wear on one of the flipbacks. Overall though you don't see many better than this today as the thin paper is easily torn/wrecked!
The red/plum labels are very clean with only a small number of age related marks that you can only see when held at a certain angle. They have no writing on them. S2 does have some spindle wear although surprisingly S1 has hardly any. The 'inverted feather' is on the S2 label.
Play tested on my Pro-Ject EssentialIII Turntable // B & W 684 Speakers
2401012 // A/3 // 1 2 1 // Pecko Duck
2401012 // B/3 // 1 2 4 // Porky
Any questions please feel free to ask
Please pay within 4 days of auction end
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