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Call it Led Zeppelin IV, since it carries no printed information on its cover, only a picture of a bent old gent bearing a great faggot of sticks. Inside are four arcane-looking symbols that, word has it, are ancient runes that Jimmy Page may have used to represent each of the four members of the group. But the real mystery here is that the old Zepp has become so good. The group finally has made its own brand of high-volume tastelessness into great rock, and not all of it is at high volume, either. Besides the flamboyant Page solos and the typical, heavily layered sounds of tunes such as "Rock and Roll," there are subtle instrumental effects (the dulcimer on "The Battle of Evermore," for example). With "Stairway to Heaven," the group ascends into the realm of seriousness -- getting into madrigals, yet, and quasi-poetry -- and does it without stumbling.

- Playboy, 3-72