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08 October 2020

Led Zeppelin Celebrate 50 years of ‘Led Zeppelin III’ With Immigrant Song Reissue

Led Zeppelin
Carl Dunn
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Today, 5th October, marks the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin‘s glorious third album, Led Zeppelin III. To celebrate, the band have announced a special reissue of Immigrant Song on a limited run of 19,700 vinyl copies worldwide.

The only song released as a single from the album, this anniversary 7″ release is of the original Japanese version, and is housed in a sleeve that replicates the original artwork, and the single is backed with the non-album track, Hey, Hey What Can I Do.

“Immigrant Song” and its lyrical references to Norse mythology were inspired by the band’s concert in Reykjavik, Iceland on June 22, 1970. Six days later, the song made its live debut in England at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. That fall, it would appear as the lead-off track on Led Zeppelin III.

Vinyl fans will be happy to learn that the single comes with a two-sided printed insert, as well as the classic red Atlantic Records die-cut paper inner sleeve, and no prong centre.

John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant released Led Zeppelin III 50 years ago in the US, on October 5, 1970, with the UK and other countries following a few weeks later. The band’s third album in less than two years, it would top the charts in several countries – including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, Holland, Denmark – on its way to selling more than 13 million copies worldwide. Beyond its overwhelming commercial success, the album also represented a turning point musically for Led Zeppelin as the group expanded its hard-hitting sound to embrace a wider range of styles on acoustic-based songs, such as That’s The Way and Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp. The album also includes one of the band’s most beloved rock tracks, Immigrant Song, discovered by millions of new fans via sync uses in the 2003 movie, School Of Rock and, most recently, in Marvel’s 2017 film, Thor: Ragnarok.

Beyond the music, the album is noteworthy for its innovative artwork. When it was originally released on vinyl, Led Zeppelin III came packaged in a gatefold sleeve designed by multi-media artist Zacron (aka Richard Drew), whom Page had met in the early 60s when they were attending Kingston College of Art. For his design, Zacron created a surreal collection of images (planes, birds and butterflies) surrounding several cutout holes. Behind the cover, he placed a rotating disc that featured more images, including photos of all four band members. When the disc was turned by hand, different images would appear in the openings to create an interactive visual experience.

Throughout October, Led Zeppelin and Warner Music Group will celebrate this astonishing album, so keep an eye out for more special events and updates.

The limited edition vinyl of Immigrant Song/Hey, Hey, What Can I Do can be pre-ordered here .

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