Led Zeppelin: A Vinyl Buyer’s Guide

The "Do What Thou Wilt" inscription on Led Zep III

The “Do What Thou Wilt” inscription on Led Zep III

Want to know why some Led Zeppelin vinyl LPs sounded better than most other rock LPs? Read on…

It is received wisdom that the earliest Led Zep UK pressings – with a plum and red label, rather than the later green and yellow label – are the ones to have. They therefore fetch the most money. But received wisdom, I have discovered, is not always correct.

The US pressing of Led Zep III

The US pressing of Led Zep III

When I first started building up my record collection again, my local record shop, Leigh Records, had a £40 UK plum labelled copy of Led Zep III and a US pressing for £7.50 in the same condition. I plumped for the cheaper version. This wasn’t because I have some sort of maverick vision or second sight as a record investor. It’s because I could get *almost* the same thing for thirty-two pounds fifty less, and a penny saved is, as the saying goes, a penny earned. However, a bit of impromptu research from some audiophiles* has revealed that in the majority of cases the US pressing actually sounds better than the UK one.

This is in contrast to the general rule of record collecting that if you buy an early pressing from the country of origin of the artist, you are most likely to be nearer the source tapes, and therefore the sound ought to be better. It seems Led Zep are an exception: they had such great success in the USA that this generally fairly reliable guideline doesn’t hold true – after the first album at least. I didn’t know it at the time, but my US pressing was pretty early and has excellent sound – probably better than an equivalent UK version.

French Pressing of "Houses of the Holy". Note the plum like label and "House of the Holy" title

French Pressing of “Houses of the Holy”. Note the lilac label and “House of the Holy” title

Another thing you should know about buying Led Zep vinyl is that their first couple of albums are very, very expensive.

You shouldn’t be prepared to look for first pressings unless you are fond of shouting “— Me!” whilst you suffer a heart attack from fright.

The first pressings of Led Zep 1 are easily identifiable with Turquoise lettering on the front cover. Oh, and by the £1,500 price tag in mint condition. No, I don’t have one. Second pressings – still from the sixties and with orange lettering on the cover – are marginally less ridiculously priced, but may still set you back a few hundred quid if mint. No, I don’t have one of those either. I found one for twenty-five quid a little while ago, but it jumped, so I didn’t buy it…

Led Zep II is less expensive, and there are a couple of things to look out for: Top money for Led Zep 2 can be up to £250 for a mint first pressing – identifiable by a mis-credited “Living Loving Wreck” on the label.

A "Plum" coloured UK Pressing of Led Zep II. Note the "Living Loving Maid" song title, meaning this is not a first pressing. First pressings said "Livin' Lovin' Wreck"

A “Plum” coloured UK Pressing of Led Zep II. Note the “Livin’ Lovin’ Maid” song title, meaning this is not a first pressing. First pressings said “Livin’ Lovin’ Wreck”

Still a first pressing, but without the “Living Loving Wreck” mis-print is a £60 copy in mint condition which lists “The Lemon Song”, crediting the writers as Plant and Page on the label. Later copies are c£40 and call this song “Killing Floor” with a credit to Willie Dixon – which if you have ever heard Willie Dixon’s song you will have some sympathy for. Look also for a light brown sleeve with a blurry green edge. However, whichever copy you look for, finding Led Zep II in great condition is harder work than listening to Depeche Mode’s third album.

This brings us to III.

Led Zep III is a terrific record all round. Ever try to play That’s The Way on guitar? It’s hellishly tricky – until you realise Page uses an alternative tuning (it’s an open-G tuning, the same one that Keith Richards uses to play “Rocks Off” or “Start Me Up” -and pretty much all of his songs) and then you just learn a few basic chord shapes and Bob’s your uncle (or should that be Jimmy’s your uncle?) – it’s actually pretty easy to play the basics. (Whilst we’re on the subject, “The Rain Song” from “Houses of the Holy” is another not-as-tricky-as-you-think song to learn – with an alternative tuning from low to high DGCGCD – that just sounds beautiful as you play it).

"So Mote It Be" inscribed on Led Zep III

“So Mote It Be” inscribed on Led Zep III

Led Zep III also (shock horror) has the inscription in the run off groove of that Scottish master of evil magick Alistair Campbell, sorry, Alastair Crowley. “So Mote Be It” and “Do What Thou Wilt”, which led to  much apparently serious speculation as to whether Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones had sold their souls to the devil. Which just goes to show how gullible people were in the seventies…

With all of these albums, you can buy cheaper copies by targeting the eighties reissues on green Atlantic labels. These can be bought for substantially less, albeit on lightweight eighties vinyl. And there’s the rub. Because the value in buying any forthcoming re-issue will be in the quality of the vinyl – especially for the first four albums. If you bought your Led Zep vinyl in the eighties, or if your old copy is crackly, then these new versions ought to be better sounding copies – and that’s a good reason to buy.

The '80s Green Atlantic label - this is Led Zep IV

The ’80s Green Atlantic label – this is Led Zep IV

Buying the later (Physical Graffiti onwards) albums on vinyl might not be so essential, because the original copies are still common and less expensive. The quality of the original vinyl is also very good:

As Led Zep’s manager Peter Grant revealed in a 1989 interview in Raw magazine:

“We first got the idea for Swan Song after Atlantic f- up the pressings for Led Zeppelin II. They actually ran off 100,000 copies which jumped all over the place because they didn’t follow Jimmy’s precise instructions on the master tape. So we just decided that it was time for us to take control of our own situation and ensure that Led Zeppelin were presented in the best possible manner. We oversaw every aspect of record manufacture. I would go down to the pressing plant myself and make sure that everything ran smoothly. And I discovered some very interesting things. For instance, the records are dipped during the manufacturing process into vats of acid right? But for Rock/ Pop stuff these vats are only cleaned out every six months. However, for classical records there are separate vats which are cleaned out every ten days! So, I persuaded the powers that be to dip Zeppelin’s albums into the classical vat, which is part of the reason why the sound quality on our albums was so good.”

However, even if better quality copies of Led Zep’s later albums (Physical Graffiti, Presence, In Through The Out Door) are plentiful, the promise of extra tracks may yet convince us to shell out the hard-earned…

As to whether the new reissues will be up to scratch? We’ll have to wait and see. I’m more interested in the extra tracks and outtakes Page has promised for Led Zep III and onwards. Should you buy? As Jimmy Page might say, Do What Thou Wilt…

  • * source: Steve Hoffman’s Forums – an Internet resource populated by some of the world’s finest audiophiles**
  • ** By which I mean “music geeks”. In the nicest possible way.

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Led Zeppelin – That’s The Way



Categories: Hard Rock

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101 replies

  1. This is an awesome post. It’s not every day I learn something new about my favorite band of the last 35 years, but you provided plenty of interesting tidbits here. Even though I have a clean set of Zeppelin LPs I’m pretty sure they’re all ’80s pressings. As I believe I mentioned in your previous Zeppelin post, I also have a Mobile Fidelity half-speed mastered copy of Zeppelin II which I played last week for the first time in nearly 30 years. My old turntable finally died and I chose that as my first record for the new turntable. What a great choice. Hopefully the vinyl remasters that are coming our way will sound at least as good as that. Then again, their albums were recorded & mixed so perfectly that even a mediocre vinyl pressing should sound excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well thank you – high praise indeed – it’s always good to find things that aren’t easily look-up-able on the internet (yes, that is a word) and therefore a bit different.
      I think a clean ’80s copy will be good for most people – sadly my copy of Led Zep II is poor and quite crackly, so I have a good reason to invest in the new ones as and when they come out.
      What turntable did you buy? I have a Rega…

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      • I bought the Audio Technica AT-LP120. Based on weeks of research & solicited opinions from people who know more about audio components than I do, as well as my spending limit, this model met most of my criteria. My only disappointment is that it doesn’t have auto-return, but that’s something I’m living with. Otherwise it looks & sounds excellent, and certainly an improvement on my 30+ year old Onkyo which was past its prime. I was told that I should get a Rega or Thorens, but both were out of my price range.

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      • Looks good – and more expensive (I think) than a Rega!

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      • Really? I was told by some “experts” that the only way to get a Rega for less than $400 was to find a used one. I actually spent more than I wanted to for the Audio Technica but it came so highly recommended that I decided to splurge (and nothing cheaper appealed to me).

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      • Maybe the import prices are higher – they are made up the road from me, so they may be cheaper here. The AT looks very nice – always good to spend slightly more than you wanted to – I think you end up being happy about it in the end…

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    • Hello, I have a Zeppelin 111 2401 002 Stereo & thinking of selling it. The record is in good condition.

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  2. Wow! I had no idea there might be some valuables in the basement. Hubby is a Zep fan, and I think we have pre-80s US pressings. I’ll have to check. Now, if only my Thompson Twins and Shalimar vinyl was so coveted…

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  3. Hugely impressed by your knowledge. Have all the albums on vinyl, though I have no idea about their desirability. and listen to Zep, like everything else these days on my iTunes.

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  4. The funny thing about the Led Zep II’s that jumped all over the place – they’re now considered the “must have” version. The story goes that the turntables of the day couldn’t handle the dynamics and people were returning them left, right and centre. Today’s equipment can handle these pressings and I can attest to the fact that they sound amazing. Look for an “RL” in the runout groove (Robert Ludwig).

    I’ll go put my anorak back on now.

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    • Is that right? That’s excellent – thank you for sharing this. Anoraks always welcome here, especially when they give us information like that!

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    • The evidence of the potential superiority of audio of the first USA pressings over the first UK pressings is right on the UK red/plum coloured Atlantic labels. The UK label states, just above the spindle hole: Under license from Atlantic Recording Corpn., U.S.A. and, at 6 o’clock, Polydor Records Limited. Led Zeppelin, or more specifically, Jimmy Page, negotiated their recording contract with Atlantic Records USA; there are several interviews with Page that confirm this business deal. Because of this deal, all Led Zeppelin master tapes reside in a vault somewhere in the USA (likely, New York area). No record label would ever send the original master tape anywhere in the world, especially for a group that sold multi-millions of physical formats like LZ. So, at best, the UK pressings have started with a duplication of the master tape, not the original master tape itself. But this does not necessarily mean the UK pressings are inferior audio. There are so many manufacturing stages between transferring a tape (whatever its origins) to the final, pressed vinyl. Their manager, Peter Grant, claims they started Swan Song Records as much to quality control the manufacturing of their vinyl records. At the pressing plant Grant saw that, in the final stage of manufacturing, an acid cleansing bath for classical records was renewed every 10 days. Rock album baths were changed at over far longer periods, so Grant had them change the baths as often fro LZ vinyl records.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t think this is true that the UK Plum’s were not from the masters. There are stories of Jimmy Page personally bringing the master tapes back to the UK with him. The UK Plum’s of III and IV beat the US pressings.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing post. I learn so much from you =)

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  6. Nice article. Yesterday I received an RL Led Zep II from an online auction, for the opening price of $30 (in Ex cond), wasn’t listed as RL, took a punt due to the inner sleeve adverts matching up to online images. I must say the bass pumps hard and the resolution is better than the red/pum UK.

    (Did you know the first UK stampers for Led Zep I (-1) both sides, were used for the turquoise and the first orange letter covers, but side 2 was re-cut as it was considered “too hot” (evidenced on “Communication Breakdown”)?
    Quite a few think the 200gm Classic Pressing is the best to get on this one.

    I also have the (SIC) “House of the holy” French pressing, pictured, which also sounds great, (has anyone compared it to the US RL version??, would be keen to hear about that). It smokes a slightly later German version I have.

    Its a pity that the extras on Led Zep III don’t include the version of “Friends” Page & Plant recorded with the Bombay Symphony in 1972, returning from their Australasian tour. (One of my neighbours was a press photographer at the Auckland concert, and jumped in to help tune an acoustic guitar for the roadies when Bonham turned up dead drunk an hour before the show and the ground crew scrambled to sober him up, not that you can tell he was in any way impared from the bootleg of the concert).

    As for Physical Graffiti I’d go for the UK first press, its very nice.

    Of course I’ve already ordered the first 3 with bonus discs, (why not add to the stack).

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    • Thanks for this – as much good info as what I wrote! I agree that the UK Physical Graffiti sounds nice. And yes, I intend to purchase all three, albeit these will be my first serviceable I and II. The extras included on the vinyl of III are enough, I think, to draw me in to that one…

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    • Classic Records used the original master tapes to make their reissue series of LZ at 33 1/3 and 45rpm on 200g vinyl. There is a picture of the LZ II mastertape (from New York) in an audiophile magazine titled Stereophile which details how Classic Records obtained and developed their reissue series.

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  7. I listened to my UK first pressing of PG all the way through last night and it sounds great, though doesn’t quite have the Bass oomph of the earlier LPs on first pressings. I am a dealer so hear them often. Side 1 of my copy has a pressing fault which causes the needle to mistrack in a few places on the first 2 tracks causing some distortion. I know it is not stylus damage (which sounds the same) because I have owned it from new. I have just played the first LP of the second pressing, since I have just acquired a mint copy and I would say it is just as good, but without the fault. I don’t know if this fault is common on first pressings

    The same is true IMHO of Dark side of the Moon, where the much desired blue triangle first pressing commonly has a pressing fault at the very start of side 2 and sometimes also on side 1, after that it sounds fantastic; but so does the A3/B3 second (or third) pressing which has no pressing faults and amazingly sells for only a tenth of the price. I think the intros are often spoiled on the BT version and the intros are important.

    The point about the louder pressings of LZ II jumping is new to me but I think that it was more likely caused by the engineers following Page’s instruction to record it loud, rather than them not following his instructions. It plays fine on a proper turntable but not on a Radiogram which is what most people had in 69, if they were lucky. The same is true of Electric Ladyland and is the reason why people want the Track versions rather than the later Polydor versions which were recorded quieter because of the jumping problem. Why people pay 5 times more for the version with the blue writing rather than white writing is beyond me because the discs are from exactly the same master.

    I hope there are some fellow nerds out there who find this interesting.

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    • Fantastic stuff! Thanks for this – all great to hear – and glad you mentioned the DSOTM record too (I don’t have that blue pressing – too much cash!)

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    • Just playing Side 1 of PG now (-1 matrix)…
      Now that you mention it, the first 2 tracks seem to lack low bass, (apart from a bass drum hit just before the fade out of Custard Pie). But then “In My Time of Dying” seems to have some more bass… not sure what was happening here, probably recorded in drips & drabs in different places, but the mid-range is quite forward, and it makes a quite 3D like soundstage. More listening required!

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    • I did Simon thanks. So if one is after early rock albums like these, to listen to not collect and they aren’t millionaire is their any internet reference that can help find best pressings at affordable prices?

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  8. Led Zep II Question regarding the above credit info, original post mentions the Lemon Song, my 1969 copy lists the Lemon Song as being buy ‘Burnett’ ? Glad I read this cos my original Led Zep 1 is the red and plum version in mint…. all my albums are from 1969 to early 80’s, all of Zep, Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Floyd, etc and I’d like to sell the lot, anywhere in the UK that might buy the entire collection ?

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    • Burnett is Howlin’Wolf’s real name. (First name Chester I think).
      You’ll get the best price selling individually on eBay, but check out record Collector magazine -there are plenty of dealers for a job lot – just don’t expect to be paid what they are worth.

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  9. So much for the early Zep albums being worth a lot, you can find 1969 originals on e-bay struggling to reach £16 ( $20)

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  10. Hi. Great info here, thanks. But as a Zeppelin vinyl collector myself, I’d like to add a few clarification comments if I may. The very first pressing of Zeppelin I is not the turquoise printing UK one, it’s the orange printing US one (with the pink and brown Atco-style label). These were released in January 1969 in the US, fully two months before the turquoise ones were released in the UK, technically making them “closer” to the original master tapes.

    Also, while many people think the Aleister Crowley inscription on Zeppelin III denotes a first pressing, this is not the case. All US and UK pressings, both first and re-issues, display some form of the inscription on one or both sides. On the US pressings the inscription is neatly written in a small script font, while on UK pressings it is in a much larger block-style printing that is clearly different than the US font. The US pressings have the phrases “Do What Thou Wilt” and “So Mote Be It”, while the UK pressings have “Do What Thou Wilt” and “So Mote It Be” (note the wording switch from “So Mote Be It”). Apparently all other international pressings have no inscriptions at all, with the sole exception being the Lebanese pressing.

    And the side placement of the inscription is not consistent; it seems to vary by where and when the album was pressed. I have personally seen pressings with the inscriptions on both sides, sometimes switched sides, sometimes only “So Mote…” on one side and the other blank, sometimes only “Do What…” on one side and the other blank, and sometimes no inscription at all. Cheers!

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  11. Interesting. Incidentally, I bought an original copy of Led Zeppelin I with the turquoise lettering in near mint condition from Leigh Record Exchange (same shop?) in the early eighties for £20 (I think). I sold it about four years ago for £1000.

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    • Yup – same one I think. I think your timing was impeccable!

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      • That was certainly a good day to be a record collector. The chap who ran the shop had just bought someone’s entire record collection with loads of late sixties / early seventies LPs. I also bought, on that same day, an original Shades Of Deep Purple (which I only discovered many years later, was the rare mono version), several Iron Butterfly albums and a few others (there may have been some Monkees albums amongst them – but I’ll deny it if anyone asks). All were near mint condition. That shop could be a gold mine some days.

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  12. I have Led Zeppelin II from 1968 never been opened. Worth anything?

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  13. I have 2 LZ1 Orange lettered covers one with the silver line at the bottom,the other without but has 1cm gap between the top and the LZ writing and less picture at the bottom, both are 588171 both labels have 1,2,4 Warner Bros./7. Arts with 3. Jewel music underneath Warner Bros on a second line. I have been told these are the original 1st after the Turquoise.

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    • also side one matrix has 588 171 with the 8 etched and side two 588 171 with no 8 etched same as the Turquoise, I would be interested in what you reckon thanks.

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  14. I have the exact same French “House Of The Holy” as pictured in your article……is there any value to this one?

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  15. Hi. Great article.
    Hoping all is well.
    Two things. New reissues tend to be digital remastered so your buying essentially an oversized cd. WTF
    Although the first UK pressing of 1 is astronomical mint if records are graded properly then VG+ should be quite good to listen to on normal (not audiophile) players. Would you agree?

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    • I would agree, yes. It comes down to personal taste, but even if I had the money I wouldn’t feel happy about spending a grand on a record. I’m prepared to take a small drop in quality to pay a lot less and enjoy every other aspect of vinyl ownership. I don’t have an audiophile- level stereo either….

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  16. I have 2, One printed 1969, with orange writing in the left upper corner that says led zeppelin.. Label on album is green on top, red on bottom sd-8216.. The other one is led zeppelin II , Award Gold record printed 1969. Sd-8236.. Are either one of these worth money?

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  17. I have a question has anyone ever seen this led zeppelin record it has and old picture of them bonham on the left page in the middle with a scarf jones on the right and kneeling down in front is a striped shirt plant. I can’t tell if someone made it or if its just old. the vinyl is broken a little but the words on it are wizard live recordings private collectors edition can anyone help me out with this?

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  18. I have a copy of Physical Grafitti that although plays in the right order, has side 2 label on side 4. Any value?

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  19. On my Led Zep ll the name Allen is etched into the run off, any idea as to why. its a 1969 reissue K40037 A. Also I have CODA. I believe its a first press, A0051, the etching on the run off has been scratched out and xxxx hen scratched in again !!! . I have Robert Plants autograph.
    Can you tell me about CODA,I would grade it as excellent -, due to the fact I dropped my eyeliner pencil and the back of the sleeve has a tiny dot on it, the vinyl is a++. is it worth anything?
    I have After the Crash vol 1,both the vinyl’s are A++,the sleeve has a little wear on the corners.
    Im sitting here looking at my Zep collection and Plant and Page albums, I need some help as to how to price them.
    Thank you for reading my post.

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    • Hi. I’m not sure what the “Allen” means; never seen that in a Zeppelin runoff groove. But runoff groove etchings really don’t mean much. Sometimes matrix numbers are input incorrectly, so a scratch out and correction is done. Sometimes the sound mastering engineer will identify himself (eg, “Porky” by George Piros on Zeppelin IV), and sometimes it’s just a personal message or inside joke (see: http://www.publiccollectors.org/MatrixMessages.htm).

      That said, your K40037 is a 1973 reissue. Your Coda is probably a first pressing (1982), but Coda doesn’t have a lot of value on the collectors market; you can easily find a still-sealed one these days for about $15. After The Crash is a Robert Plant live bootleg from his April 11, 1988 show at the Hammersmith Odeon; maybe worth $15 or $20.

      As for pricing your items: An album is worth only what somebody will give you for it, and condition is everything to collectors. I would recommend you first grade your records according to Goldmine or Record Collector grading standards, then search Ebay (both current and ended listings) to get an idea of what they’re going for in that condition. This should give you a pretty good idea of value.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just a quick point of note..by the way liked going through this article, vinyl is nothing if not interesting to learn about.
        Anyway, to the point, Porky is just one of many iterations of dead-wax notations from the king of all mastering (imo) George Peckham, not George Piros as you’ve mentioned.
        Thanks.

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      • Ah, indeed Tom J. is correct. I got my George’s mixed up; Piros mastered Led Zeppelin I, not IV…

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  20. Inexplicably, the very best pressing of Led Zeppelin IV that I have–and I have owned perhaps 9 copies– And the one have have kept since I got it– And the one I will take to the old-folks home with me– And then have played at my memorial is… from the Record Club of America. I know this sounds just flat crazy. But when one is an audiophile and a strict empiricist such eldritch contradictions of all time and space simply can not be denied. It is the only one that allows me to hear all the guitar parts on Black Dog clearly. And I’ll bet most of you still haven’t heard that third voice!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. In Australia we had 3 rather rare EPs (especially the first) & some incongruities such as Whole LoTTTa Love with an extra T on the 45. An interesting topic about my favourite 70s band

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    • Also, the first Australian pressing of Led Zeppelin III says “Led Zeppelin 111” (three ones, read as one hundred and eleven) on the label instead of “Led Zeppelin III”…

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  22. was there a reprint of the turquoise version od Led Zep I?

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    • Yes. In 2010 there was a re-issue of the turquoise-lettered version, supposedly limited to only 1000 copies. The matrix number on side 1 is “LZ A” and on side 2 it is “LZ B”. The jacket is identical to the 1969 original, but it has no lamination and no spine text. The label is smaller in diameter (3&7/8 inches wide; original is 4 inches wide), the bottom half of it is more pink colored (original is closer to plum), and the trail-off area is about twice as wide as on the original. You can find them on Ebay occasionally.

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  23. Hi,

    I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin on my dad’s record player and loved this post. I have a Led Zeppelin III on vinyl and it looks just like the picture you have of the US release…red and green with the titles of the songs listed down vertically, unlike the picture of the 80’s reprint where the titles seem more horizontal. Is there any specific way to tell if this is authentic compared to an 80’s copy?

    Thanks so much!

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    • If by “authentic” you mean a first pressing (1970), then yes. A 1970 first pressing of Led Zeppelin III will have a catalog number of SD-7201 printed in the green part of the label, and an address of 1841 Broadway along the bottom of the red part of the label.

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  24. Great article & even more in the comments! Wondering if anyone might be able to help me figure out what my Led Zeppelin II album could be worth. It is an RL cut (SD 8236) also has The Lemon Song with credits to Page & Plant. It’s in the proper original sleeve & everything too. I’ve been able to correctly identify all of the key info online but see a huge price scale even on copies that seem to be exactly the same in every aspect, including the condition grade, etc. Can anybody help me out here?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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    • Hi. First, to ensure that yours is a first U.S. pressing, make sure that in addition to the SD-8236, the address printed along the bottom of the label is 1841 Broadway. If it is 75 Rockefeller instead (but still SD-8236), you have a circa-1974 re-issue (Atlantic moved their offices to the latter address in 1973).

      Second, a record is only worth what someone is willing to pay you for it, and condition is everything to a collector. That said, I recommend you grade your record by Goldmine or Record Collector grading standards, and then use Ebay to research values of the same item in the same condition. An important distinction to make here is between asking prices and selling prices; just because someone is asking $100 for an item doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth $100. Your best barometer of value would be to use Ebay’s advanced search feature and search in the Sold Listings category. The selling prices you find here should give you a good idea of what the value of yours might be.

      By the way, the Lemon Song – Page Plant credit is only an issue with UK pressings of the album; the U.S. pressings were never changed to the Killing Floor – Burnett credit.

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      • Thank you Chris- enjoying your authoritative advice!

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      • Thanks so much for your comment. The Lemon Song was the only thing I wasn’t sure of after reading this article & figured that out afterwards but thank you for clarifying. It is definitely a first pressing & I have done everything you mentioned including the eBay search. I’m still finding a large gap in the price of sold albums. I guess it’s just that people like to say things are in great condition when they’re really not in hopes of making more money. I will keep looking & hold on to it for now unless i can find a very knowledgeable & reputable source for pricing or buying. Thank you!

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  25. By fluke purchased a Led Zep I with the blue writing, red plum label, superhype credit in mint (jacket and disc) condition at a record swap. Wasn’t aware of it’s value until I walked by a young gentleman that was wowed by what I had. Haven’t played it either. Had to purchase the box set as my playable disc.

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    • It goes without saying I’m really pleased for you and not jealous at all….

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    • Regarding Asa’s Aug 29th comments on finding a very knowledgeable & reputable source for pricing or buying:

      Printed pricing/buying guides were pretty much rendered obsolete with the advent of auction websites like Ebay. This is because the global nature of Ebay allows basically a worldwide audience to see and bid on an item, and also allows for the value to change on an almost instant basis (as outside market forces affect values, or two collectors engage in a bidding war over the item).

      Plus, a printed pricing/buying guide is only accurate at the time it’s printed; 6 months later the values it lists could be vastly different in the real world. And any “knowledgeable & reputable” human pricing source today will be using Ebay (in the same manner as I mentioned on Aug 29th above) as one of his price quoting resources. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Lots of great info in this thread, you really know your stuff.
    For many years I have been sitting on a hidden gem that I would like to hear your thoughts on.
    I have a copy of Zepp IV Atlantic serial number kdr19129r which normally is a standard album. But my copy is slightly different.
    The album is normal in every way except for one, the pressing is side2 and side2.
    You can imagine my shock when I put it on the turntable all those years ago. Knowing that I had something quite obscure I returned the album to its sleeve and have never played it again. Needless to say the vinyl is in pristine condition, the sleeve has very little wear, just the typical burred corners otherwise outstanding.
    I have searched from time to time on different threads for possible value estimates and let me say the range is significant.
    I would love to hear your thoughts on what I’m holding on to here. Such as value, the rarity, & if I should have it insured etc.
    So glad I stumbled onto your site and look forward to exploring it thoroughly.
    Cheers and Ramble On 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Myles. I’m assuming you mean that the album has the Side 2 tracks pressed onto both sides, and not that there are simply two Side 2 labels on the LP. I’ve never seen that kdr prefix on the catalog number before; are you sure it’s not ksd? Ksd would indicate that it’s a Canadian pressing. Regardless, the 19129 indicates it’s a 1977 re-issue (as opposed to a 1971 original). All that said, I’ve seen this type of anomaly once or twice before, and the records usually go for a couple hundred dollars (if I recall correctly). But, as I’ve said in some of my other posts, it’s only worth what someone is willing to give you for it, which could vary wildly from day to day. One idea for a value might be to list it on Ebay but include an astronomical Reserve Price (so that you’ll be sure nobody meets it), and see what kind of bidding activity and price it goes up to. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I have a mint condition LED ZEPPLIN collection that I am considering to sell. I have a perfect complete 1,2,&3 with complete album cover etc. I’m the original owner and have kept them put away safe. Any ideas of the best site to sell these on?

    Like

      • Agree; Ebay. It’s an international marketplace, so you’ll get better exposure and prices than from a local record store or dealer. Be sure to take and post good photos and accurately describe the conditions of your records (based on the Goldmine or Record Collector grading scale). Also, if you don’t already know about the issue status, be sure to do some research to determine if yours are first pressings or re-issues, and what country they are from. Good luck.

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      • Thank you the information you gave me Is very helpful. I’m going to do more research as most of mine are from the early 70’s.

        Like

  28. Hi .. I wonder if you can help me. I have a copy of Led Zeppelin’s
    IV album in pink vinyl. I’m not a fan tbh and have acquired it completely by accident. I can’t find much information about it online. Can anyone enlighten me what it might be worth? Thanks. Very interesting post btw. I’m a big vinyl fan having spent most of my life with it after my first introduction to it at the tender age of 6 (possibly earlier) when I used to listen to my dads collection (when dad was out and mum was in the kitchen of course !). It was always treated with the utmost respect, even at that age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The pink / lilac one is a limited edition UK-only pressing released in November 1978. I’m not sure how many in the edition though. As for value, it would depend upon the condition. I would expect a near-mint copy to fetch around $75.

      Like

  29. The notion that US pressings of III sound better than a UK Plum original is simply not true. The A5/B5 Plum is the best version available cut from the original masters. Whereas the US sounds dull and lifeless being cut from a copy tape.

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  30. We’re, can I get led zeppelin vinyls records from the first edition thank u

    Like

    • Your local record store (if there are any near you still) may have some, but your best source will be Ebay. Either way though, be prepared to spend a lot of money if you want them in good playing condition…

      Like

  31. I have a.led.zep1v.limited colored. Vinyl looks like1971 would u no if it is worth anything

    Like

    • Hi. I couldn’t really say from the limited info you have provided. What color is it? What do you mean by “vinyl looks like 1971”? What country is it from?

      Like

  32. Is the Australian version of Houses of the Holy with the misprint/ reverse cover really all that rare? Is it valuable at all? Thank you

    Like

    • Hi. It’s hard to say. I know they aren’t that common, but value will depend upon its condition and what somebody is willing to pay you for it on a given day. There are a couple on Ebay right now with asking prices of a few hundred dollars, but asking price and selling price can be two quite different things. I would throw it up on Ebay with an astronomically high reserve price (one so high that you’re sure it won’t be attained), and see what your highest bid gets to. That will give you a pretty good indication of its current value.

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  33. First, sorry for my English. If we discuss how publication sounds better, it is necessary to compare the sound. This is the easiest method.
    Now I will tell you my thoughts after listening to many instances.
    Of course first and foremost about the first album L.Zep.
    Because all the other albums sound much better in the English edition (first press), than all the rest countries (especially the US).

    Only one album a special talking – it Physical Graffiti. But about it later.

    The first album was released in the US much earlier than in England – in 1968 on test pressing mono and stereo. How do they sound, I do not know unfortunately. But I can guess that it is probably the killer.
    The next edition – it mispress (ATCO).
    To be honest, all the English edition of the 1st album sounds awful – flat, no bass, no volume.
    This applies to all editions – and 1st turquoise with uncorrected matrixes, and with corrected, and Warner.
    So mispress sounds much more interesting.
    There are more editions of the US, which sound far better than English editions.
    Of course it’s bright red and green with long threaded tracks and with Broadway 1841.
    But these editions were released with different matrices at different factories in different time in huge quantities. Therefore, find a copy of the excellent sound is not easy.
    Unfortunately the majority of US copies vocal is removed into the background.
    Than a later Edition, the vocals further. Of course it’s terrible. After all, it is Robert Plant vocals.

    Finally, a few words about Physical Graffiti.
    Recorded it terribly. Sounds awful. The worst of all the albums. But…there is one England edition, with excellent sound. This is the first edition – label with a very,very dark and saturated colors. This edition is very rare and expensive. The last time I saw over 500 pounds 3 years ago.
    Still there is one American edition with super sound. But it is even more rare.

    Of course for a long time can tell about the sound in different editions, but alas…

    Liked by 1 person

  34. HI, I inherited a pretty big vinyl collection a few years ago and am thinking of selling some , including the Led Zeppelins. I’ve got I,ll, and lll plus physical graffiti and possibly a couple more (its taking a while to go through!) Think I is a second press and all the others appear to be first . Sleeves are all in good condition and records play perfectly. Any idea of current values and the best places to sell? Sadly we have no space to store anymore and it seems a shame for them to sit wasted in a loft. Any help hugely appreciated! UK based.

    Like

    • Hi Amanda, I think you’ll get best prices on eBay, but it takes time and you need to give good descriptions and photos. You can look at a site such as Discogs to et an idea of value of albums – it all comes down to condition. If you want to sell them all in one go to a dealer, you will get maybe a third of an eBay price, because they will want to make a profit also.

      Like

  35. Hi I have a question if you could help me
    I bought a copy of led zeppelin vol 2 that is a Russian press with the album cover in Russian and the label in russian, I bought it at a fair over 25 years ago and paid £30.00 for it
    Is it worth anything today?
    Thank you

    Like

    • Hello. By “vol 2”, do you mean it’s a Russian pressing of “Led Zeppelin II”? If so, assuming it’s in near-mint condition, maybe around £10.00. These Russian pressings are not official Atlantic Records releases (i.e., they’re basically pirate copies), and have no real value except as curiosities.

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  36. Hi,

    I have a copy of Led Zeppelin II pressed in 1982 in Iceland. 500 copies were pressed and Coda and Houses of the holy were also pressed for Iceland, same number, 500 each.

    I don´t have more info, discox does not have any info on Led Zepp. II

    Like

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  1. The Best Of The “Led Zeppelin” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special] | Christmachine

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