Led Zeppelin- Stairway to Heaven

Led Zeppelin records are far from obscure or weird.  They are very common, especially since Led Zeppelin has sold more albums than any other artist ever.  That's right... Zeppelin has sold more albums than anyone.  The Beatles and Elvis and a few others may have sold more records but Led Zeppelin never released singles.  Only LPs (probably because a lot of their songs were longer than a 45 could handle) They actually have sold more than 250,000,000 LPs. 

So why am I writing about Led Zeppelin?  Because I found this Soviet era pressing of tracks culled from the III and IV albums.  Communism loved a lot of things... Oppression, Elite-ism and long lines for toilet paper being the top three.  But rock n roll records were not popular amongst the Kremlin crowd. 

Many bootleg versions of albums were distributed amongst Russian teens throughout the 60's and 70's.  This is not a bootleg.  This record was pressed on state-owned, Melodiya Records.  Melodiya focused mainly on classical and regional folk records.  Their releases were dominated by state sanctioned Soviet/ Russian artists.  Records featuring the works of Tchaikovsky are very collectible for their quality sound and authenticity.

This record also sounds amazing.  It is pressed on super thick vinyl and might be the best sounding Zeppelin record I own.  I can't really read anything on the sleeve apart from the title and tracklisting on the back but who cares?  Everyone knows every Zeppelin song. 

Melodiya may have focused on classical and folk records but they did release some Western pop music like ABBA, Boney M. (Reallllly?) and Bon Friggin' Jovi.  After the fall of Communism, they licensed most of their records to small distributors until 1996 when BMG was granted exclusivity.  After their contract with BMG expired in 2003 they shut their doors only to re-open under new management in 2006.  They still release music today and have an extensive back catalog of some pretty cool regional folk jams.

So that is your little history lesson of the day, kiddies.  Check back next time for more enlightening facts about vinyl oddities.  "Roll Credits and Theme Song"

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Title: Stairway To Heaven
Label: Melodiya
Matrix: 27501
Year: 1988
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

No comments:

Post a Comment