Led Zeppelin-In Through The Out Door
Led Zeppelin-In Through The Out Door
Vintage Vibes 420

Led Zeppelin-In Through The Out Door

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Led Zeppelin-In Through The Out Door

Cover has normal wear and tear for the age. Cover is graded VG. Record is graded VG.

In Through the Out Door is the eighth and final studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded in three weeks in November and December 1978 at ABBA’s Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, and released by Swan Song Records on 15 August 1979. It was the last album released before drummer John Bonham died in 1980, leading the group to disband.

The album was named by the group to describe its recent struggles amidst the death of Robert Plant’s son Karac in 1977, and the taxation exile the band took from the UK. The exile resulted in the band being unable to tour on British soil for over two years, and trying to get back into the public mind was therefore like “trying to get in through the ‘out’ door”.

The group began rehearsing material in September 1978. After six weeks, they travelled to Polar Studios in Stockholm to begin recording. In contrast to previous Led Zeppelin albums, In Through the Out Door features much greater influence on the part of bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones and vocalist Robert Plant, and relatively less from drummer John Bonham and guitarist Jimmy Page, who often failed to show up on time at the recording studio. Bonham was struggling with alcoholism and Page was battling heroin addiction. Jones later said, “there were two distinct camps by then, and we [Plant and I] were in the relatively clean one.” Many of the songs were consequently put together by Plant and Jones during the day, with Page and Bonham adding their parts late at night. Jones was inspired by the Yamaha GX-1 synthesizer he had recently purchased, and he was “working closely with Robert, which was something that had not happened before”.

After the recording sessions at Polar, the album was mixed at Page’s personal studio at his home in Plumpton. “Wearing and Tearing”, “Ozone Baby” and “Darlene”—the latter a boogie-woogie based song credited to all band members—were recorded during sessions for this album, but were dropped because of space constraints. All later appeared on Coda.

The original album featured an unusual gimmick: the album had an outer sleeve which was made to look like a plain brown paper bag (reminiscent of similarly packaged bootleg album sleeves with the title rubber-stamped on it), and the inner sleeve featured black and white line artwork which, if washed with water, would become permanently fully colored. There were also six different sleeves featuring a different pair of photos (one on each side), and the external brown paper sleeve meant that it was impossible for record buyers to tell which sleeve they were getting. The pictures all depicted the same scene in a bar (in which a man burns a Dear John letter), and each photo was taken from the separate point of view of someone who appeared in the other photos. The photo session in a London studio was meant to look like a re-creation of the Old Absinthe House, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The album artwork was designed by Hipgnosis’ Storm Thorgerson. In 1980, Hipgnosis was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Album Package for In Through the Out Door.