Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

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Matty Red Sox
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Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Matty Red Sox » 09 Mar 2009, 01:21

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I love it... I wish that I could find a better picture of it. There are cool little things on it that I never noticed before and I've had this forever.
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Mar 2009, 03:57

This has nothing to do with the pinwheel but I've had all the Zeppelin albums since the mid '70s and Led Zeppelin III has always been my least favorite of the classic '69-'75 run. Anyway, a few years ago when I imported my favorite Zeppelin songs onto iTunes I found I imported more songs from the third album than any other Zeppelin LP save Physical Graffiti, eight songs in total.

I'm still not sure that this means I like it more than the others, in fact -- I'm not sure what it means.

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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Quaco » 09 Mar 2009, 04:24

I love the album. I like the pinwheel. But I don't think the pinwheel goes with the album at all. The music is more acoustic, and a cover like the fourth album would have gone better with it.
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby trans-chigley express » 09 Mar 2009, 04:41

Quaco wrote:I love the album. I like the pinwheel. But I don't think the pinwheel goes with the album at all. The music is more acoustic, and a cover like the fourth album would have gone better with it.


I know what you mean. The cover is all psychedelic but the music isn't. I like the idea though, and use to spin the wheel round when I was a kid to spy the different images through the holes.

Physical Graffiti is my favourite Zep cover.

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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Charlie O. » 09 Mar 2009, 04:51

Lance Matthew wrote:This has nothing to do with the pinwheel but I've had all the Zeppelin albums since the mid '70s and Led Zeppelin III has always been my least favorite of the classic '69-'75 run. Anyway, a few years ago when I imported my favorite Zeppelin songs onto iTunes I found I imported more songs from the third album than any other Zeppelin LP save Physical Graffiti, eight songs in total.

I'm still not sure that this means I like it more than the others, in fact -- I'm not sure what it means.

It took a long time to click with me, too. I probably listen to it now more than any of the others, but I think that's largely down to having listened to the others so much back in the day...
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Quaco » 09 Mar 2009, 04:53

Lord Belborough wrote:
Quaco wrote:I love the album. I like the pinwheel. But I don't think the pinwheel goes with the album at all. The music is more acoustic, and a cover like the fourth album would have gone better with it.


I know what you mean. The cover is all psychedelic but the music isn't. I like the idea though, and use to spin the wheel round when I was a kid to spy the different images through the holes.

Physical Graffiti is my favourite Zep cover.

I would go so far as to say they're all fantastically good and appropriate to the music -- except III. Doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the album, apparently, as it's one of my favorites of theirs, but the cover stands totally apart for me. It's kind of neat to play with, but has nothing to do with the music. I don't even think of it as psychedelic, perhaps because it's all on a white background. It looks a bit like something someone did in 1982 in about 10 minutes.
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby trans-chigley express » 09 Mar 2009, 07:47

Quaco wrote:It looks a bit like something someone did in 1982 in about 10 minutes.


It does look like a load of clip art that's been cut and pasted on a white background. An easy job on a computer but a bit effort needed back in 1970. It's a bit of a gimmicky cover but I couldn't imagine it with any other.

I agree that their album covers are all great and fit the music perfectly (with III the exception). Coda is probably the least imaginative.

I loved the concept of the In Through The Out Door design with the 6 different view points but every LP I've ever seen (ok, only about 3 or 4) always had the same photo on the front. Possibly they only printed one design on later pressings. It was only when I bought the CD that I actually got to see the other covers with them all printed in the booklet.

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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Quaco » 09 Mar 2009, 07:49

Lord Belborough wrote:
Quaco wrote:It looks a bit like something someone did in 1982 in about 10 minutes.


It does look like a load of clip art that's been cut and pasted on a white background. An easy job on a computer but a bit effort needed back in 1970. It's a bit of a gimmicky cover but I couldn't imagine it with any other.

I could picture it with something folky and acid-comedown-y kind of like this:

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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Charlie O. » 09 Mar 2009, 07:59

Lord Belborough wrote:I loved the concept of the In Through The Out Door design with the 6 different view points but every LP I've ever seen (ok, only about 3 or 4) always had the same photo on the front. Possibly they only printed one design on later pressings.

That one you refer to was by far the most common, even on the first run. I don't think I've ever seen more than two of the others, and only one apiece of those.

And the bastards packaged them in a plain brown wrapper, so you couldn't see which one you were buying! :x
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby trans-chigley express » 09 Mar 2009, 08:11

Charlie O. wrote:
Lord Belborough wrote:I loved the concept of the In Through The Out Door design with the 6 different view points but every LP I've ever seen (ok, only about 3 or 4) always had the same photo on the front. Possibly they only printed one design on later pressings.

That one you refer to was by far the most common, even on the first run.

I think this is the one most are familiar with:
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The others:
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Quaco » 09 Mar 2009, 08:17

I have #1, 3, and 4. When I see a different cover in the used bins, I pick it up.
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Diamond Dog » 09 Mar 2009, 08:20

The CD set that was reissued recentlly (that Kenji got, at HUGE expense) had all six sleeves.
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Kenji » 09 Mar 2009, 08:24

Diamond Dog wrote:The CD set that was reissued recentlly (that Kenji got, at HUGE expense) had all six sleeves.


Rhino's version of the box is much cheaper...
(I think the packaging is same but discs are not SHM-CD)

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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby dang65 » 09 Mar 2009, 08:55

Lord Belborough wrote:
Quaco wrote:It looks a bit like something someone did in 1982 in about 10 minutes.


It does look like a load of clip art that's been cut and pasted on a white background. An easy job on a computer but a bit effort needed back in 1970. It's a bit of a gimmicky cover but I couldn't imagine it with any other.

I read the story of this album cover and the guy that did it in a magazine fairly recently, but can't remember where. Might have been a Mojo special on Led Zep or something. Seem to remember there were some details like he had to get special permission to skew the Atlantic logo or something? Think it was a direct commission from Jimmy Page.

Ah, a quick Wiki check provides more details:

Led Zeppelin III's original vinyl edition was packaged in a gatefold sleeve with an innovative cover, designed by Zacron, a multi-media artist whom Jimmy Page had met in 1963 whilst Zacron was a student at Kingston College of Art. Zacron had recently resigned a lectureship at Leeds Polytechnic to found Zacron Studios, and in 1970 Page contacted him and asked him to design the third album's cover.

The cover and interior gatefold art consisted of a surreal collection of seemingly random images on a white background, many of them connected thematically with flight or aviation (as in "Zeppelin"). Behind the front cover was a rotatable laminated card disc, or volvelle, covered with more images, including photos of the band members, which showed through holes in the cover. Moving an image into place behind one hole would usually bring one or two others into place behind other holes. This could not be replicated on a conventional cassette or CD cover, but there have been Japanese and British CDs packaged in miniature versions of the original sleeve. In France this album was released with a different album cover, simply showing a photo of the four band members.

The concept of a volvelle, based on crop rotation charts, was initially Jimmy Page's idea. However, the result was a meeting of minds as Zacron had been working on rotating graphics from 1965. Zacron felt that by not including text on the front of the cover, the art would endure.

In an article featured in the December 2007 issue of Classic Rock magazine, Zacron claimed that upon his completion of the artwork, Jimmy Page telephoned him while he was in New York to express his satisfaction with the results, saying "I think it is fantastic". However, in a 1998 interview Page himself gave to Guitar World magazine, he described the results as a disappointment:

"I thought it looked very teeny-bopperish. But we were on top of a deadline, so of course there was no way to make any radical changes to it. There were some silly bits - little chunks of corn and nonsense like that."

The album cover featured on the front page of The Daily Mail's Live Magazine in December 2007, which hailed Led Zeppelin III as "The greatest rock album of all time.

The first pressings of the album included the phrases "Do what thou wilt" and "So mote it be", inscribed on the record acetate itself by engineer Terry Manning during the final mastering process. This phrase is from the core tenet of Aleister Crowley's philosophy of Thelema: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will. There is no law beyond do what thou wilt." Page was a scholar of Crowley's work, owns one of the world's most extensive private collections of Crowley manuscripts, artwork and other ephemera, and in the 1970s even bought one of his residences, Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland.


That doesn't mention the logo thing, but I'm pretty sure there was something about that in the Classic Rock article.

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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Six String » 09 Mar 2009, 17:16

I've had the album since it came out and it's one of my favorite albums by the band. I especially like the acoustic numbers. Last year I found a Japanese mini lp of it on cd that has the fully functional wheel in the cover. I had to have it. It's very cool looking.

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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Snarfyguy » 09 Mar 2009, 17:52

dang65 wrote:The concept of a volvelle, based on crop rotation charts, was initially Jimmy Page's idea.

Didn't Soft Machine's debut have the same feature in 1967?
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby dang65 » 09 Mar 2009, 18:14

Snarfyguy wrote:
dang65 wrote:The concept of a volvelle, based on crop rotation charts, was initially Jimmy Page's idea.

Didn't Soft Machine's debut have the same feature in 1967?

I think one of Robert Johnson's albums had a similar cover design as well. In 1934. :evil:

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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby Charlie O. » 09 Mar 2009, 18:25

"I thought it looked very teeny-bopperish. But we were on top of a deadline, so of course there was no way to make any radical changes to it. There were some silly bits - little chunks of corn and nonsense like that."

Sometimes a euphemism is worse than simply saying "it was shit."
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - pinwheel disc thingy

Postby king feeb » 09 Mar 2009, 19:03

"I thought it looked very teeny-bopperish. But we were on top of a deadline, so of course there was no way to make any radical changes to it. There were some silly bits - little chunks of corn and nonsense like that."


Jimmy's being a crank. The occasional random elements, like the pieces of corn, are one of the best things about it. They give it a surreal edge that prevent it from falling into being "very teeny-bopperish". JP seems to have forgotten the point over the years.
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Re: Led Zeppelin III - Real Background History

Postby Prof Zacron » 26 Sep 2011, 23:16

The history of Zacron’s Led Zeppelin III Archival Prints,
remastered from the world’s most renowned rock album cover design,
Led Zeppelin III and the Rotator.
Collector’s specials from 1970.

Zacron met Jimmy Page in 1963 while a student at Kingston Collage of Art. Page had become a guitarist for a band called The Yardbirds. 'Jimmy visited my studio and in his home we discussed art and music. We decorated our guitars with experimental materials and designs, I made liquid projections using hot oils and strobes linked to the music of Jimmy Hendrix'.

In 1964 Zacron produced an elaborate work called 'A Window on London', using trompe l'oel painting with multi-layered collaged panels. The work was dedicated to a retrospective spirit of England. The work was noted by Peter Blake and together with a mural depicting the town of Diss in Norfolk, it had a formative effect on a founding member of The Brotherhood of the Ruralists. Jimmy Page later purchased Zacron's magical window together with another painting that depicted the rotation of the day into night through colour and symbols. The composition extended on to the frame, this extending of a traditional boundary laid the foundation stone for the Graphic arena created for Led Zeppelin in 1970.

While at the Royal Academy Schools Zacron produced a rotating book, people could ask questions about their interaction with the environment using concentric sequences of images while changing layers of colour. Hidden overlaid discs, and intersecting spirals created graphic animations, poems described our ecological plight while astronauts tumbled away from the earth to illustrate time. In 1965 foundations were laid for an innovative rotating rock album cover for Led Zeppelin that would appear five years later.

In 1970 Zacron resigned a lectureship in order to operate a full time studio. Jimmy Page had been hunting for the artist for some time, when contact was made, Zacron was asked to master-mind Led Zeppelin's third album cover.

For Zacron the cover was a break through in terms of its use of space, implied movement together with movement in real time. Regardless of subject matter, each component became a formal abstract element, interacting with all the images to make a unified whole. The work created a surrealist environment, changing relative concepts of scale and subject matter. The square format became a visual theater in which images could appear to move and have their own energy, some moved beyond the boundary.

In 1970 Zacron said 'An album cover is not sound packaging, but an area of visual communication, an opportunity to put visual art and audio art together in a joint arena.' Zacron examined the music industry images in relentless detail in order to create a cover of stature that would endure.

In 1974 the cover was polled amongst the world's top four and overtook a major design made for the Beatles. Zacron created a founding work of Psychedelic Surrealism that has become a recognised icon worldwide.

www.zacron.com