The beginning of the decade started with an anticipated album that became one of the best of the year: Led Zeppelin III.
The band had solidified their presence in the music scene with their two previous albums and extensive touring, and this album showed their versatility, bringing more folk and acoustic to their songs.
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant had spent time in Wales, developing songs together for the album, before recording with the rest of the band at studios in London.
After a gruelling concert tour, they both realized they needed some quiet time out of the limelight to work on their next album.
Although they focused on new sounds in songs like Gallow’s Pole and That’s The Way, they kept to their hard rock style with Immigrant Song.
The album also included a notable album cover design by a friend of Plant’s, featuring a collage of images and a volvelle, a hidden wheel which revealed different images through cutouts on the cover of the album.
The intricate album cover delayed the release of the album by two months, and in September 1970, the band bought a full page ad in Melody Maker magazine stating, “Thank you for making us the world’s number one band.”
Released in October 1970, Immigrant Song was the first single, becoming a top 20 hit on the Billboard charts in the US. But album sales lagged, less than the band’s previous two releases.
Despite making charts during the year, Led Zeppelin III wasn’t considered a success, yet over time it would become a six time platinum album and many of its songs considered essential inclusions of the Led Zeppelin canon.