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Zeppelin Collectibles :: -In Through The Out Door Album Covers

-In Through The Out Door Album Covers



"In Through The Out Door" 
  Album Covers!


by Bruce Deerhake



Led Zeppelin was known for releasing albums with unique record covers. In Through the Out Door was no exception, and for marketing purposes six different jackets were produced. (I was very lucky to have won all of them from a radio station, before they were even in the stores!!). They were sold with the covers inside of a brown paper bag sleeve, so unaware buyers wouldn't realize which one they were purchasing. The hope was that sales would be increased, while collectors tried to obtain all six versions.





Though the six LP covers are similar in appearance, side by side there are noticeable differences. Let's focus on the way to identify them, even sometimes while they're still in the wrapper, IF you're lucky enough to find a really rare brand new shrink wrapped copy! On the spine of each cover, near the top, is a letter A, B, C, D, E, or F, signifying the six different covers.


Each cover has a view from the eyes of one of the six people in the scene, with the seventh person being "John" (see remnants of the "Dear John" letter on the inner sleeve). I assume the theme here is that the center of attraction is this man (John) who has been dumped by his woman, and is at this bar to forget his sadness. When looking at either a front or back album cover, you can see who's eyes you are looking through, by turning the cover over. Once that's done, in the center, will be the person who's eyes you were looking through on the other side. We get to look through everyone's eyes except "John's".


Here are the people through whom's eyes we are looking. The number in parenthesis is the total amount of people in that picture, including "John" (the name listed is whose eyes we are looking through):


(Here are the links to the 12 different LP covers; put the corresponding front and back covers by their corresponding Letter)




Front: Man standing with wallet out (4)

Back: Woman sitting at end of bar (4)  


Front: Woman standing at end of bar, leaning on wall (5)

Back: Piano player (4 1/2)


Front: Bartender (2)

Back: Woman leaning on juke box (3)  


Front: Woman sitting at end of bar (4)

Back: Man standing with wallet out (4)


Front: Piano player (4 1/2)

Back: Woman standing at end of bar, leaning on wall (5)  


Front: Woman leaning on juke box (3)

Back: Bartender (2)



Even though "A Back" is the same "view" as "D Front" (and so on), it is a slightly different "picture"; hence there are 12 different "pictures".


Here's a couple more things about the record cover. Only on "E Back" and "B Front", in the middle (below the license plates) can you see a small sign that says "Contains Lead" (only readable on the LP covers, not the CD). I wonder how intentional this was! And in the late 1980's, the record company stopped making five varieties of jackets, and the "F" cover was all that was produced. A bar code was put on the back of them too.


Inside of each record jacket, the unique inner sleeve appeared to be just a black and white image of a drink, cigarettes on the bar, etc.



However, when it comes in contact with water, various pastel colors appear, which will remain that way, rather than turning back to black and white! The best way to "colorize" your inner sleeve is to use a spray or misting bottle of water (the kind used for glass cleaner, like "Windex") and adjust the nozzle for a fine mist and very carefully mist your sleeve! When CD's first came out, version "B Front" of In Through the Out Door was selected for the cover. That image (along with "E Back") are the only pictures to feature everyone in the scene at least partially. The insert on the later released Remasters CD folds out into three pictures. The cover is "B Front", the middle picture and the back CD insert are from cover "C".


There you have it. Not only did Zep have the best music, they also had the best covers!



Bruce "the Buckeye" Deerhake was Rick Barrett’s awesome webmaster during the Merit Adventures days (and webmaster for hire, at large), computer wizard, and longtime Led Zeppelin fan. He is a respected member and regular contributor to the "For Badgeholder's Only" on-line Led Zep mailing list. Buckeye's Led Zeppelin Webpage is the most visited Led Zep site on the Internet. Buckeye has been fortunate to be able to combine his two favorite hobbies: computers and Led Zeppelin, and in a way that can be shared with the world! Check out his site at www.oldbuckeye.com




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