Album Art – Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III

Hear the wind within the trees. Telling Mother Nature ’bout you and me

This is where I’ll be talking about the Album Art that I like. That is one of the benefits of 12″ vinyl albums, the cool packaging that surrounded the record. Here I’ll research the creations that we all loved as children, teenagers, and adults. I’ll try to find as much information on the artists as I can.

Front cover for Led Zeppelin III
Volvelle for Led Zeppelin III

“Led Zeppelin III” is the third studio album released on October 5, 1970, on Atlantic Records by Led Zeppelin. The cover was created by the English artist Zacron. The gatefold cover was a collage of seemingly random images on a white background, but they do have a flying or aviation theme. Inside the front cover is a volvelle[1], covered with more images, including photos of the band members, which showed through holes in the cover. Rotating the laminated disc would bring different images to view in the multiple holes.

Zacron was born in Sutton, Surrey in 1943. He studied painting, drawing, design, and etching at Studio 35 in Surbiton from 1957-1960 with Eric Clapton. Later, while at the Kingston College of Art, he met Jimmy Page. He also designed the sleeve for Fancy’s 1975 album “Something To Remember”[2]. He created for 5 decades with much of his work closely associated with rock and roll.

Zacron chose the best band member images for the back cover. The surreal spinning wheel design could not be replicated on a conventional cassette, 8-Track, or CD covers. Still, Japanese and British CDs have been packaged in miniature versions of the original sleeve. In France, this album was released with a different cover, simply showing a photo of the four band members.

Zacron felt that by not including text on the front of the cover, the art would endure. Inside the gatefold is a less cluttered assortment of a lot of the designs found on the front cover and the volvelle.

Inside the Gatefold

  1. A volvelle or wheel chart is a type of slide chart, a paper construction with rotating parts. It is considered an early example of a paper analog computer. Volvelles have been produced to accommodate organization and calculation in many diverse subjects. Early examples of volvelles are found in the pages of astronomy books. They can be traced back to “certain Arabic treatises on humoral medicine” and to the Persian astronomer, Abu Rayhan Biruni (c. 1000), who made important contributions to the development of the volvelle.[Back]
  2. Fancy was an early-mid-1970s pop group. The band was made up of session musicians produced by Mike Hurst. They had a surprise the U.S. hit single in 1974 with a version of the classic “Wild Thing”, peaking at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #31 in Australia. They also had a second U.S. hit with “Touch Me”, peaking at #19 and #97 in Australia. They were initially fronted by Penthouse Pet Helen Caunt and later Annie Kavanagh. Ray Fenwick, formerly of The Spencer Davis Group, joined Fancy in 1974.


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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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