Clash of the Titans: Fourth Anniversary Edition
For some of us, it simply isn't a party until a screaming argument erupts, so we're celebrating our fourth birthday with an epic Clash of the Titans that puts four classic albums — each with "four" in their title — against one another in a head-to-head-to-head-to-head competition.
Judging by the albums we've lined up for this battle, there's something about the number four that brings out the best in a band — all of these LPs set career benchmarks for their bands, and for some of these groups, the records in question remain critical and commercial high points. But before you vote, let's take a look at the contestants.
Led Zeppelin struck first with their (technically untitled) album, which arrived in November of 1971 bearing a stack of classic tracks that included "Black Dog," "Rock and Roll," "The Battle of Evermore" and "Stairway to Heaven." (And that's just the first side.) Certified for sales of 23 million copies and counting, it's an inarguable classic-rock standard.
A year later, Black Sabbath released its own fourth album, the sensibly titled Vol. 4. Although substance abuse was already starting to eat away at the group's creative drive (as hinted in the classic track "Snowblind"), they still managed to deliver a set of songs whose ambition was often matched by volume.
Foreigner added their contribution in July of 1981 — the perfect time to release a record whose crunching guitars and shout-along choruses were made for summer. A sextuple-platinum No. 1 hit, Foreigner 4 includes some of Foreigner's biggest hits ("Juke Box Hero," "Urgent," "Waiting for a Girl Like You") and remains the arguable apex of the group's classic lineup.
Last but not least, we have Toto, who suffered through a few years of lean sales before delivering on the promise of their hit debut with their own fourth album, IV — a Top 5, triple-platinum and Grammy-winning smash that included many radio-friendly cuts, such as the successful singles "Rosanna," "Africa" and "I Won't Hold You Back."
So which of these fourth albums gets your vote? You can cast your ballot once every hour between now and 11:59PM ET on May 24. Check out all four records below.
Listen to 'Led Zeppelin IV'
Listn to Black Sabbath's 'Vol. 4'
Listen to Foreigner's '4'
Listen to 'Toto IV'
See Led Zeppelin and Other Rockers in the Top 10 Fourth Albums