“In Through The Out Door” – 1979
A very interesting concept from the master sleeve designers, Hipgnosis. The sleeve ‘proper’ features a man in a bar burning a ‘Dear John’ letter, watched by a bemused barman and a couple of ‘ladies’ in the bar, whilst the piano player bashes out a tune of some sort. The scenario has been photographed from 6 different viewpoints within the bar and then 6 different sleeve variations have been created (with the letters A-F at the top of the spine denoting each variation).
To disguise to buyers which sleeve variation they were purchasing, an outer brown bag was added – creating a sense of mystery when the sleeve design was revealed.
The (no doubt expensive) concept was further enhanced by the inclusion of an inner sleeve that featured ‘magic’ ink – gently wet the inner sleeve and different colours would appear on the design.
The goal for all Led Zeppelin collectors is to collect pristine copies of all 6 versions, complete with outer brown bags and with uncoloured inner sleeves, all of which makes for quite a valuable set of Led Zeppelin records worth considerably more than adding up the values of 6 copies of ‘In Through The Out Door’.