Sunday, March 17, 2024

The Albums of 1973: Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy


Release Date: March 28, 1973

Members: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham

Produced by Jimmy Page

Side One: The Song Remains the Same; The Rain Song; Over the Hills and Far Away; The Crunge

Side Two: Dancing Days; D'yer Mak'er; No Quarter; The Ocean

Houses of the Holy proved to be Led Zeppelin's most eclectic record yet -and their most melodic. 

"The Song Remains the Same" begins the record on a rapturous note, both hard rocking and ethereal. Like "Stairway to Heaven", "The Rain Song" relies more on mood and atmosphere to great effect. "Over the Hills and Far Away" leans into the folkish side of the band, Plant's vocal and Page's riffs repeatedly crest and build. "The Crunge" was considered by some an attempt to channel James Brown with somewhat mixed results, an interesting experiment, nevertheless. 

"Dancing Days" revels in its bacchanalia ethos, "D'yer Mak'er" merges the Zeppelin sound with reggae and remains a classic rock staple. "No Quarter" is one of Zeppelin's most ominous tracks, merging synth-heavy prog-rock with a foggy dystopian atmosphere. "The Ocean" closes the record, more of a throwback to the earlier sound of the band, a joyful swagger with the band at its creative peak. 

Houses of the Holy sounds so fully realized and confident, all members of the group showcasing their skills as individuals and as a potent unit. 

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