HOTH is quite different from earlier Led Zeppelin albums, more interested in their own material, and moving away from their 60’s past.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Led Zeppelin
ALBUM: Houses Of The Holy
SERIAL: SD 7255
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List’
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Robert Plant – vocals * Jimmy Page – guitars * John Paul Jones – bass, keyboards, piano, mellotron * John Bonham – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Song Remains The Same * 02 The Rain Song * 03 Over The Hills And Far Away * 04 The Crunge * 05 Dancing Days * 06 D’yer Mak’er * 07 No Quarter * 08 The Ocean
WEBLINKS: Site Link
It’s always been an album cover that stood out for its colourful look and originality. The photos were taken on the Northern Ireland landmark that is the Giants Causeway in County Antrim, and remains today an iconic record cover from that era.
‘Houses Of The Holy’ consolidates Zeppelin’s lineage at the top of the rock-pile. Eventually, the album would go 11-times platinum! That is some serious coin! The album is quite different from previously penned LZ material; the band now taking a serious interest in their own material, and moving away from the 60’s blues ventures of their past albums. This was reinforced by the in-house production of Jimmy Page.
There’s no doubt that the opener ‘The Song Remains The Same’ is a genuine Zep classic. The intricate guitar lines resonate melodically across its five minute wingspan. It segues into the plaintive ‘The Rain Song’, a laid back piece which holds some orchestral sections to add to its pastoral backdrop.
The acoustic pick and strum of ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ has the initial leaning toward a rock/folk epic, but alas, not so. The song opens up with brazen abandon, with a crashing rhythm section lighting the way for Plant and Page to do their thing. The solo is a stand-out too, a track I often come back to on occasion .
‘The Crunge’ is a change-up moment with its overtly funky routine. I wonder if Deep Purple circa Glenn Hughes took some inspiration from this tune on the mk3 version of that band?
‘Dancing Days’ is a song with its sound centered right in the middle of the early 70’s glam era. Some traces and influences are obvious. I reckon this song could’ve been made into a single, though management instead chose ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ and ‘D’yer Mak’er’.
Talking of which, I’ve always enjoyed the off-beat ‘D’yer Mak’er’ over the years. Plant wrenches out all the emotion on this tune like a pair of blue jeans going through the old wringer washing machine. Simply a terrific reminder of a band at their peak. The song title is a word play of the term ‘Jamaica’, hence also the reggae connection.
‘No Quarter’ will always be remembered for its atmospheric (near doom like) quality. Initially bought from John Paul Jones home studio, the trio of Jones, Plant and Page finished it off to become one of four well-honed and remembered tracks off the album.
The guitar strut and heavy drum beat of ‘The Ocean’ is just templated Zep to a tee. The way the song transitions to a tempo change plus a hint of an accapella is stuff of legend. A great track to end the album.
Released in March 1973, Led Zeppelin would take all before them during that year, with both a European tour (occurring at the time of the album release) plus a successful North American tour. This ensured they would finish the year on top of the world. Definitely a top 200 (or even top 100) album from the classic era of rock.