SD 19130 Houses of the Holy
Produced by Jimmy Page
Released on March 28, 1973
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #1 . . . GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
SD 19130 cover  

M y favorite Zep album, though I confess to gunning straight for the sweet stuff and leaving the moody bits behind. For melodic riffs per square inch, Houses of the Holy is hard to beat, from the irreggae-ular “D’yer Mak’er” to the menacing guitar reef of “The Ocean.” Gone are the plodding blues-rock behemoths of albums past, replaced by fleet creatures that are light on their feet and more tuneful than metal had a right to be. If you’re inclined to listen to the album from beginning to end (something I seldom do), a different House emerges. That house finds Zep knocking down walls and incorporating architectural elements from other bands; “The Song Remains The Same” for example is a fair approximation of The Who (if you can look beyond Robert Plant’s vocals), while “No Quarter” visits the same limbo of lost gods last heard on Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan.” Not that I’m suggesting Led Zeppelin was trying to sound like other bands, but rather they were willing to open the windows and let in a wider spectrum of light. Plant in particular seems to have grown more confident as a songwriter, “The Rain Song” finding a setting where his musical voice might flower. In fact, that song may be one of the earliest indicators of what Plant would sound like on his own. Elsewhere, the manic exotica of “Dancing Days” forms a fine bridge between “The Immigrant Song” and “Kashmir,” while “Over The Hills And Far Away” remains one of my favorite acoustic/electric hybrids (to which I’d add Rush’s “The End” and Gentle Giant’s “I Lost My Head”). Yes, “The Crunge” seems silly by comparison, but Led Zeppelin could always use a little deflating now and then. If you’ve been drawn to the lighter moments of Led Zeppelin (“Hots On For Nowhere,” “Fool In The Rain”), then Houses of the Holy is where you’ll hang your hat most often. Their first album was more explosive, their fourth the better epic, but Houses has always been the most fun to listen to.

SD 19130 back cover SD 19130 inner gatefold SD 19130 lyric sleeve
SD 19130 back cover SD 19130 inner gatefold SD 19130 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME    (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    5:24
  2. THE RAIN SONG    (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    7:32
  3. OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY    (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    4:42
  4. THE CRUNGE    (John Bonham/John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    3:10
  5. DANCING DAYS    (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    3:40
  6. D'YER MAK'ER    (John Bonham/John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    4:19
  7. NO QUARTER    (John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    6:57
  8. THE OCEAN    (John Bonham/John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    4:28

CREDITS

JOHN BONHAM -- drums, backing vocals
JOHN PAUL JONES -- bass, mellotron, synthesiser, organ, piano, grand piano, synthesiser piano, synthesised bass, backing vocals
JIMMY PAGE -- guitars, backing vocals
ROBERT PLANT -- vocals
Peter Grant -- executive producer
Eddie Kramer -- engineer
George Chkiantz -- engineer
Keith Harwood -- engineer
Hipgnosis -- sleeve

return to LED ZEPPELIN discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK March 28, 1973 Atlantic LP/CS K/K4 50014 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
US/CAN March 28, 1973 Atlantic LP/CS/8T SD/M5/TP 7255 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
BRA 1973 Atlantic LP ATLP 038  
GER 1973 Atlantic LP ATL 50014 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
ITA 1973 Atlantic LP W 50014  
JPN   Atlantic LP P-6520A gatefold cover, lyric insert
TAI   First LP FL-2336  
BRA 1977 WEA LP 30037 gatefold cover
US 1980s Atlantic LP/CD/CS SD 19130 reissue, gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
US July 1994 Atlantic CD/CS 82639 digital remaster
JPN   Atlantic CD WPCR-11615 digital remaster

 

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