LED ZEPPELIN – ” Houses Of The Holy ” Released 28th March 1973

Posted: March 29, 2015 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Led Zeppelin released their 5th album titled “Houses of the Holy” on 28th March 1973. It is their first album composed of entirely original material, and represents a musical turning point for the band, who had begun to record songs with more layering and production techniques.

Containing some of the band’s most famous songs, including “The Song Remains the Same”, “The Rain Song” and “No Quarter”, Houses of the Holy became a huge success.

One interesting fact about this LP is that the title track was recorded for the album, but was delayed until the band’s next release, Physical Graffiti, two years later. Recorded between January–August 1972, Stargroves and Headley Grange with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, and Island Studios, London; Mixed at Olympic Studios, London and Electric Lady Studios, New York 

“The Rain Song” is one of Zep’s finest moments, featuring a soaring string arrangement and a gentle, aching melody. “The Ocean” is just as good, starting with a heavy, funky guitar groove before slamming into an a cappella section and ending with a swinging, doo wop-flavored rave-up. With the exception of the rampaging opening number, “The Song Remains the Same,” the rest of Houses of the Holy is fairly straightforward, ranging from the foreboding “No Quarter” and the strutting hard rock of “Dancing Days” to the epic folk/metal fusion “Over the Hills and Far Away.” Throughout the record, the band’s playing is excellent, making the eclecticism of Page and Robert Plant’s songwriting sound coherent and natural.”

Upon its release, the album received some mixed reviews, with much criticism from the music press being directed at the off-beat nature of tracks such as “The Crunge” and “D’yer Mak’er”. However, the album was very successful commercially, entering the UK chart at number one, while in America its 39-week run (2 of them spent at number one) on the Billboard Top 40 was their longest since their third album.

For 1973’s Houses of the Holy, the band and their management turned to the accomplished English design studio, Hipgnosis, for inspiration. Co-founder Aubrey Powell, inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s 1953 science fiction novel, Childhood’s End, selected the remote area in Northern Ireland called Giant’s Causeway, a natural series of rock and columns which attracts over one million visitors each year, for the location of a photo shoot.

Siblings Stefan Gates—just five at the time—and his slightly older sister, Samantha, were selected for what proved to be a treacherous assignment. The children were pictured on the cover as they ascended the rocky terrain. Both are unclothed.

Houses of the Holy was released on March 28th, 1973. The album, featuring such Led Zeppelin favourites as “Over the Hills and Far Away,” “Dy’er Maker” and “The Song Remains the Same”—but not, ironically, the song “Houses of the Holy”—was another enormous success, reaching #1 in both the U.K. and U.S.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.