Houses of the Holy
Released: March 28, 1973
Peak: 12 US, 12 UK, 14 CN, 13 AU
Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 0.3 UK, 19.1 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: classic rock/metal
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Songs written by Plage/Plant unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 40:57
4.259 out of 5.00 (average of 25 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“Houses of the Holy follows the same basic pattern as Led Zeppelin IV, but the approach is looser and more relaxed. Jimmy Page’s riffs rely on ringing, folky hooks as much as they do on thundering blues-rock, giving the album a lighter, more open atmosphere.” AMG Such songs “suggest that the band was searching for material, they actually contribute to the musical diversity of the album.” AMG
“The pseudo-reggae of D’Yer Mak’er” AMG grew out of Bonham’s efforts to combine reggae with doo-wop of the 1950s. WK Jones didn’t think the song was well thought out, but Plant thought it should be a single. Plant’s wishes were veoted in the UK, but the song became a top-20 hit in the U.S. WK
“The affectionate James Brown send-up The Crunge” AMG was written by Bonham when he decided to create a funk beat. Plant then improvised lyrics in James Brown’s style. Plant specifically parodied Brown’s “Take It to the Bridge” vocal style toward the end of the song. WK
“The Rain Song is one of Zep’s finest moments, featuring a soaring string arrangement and a gentle, aching melody.” AMG Page composed the entire arrangement and vocal melody which Page composed at his home studio. He was inspired by George Harrison’s complaint that Led Zeppelin never did any ballads. WK
“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.” AMG The song was attempted for the band’s fourth album, but abandoned. It became a band favorite, played at every show from 1973 to 1979. WK Lyrically, it is about Led Zeppelin’s fans and their devotion. WK
“The rampaging opening number, The Song Remains the Same” AMG was intially an instrumental written by Page known as “The Overture.” Once Plant added lyrics, it became “The Campaign.” WK “The rest of Houses of the Holy is fairly straightforward, ranging from the foreboding No Quarter” AMG
“The strutting hard rock of Dancing Days” AMG shows a general optimistic attitude toward life. WK
“The epic folk/metal fusion Over the Hills and Far Away” AMG was written in two different parts. The first was a quiet, acoustic piece and was followed by a more energetic, electric piece. WK
“Throughout the record, the band’s playing is excellent, making the eclecticism of Page and Robert Plant’s songwriting sound coherent and natural.” AMG
Notes: A 2014 reissue addes a second disc with alternate mixes of the album’s songs.
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First posted 3/21/2008; last updated 9/5/2021.