First European remastered re-release of the fifth full-length studio album by legendary British Blues/Hard Rock band.
The album represents a turning point in musical direction for the band, who had begun to record songs with more layering and production techniques, in contrast to the simpler Rock music heard on earlier albums. The album benefited from several band members installing studios at home, which allowed them to develop more sophisticated songs and arrangements, and expand their musical style.
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. While the pseudo-Reggae of "D'Yer Mak'er" and the affectionate James Brown send-up "The Crunge" suggest that the band was searching for material, they actually contribute to the musical diversity of the album. "The Rain Song" is one of Zeppellin'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 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 Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's songwriting sound coherent and natural.
Several songs subsequently became fixtures in the band's live set, including "The Song Remains the Same", "The Rain Song" and "No Quarter". Other material recorded at the sessions, including the title track, was shelved and released on the later albums "Physical Graffiti" and "Coda".
In 1974, the album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Album Package. The cover was rated #6 on VH1's 50 Greatest Album Covers in 2003.
Although critical response was mixed, "Houses Of The Holy" became a commercial success and topped the UK charts, and spent 39 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart, including two weeks at number one (their longest stint since Led Zeppelin III). It was later certified 11x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999. In 2012, the album was ranked at #148 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Remastered and produced by Jimmy Page. 180gr vinyl in gatefold cover sealed with a white bellyband.
Atlantic Recording Corporation, a Warner Music Group Company, 1973/2014 (8122-79657-3). Made in Germany.
1. The Song Remains The Same 5:29
2. The Rain Song 7:39
3. Over The Hills And Far Away 4:50
4. The Crunge 3:17
5. Dancing Days 3:43
6. D'yer Mak'er 4:22
7. No Quarter 7:02
8. The Ocean 4:31
Total playing time: 40:53 min.