Led Zeppelin
Houses of the Holy


5.0
classic

Review

by sonictheplumber STAFF USER (107 Reviews)
June 6th, 2007 | 18 replies | 6,302 views


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

1973 was a good year for music. It saw the birth of many a great band, albums, and more. Bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Queen, and my guilty pleasure KISS released their debut albums. Also that year was the release of Dark Side Of The Moon, an album by the world's most famous progressive rock band. So 1973 was a pretty eventful year in the world of music. Where was Led Zeppelin? After releasing an album for every year before 1972, every hippie and his brother was waiting for the band's new bluesy masterpiece. What the masses wanted was Led Zeppelin IV: Part II. What the world received was quite different.


Enter Houses Of The Holy. Never before had a Zeppelin release contained reggae. Or funk. Or a tribute to world music. When receiving this abum for my birthday in 2006, I was extremely excited. I may have even screamed when I took the wrapping paper off and looked down at the cover. Instantly, I knew what it was. Did I have to look at the side of the case to know that I had gotten a Led Zeppelin album? No. I instantly recognized the cover. How can one forget it? It has naked children on it. While many of my classmates looked at the cover of the album when I brought it to school and said "Gross!", the cover still remains one of my favorites for some reason or another.

When The Song Remains The Same began, it was unlike any other song I had ever experienced. Robert Plant himself stated that it was highly influenced by world music, so for all I know, it could be a rehash of some world music tune that came years before it. But to the ears of Sonictheplumber, it sounded unique. It was quite an exciting song as well. After the minute and a half introduction, which contained some of Jimmy Page's finest guitar-playing and some of John Paul Jones's most enchanting bass-playing, I was wondering where the song would go next. Not to my disappointment, the song did pretty much remain the same. There were many melodic riffs and such, but the title was mostly correct. The song may have remained the same, but this is no problem, and I am wasting time talking about it. This song was beautiful. Plant's vocals were terrible, but it's hard to notice if you're listening to it without headphones on. Without headphones, the vocals were fine.

The Rain Song showed that Led Zeppelin could be boring. Yes, this song is not perfect. It is very laid-back and enchanting, yet after about five minutes, it tends to disappoint. This song also shows that the band had a habit of commiting an act known as: "overkill". If you put too much salt on your baked potato, it will taste horrible. The taste of the last few minutes of The Rain Song is not horrible, yet it is sort of bland, They put too much salt on it, metaphorically speaking.

After the end of the first two tracks, I knew instantly where the album would go. Over The Hills And Far Away is a classic rock radio staple, which means that it is played sometimes multiple times a day. I can see why. This is one of my favorite tracks. It had the perfect amount of salt shaken on it. Not to mention, pepper. It was a rocking song, quite unlike the first two. It managed to be rocking, yet it was one-hundred percent folk music at the same time. Page's acoustic playing was spectacular. After this song ended, I was sure that the album would go without flaw. It had already experienced one minor flaw, but it was still pretty much perfect. But there was some flaw in what came directly after it.

The Crunge and Dancing Days are often bashed upon and called terrible. The Crunge deserves to be bashed. It is not god-awful, yet it is the weakest track on the album. The lackluster vocals, the funky guitar-playing, and the fact that it is annoying make this track my least favorite on the album. Dancing Days however, is quite an underrated track. It is fun, and unlike the track that comes before it, it is straight-forward, catchy rock. The guitar-playing is unique. The beginning riff makes the song almost instantly recognizable. For some reason though, it is often bashed by even the most hardcore of the hardcore fans of the band.

Now, what exactly is reggae? It's a (mostly) upbeat and catchy type of music, and of all of the reggae artists, Bob Marley is probably the most well-known. He is the most well-known. Do you think anyone is going to ask you what your favorite Inner Circle album is? No, not at all. What does reggae have to do with Houses Of The Holy though? The song D'yer Mak'er, pronounced Ja-Mai-Ca. Now, Led Zeppelin were not reggae artists, but they made this whole track of that genre. This is just another example of how diverse this album is, but I shan't go deep into the diversity of this album like all of the other reviews do. Instead of having a hard rocking Living Loving Maid or Four Sticks on the sixth track slot, Zeppelin did reggae.

Only two tracks remained, and already, I was stunned by almost all of it. Then comes No Quarter. It adds a misty and dark feel to an otherwise light and relaxing album. One person on the Internet Movie Database message board for Led Zeppelin claimed that No Quarter was the best song to "do the deed" to. Of course, I do not know if this is true or not, but that just gives you an idea of the overall feel of the song. And then, we are treated with the heaviest track on the album, and the perfect closer. It was a song that I was already familiar with, known as The Ocean. The main riff is well-played to say the least, and this is just an overall perfect Led Zeppelin song. It has everything you want in a hard rocking Zep tune. The vocals? Robert Plant's voice does not disappoint at all. The guitar? Superb. Jimmy Page plays a simple, yet effective main riff that is catchy and memorable. The bass and drums? Jonesy does well as usual, and the dead John Bonham simply drums his now beatless heart out. So this is a perfect track, and my favorite of the whole album. It sounds mostly like your regular-old Led Zeppelin hard rock masterpiece, yet towards the end, it changes the pace and adds a 50's feel to it, with Plant shouting "Shoobity-doobity-doo-wop". Do not worry, this is also a good part. It does not at all resemble Jerry Lee Lewis or something like that. And there we have it. The perfect closer.


Thus ends Houses Of The Holy, Led Zeppelin's fifth release. It is a far more diverse album then the previous Zeppelin albums, and maybe even those that come after it. It is near-perfect, but it is not perfect at all. The Crunge is annoying, and The Rain Song is boring, but other than that, we have Led Zeppelin at their best. It is a simply magical album. Listen to it on a sunny, beautiful summer day. Put it in your CD player, lay down on your bed, get comfortable, and enjoy the relaxing and diverse(yet still hard-rockin') sounds of Houses Of The Holy.


5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnXDoesn't
June 6th 2007



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is my fave zep album and i enjoyed your review very much. i like the whole thing except maybe the crunge. and dancing days, the ocean, and the title track blow me awayThis Message Edited On 06.06.07

JohnXDoesn't
June 6th 2007



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i dunno about the appoval thing but i would like to see you approved. and i've always thought of this album by its lead off track when it comes to the title. so i think of it as The Song Remains The Same, although that too is a whole other album....what a nub i am :sad:

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2007



6085 Comments


approval rating has nothing to do with being approved. i managed to read your old review before it got deleted and this is much better.

Bfhurricane
June 6th 2007



6194 Comments


I kinda like the Rain Song, its a good listen imo. The only other song ive heard off here is No Quarter. Physical Graffiti is the only Zeppelin album I own, I think I rated it a 5, its absolutely outstanding, definitely my favorite CR album along with Steely Dan's Aja. I know a lot of the songs on PG were written for this album, but didnt make the cut I guess? Anyway, nice review, ill shoot it a vote.

PaperCities
June 6th 2007



199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Physical Graffiti is so much better than this, but this is still really good.

FriendofTheDevil70
June 6th 2007



384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of Zep's best. So many classic songs on this one.

Great review.

rattlehead42147
June 7th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i dont' like this album that much
great work sonic

freudianslipknot
June 7th 2007



803 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review. This album owns. I like all the tracks here. Like you say, it is very diverse, which is part of its charm. I actually like the crunge.This Message Edited On 06.07.07

joh soxe
June 7th 2007



44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review. i disagree about The Rain Song, i love it.

i'm tied between this album and IV for my favourite zeppelin record: whilst this has possibly the finest moments of individual brilliance on any zeppelin album (particularly the first three tracks, i totally agree that The Song Remains The Same is awesome) i feel IV is more consistent. i can listen to that all the way through no problem, whereas on Houses i often skip a few tracks.

Two-Headed Boy
June 7th 2007



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Man this review was completely necessary.

psst good job.

CeeBone
June 8th 2007



213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

II, IV, I, PG, II, ITtOD, Coda, Presence and theeeeeeen HotH. Yes. I enjoy Presence and Coda more than I do this.. at least I do now.

freudianslipknot
June 10th 2007



803 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Are there any other albums that have six reviews all with 5 ratings?

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 10th 2007



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

To be honest, this review really reminds me of mine. Which wasn't all that good anyway.


Just saying.


p.s.

and the dead John Bonham simply drums his now beatless heart out.

lolThis Message Edited On 06.10.07

KILL
November 26th 2011



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Moople
June 22nd 2013



228 Comments


rip dethtrasher

Myrkur
February 8th 2014



164 Comments


No Quarter is the best song here

MyRubberSoulAlt
February 8th 2014



243 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is so relaxing.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2014



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"It had the perfect amount of salt shaken on it. Not to mention, pepper."

sonic/

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia



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