Review Summary: In 1973, Led Zeppelin released their most exotic and most varied album. This album went on to become my personal favourite Zeppelin album and one of their most acclaimed releases (among many).
Houses of the Holy is a rock album that I'd call art. The album isn't scared to go into new territory and I think that the band perfected each genre they tackled within these 8 tracks. Varying from progressive to funk to reggae to rock, Zeppelin was still able to rock better than anyone with this album. Some may find this album to have been risky, but Zeppelin was able to take risks, because they knew they would succeed. Now before you attack me for being biased, I am not solely basing this review off of my personal feelings towards the band or the album. This love for Zeppelin wasn't always here, there's a reason their music captured my soul. Clearly the music is wonderful if I feel this way now.
The Song Remains the Same: This song reminds me a lot of David Bowie's "Sound and Vision", due to both songs being extremely upbeat and probably due to the orange cover art of their albums. It is a very personal connection that probably only I have, but it's there. The song is extremely fast and very happy. It is a song about international music and was originally written as an instrumental prelude for "The Rain Song". The guitar skill of Jimmy Page is shown in this song quite well. I don't know what else to say about this song, except that it is a fantastic start to an amazing album. 5/5
The Rain Song: Zeppelin's most beautiful piece of work, even beating out "Ten Years Gone" or "Thank You". This song is in drop D tuning and it's lovely guitar playing and lyrics really makes you feel emotional deep down. The lyrics are very sweet. This is one of the most underrated songs in Zeppelin's whole catalogue and should be played to any girl you are trying to get to fall for you. One of the album's stand outs. 5/5
Over The Hills and Far Away: Another beautiful track that has a crazy shift in it. The song starts out as an acoustic song with Robert Plant singing some slow, loving lyrics until the songs kick your ass and gets harder and louder. One of Zeppelin's greatest songs. Just as the lyrics on "The Rain Song" are, the lyrics in this song are also very well written and sweet. After a few minutes, the song fades away and you think it is over, until it builds up again then fades away. Genius. 5/5
The Crunge: The most controversial song off of the album. Some find it as one of the band's worst songs, some find it funky and fun and some find the extremely off time drumming of Bonham to be charming. The song is known for the ending, where Robert Plant mutters: "Where's that confounded bridge"", which is a tribute to James Brown. I would give this song a 5/5 as a personal rating, but as an unbiased rating, I'd give it a 3/5
Dancing Days: One of the most fun Zeppelin songs. This song is very groovy and has a fantastic riff. The lyrics are very abstract and strange, which only adds to the charm. Another song I'd give 5/5, but from a more casual listener's perspective, a 4.5/5
D'yer Mak'er: Yet another "lovey" song off of the album, "D'yer Mak'er" was the band's attempt at reggae. Well some found it to be anything but reggae and a not so serious song, this song became a classic. I'd give this song a 5/5 rating, because it is one of Zeppelin's most famous and loveliest songs. 5/5
No Quarter: Zeppelin's sole progressive song and the song off of the album that showcases John Paul Jones talents the most. This song has some fantastic guitar work, spacey keyboards, great mythical (or military) lyrics and some phenomenal drumming. One of the album's best. 5/5
The Ocean: One of the best closing songs to a Zeppelin album. The song starts out with the famous chant of Bonham saying: "We've done four already, but now we're steady and then they went: one, two, three, four", which then leads into an orgasmic attack on the ears. The song is a pretty straight forward hard rocker, until the end where the song shifts into a duwop style outro. This amazing album couldn't have had a better closer. 5/5
In the end, this is the Zeppelin album that I love the most (although I and II are extremely close) and all 8 of it's tracks are wonderful compositions. There is no filler in this record and it's so good that I just had to go out to get it on vinyl as well as the cd of it I've owned for years. This is a perfect album to me and something my ears crave to hear almost weekly.