In through the out door
Jimmy Page-Electric and Acoustic guitars, Pedal steel guitar, Backing vocals
Robert Plant-Lead vocals, Harmonica
John Bonham-Drums, Backing vocals
John Paul-Jones- Bass, Piano, Organ, Mellotron, Backing vocals
After nearly two years absence from music and touring in general, dictated by the death of Robert Plants young son Karac from a stomach infection in July 1977, The mighty Zeppelin finally became an active unit.
In through the out door was recorded at the tail end of 1978 at the Polar music studios in Stockholm, Sweden, owned by none other than ABBA.
It was held back to be released after the Knebworth dates in early August of the following year but due to a rare lapse in marketing strategy it was released a week late on August 20th.
The album got it’s name when Jimmy put it “The hardest way to get back in, is through the out door” and that’s exactly what they were doing following the tragedy of Roberts son and the lack of activity that followed.
Considered by most heavy Zeppelin fans to be the bands weakest effort and completely ignored by most, In through the out door is a faithful document of the time. Classic rock was finished. Pop was taking the reins once again.
Unlike previous contributions dominated by the guitarist and front man, the bands lowest profile member John Paul-Jones, influenced proceedings the most and got lead composing credits on all but one of the seven tracks.
The album has a very different feel to any other record prior with it’s football themed “Fool in the rain” and multiple “synth” stained tracks, a probable the reason for it’s dislike among fans. It isn’t the thundering riffs from Page or the 20 minute drum solo’s from Bonham anymore but a lighter more sensitive approach.
The album was rapturously received around the world and in it’s first week made number one in the UK and in it’s second topped the charts in the US. It also instantly went number one in New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Japan creating massive store traffic. As a result Zeppelins entire catalogue made the billboard top 200 between the weeks of October 27th and November 3rd.This topped the previous record held in 1975 by….Led Zeppelin.
The zeppelin was ready to drift in to the new decade with as much enthusiasm as they had entered the 70’s.
In the Evening- to illustrate the feeling of rebirth Pagey pulls out the old violin bow to create a dramatic opening segment, while plant struts arrogantly on the vocals. A cascading guitar riff follows as fluid bass takes control.
A convincing performance overall. Clearly Zeppelin in sound and the best track off the album.
South Bound Suarez- Starts off with a rollicking piano intro from Jonesy as Roberts vocals sit nicely. A lovely solo from Page and a do-wop fade out.
A jump around tune and a pleasure to listen to.
Fool in the rain- A song based on the 1978 soccer world cup held in Argentina.
Nice piano compliments Plants voice to kick the track off. Around the halfway point a mad samba takes centre stage as Bonzo adds his bit with crashing timpani, followed by a stand out solo by Page(the best on the album.)
Great effort, although very un orthodox it works.
Hot Dog -The only real let down on the disc. A country based theme which owes much to the state of Texas and the bands experiences there while on tour. Kicks of with a nice guitar piece, followed by saloon style piano compliments of Mr. JPJ. Plant sings well but if you are not into country then this one will irritate the life out of you.
A rockabilly hoedown that is musically very good but not very appealing to most.
Carouselambra- The 10min 32 second epic, driven relentlessly by Jones and his keyboard thrusts. A grandiose Zeppelin marathon which employs Page’s Gibson double neck to reach it’s conclusion. Slightly muddy at times, you can’t work out what plant is going on about. A musical mix-up which would take too long to explain, listen and I’m sure you’ll agree.
Overall not a bad outing with honorable intentions.
All my love- What can I say" A pretty love song, Written by plant about the death of his son “All of my love, to you” the chorus. Jones puts in a classy performance on the keyboards even treating us to a solo, as Jimmy puts in subtle acoustic picking to complement. Absolutely beautiful song, Plant sings this one with so much emotion.
I’m Gonna Crawl-Enhanced by Jones with a smooth synthesized string arrangement “I’m gonna crawl” is a relaxed blues number slow in tempo, and streaked in emotion both from Plant and Page in his solo. A lovely way to end off a great album.
Overall it has to be said, that this album is not one to ignore. Some love it others despise it, make your own decision.
- Very strong musically
- Very emotive
- Relaxing to listen to
- may not appeal to all
- Never takes off
- Different from the old Zeppelin