Houses of the Holy (Digitally Remastered) - Led Zeppelin

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Houses of the Holy (Digitally Remastered) - Led Zeppelin

Hard Rock - StudioRecording - 1 CD(s) - Label: Atlantic - Distributor: Arvato Services, Cinram Logistics - Released: 01/08/1997, 08/1997 - 75678263927

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Review of "Houses of the Holy (Digitally Remastered) - Led Zeppelin"

published 06/11/2004 | pinkmatchstick
Member since : 30/11/-0001
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Excellent
Pro The peak of their careers
Cons D'Yer Maker? Well did ya?
helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money
Lyrics

"1973 never felt so good"

After the blitzkreig of LZI and II, and the failed acoustic of III, Zep delivered the goods with the Runes album. Now what? This. A range of styles and experimentation that still never strays far from the heavy rock that made their name. We still get the stone-cold hard rock, but it's also tempered with funk, eastern vibes and even reggae.

This is the sound of a band so totally together and on top of their game. You see when this album came out Zepp could afford to take things a little easier, not having anything to prove to the doubters, and there had been many, who had them as all hype and no substance. It also sees Jonesy begin to exert more influence in the band, as he steps out from being the anonymous bassist to playing keyboards, weighing in with some ideas and even getting to do backing vocals on one track.

The Song Remains The Same opens things up, can I just say that this is probably not the highlight of this album. Robert's vocal is far too high-pitched and the soundtrack feels like it was recorded at 45RPM not 33. (Spinal Tap would brilliantly parody this in their film, the bit where they are all in seed pods on stage).

The Rain Song - ah this is more like it, slowed down, laid back but controlled agression lurking in the backgound. 7 minutes plus of grown up adult rock music par excellence. It's been fairly laid back up to the middle section, then Robert goes "Ohhh" and the song explodes into life. Classic Zepp, built around an idea from Jimmy Page, and one of their very best power ballads, if that's the right word.

Over The Hills follows in the same vein, but this is a powerfully constructed light/heavy love song and is probably one of the LZ songs people who don't know LZ would recognise. "Lady...you got the love I need...maybe more than enough".

OK. The Crunge. Zepp get funky. I hated this at first, but repeated airings have me change my mind. Robert never sounded better on one song than on this. The hilarious "where's the bridge" part I think shows the band had their tounge firmly in their cheek when recording this. Jimmy has wa-wa guitar down cold on this number.

Dancin' Days kicks the metal juggernaut back into life. I recently sat out in my front garden with a beer watching the sun go down, listening to this one track. Perfect. An eastern vibe running throughout keeps the diversity thing going.

D'Yer Maker....a pun on Jamaica, geddit?? hmmm....not very good but 10/10 for trying. Zepp would later raid the rythym track here for "Fool In The Rain". This is a massively popular cut in the States, so I'm told. A reggae beat holds things together over hesitant drumming (it's said that Bonzo couldn't master the timing on this one).

Hard rock returns with No Quarter, an eerie Hammer Of The Gods tale of dark days ahead, leading to The Ocean, a BIG BIG Pagey riff leading into a 50's doo-wop singalong. Robert leads the singing in a truibute to his little girl. The song has the ultimate HM riff in it, been much copied but never bettered.

Throw in a great cover, children climb over rocks as a tinted orange background fills the sky overhead, there you are, the ultimate rock record. Those old hippies at the magazine Rolling Stone slated it at the time, well what did they ever know.

This is a brilliant album and it's such a shame that the albums immediately before and after it have all the spotlight. Thoroughly recommended and if you like rock music and don't have this, remedy that situation ASAP.

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Comments on this review

  • RPB1968 published 18/02/2010
    My favourite Zep album! Great review!
  • baeswoman published 26/07/2005
    Not my favourite Zeppelin album but great review
  • treemusicuk published 20/07/2005
    I remember buying this back in '73 and feeling totally let down. Over time I grew to like it though :-)
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Product Information : Houses of the Holy (Digitally Remastered) - Led Zeppelin

Manufacturer's product description

Hard Rock - StudioRecording - 1 CD(s) - Label: Atlantic - Distributor: Arvato Services, Cinram Logistics - Released: 01/08/1997, 08/1997 - 75678263927

Product Details

EAN: 75678263927

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