Led Zeppelin's 5th studio album "Houses of the Holy" commences with the high octane, sex-driven "The Song Remains The Same". This, however, is not the precident for an album which contains amazing musical variety.
With the final strum of the opener still ringing in our ears, we're delicately introduced to 7 minutes 39 seconds of blissful ballad in "The Rain Song".
"Houses of the Holy" represents Led Zep at their hitherto most experimental, with mixed results. While "Dancing Days" plays like a superbly ominous monster-rocker, "The Crunge" is an unfortunate forray into the world of funk. They almost pull off their solitary career take on reggae during "D'Yer Mak'er" (meant to sound like "Jamaica"). Following this jokey number with the supremely eerie "No Quater" shows just how adventurous the band was being on this album.
"The Ocean" is a tribute to Robert Plant's newly born daughter. It's a massively confident, stomping, playful number that contains perhaps the catchiest riff of all time (later sampled by the "Beastie Boys").
Overall, "Houses of the Holy" is a magnificent album. It shows Led Zeppelin's massive diversity. On II, Zeppelin are awesome as heavy rockers, but "Houses" shows their range of ideas streatched far beyond this. After making this recoding Led Zeppelin must have justifiably thought that they could do anything, their status as rock-gods was set in stone. ...