Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin 1973
Houses of the Holy is the fifth studio album. Although critical response was mixed, it became a commercial success later receiving a Diamond (over 10-million albums sold) I think is shows true diversity of the band with move from blues rock.
Some songs from the album had initially been tried out in earlier sessions, such as “No Quarter”, which was first attempted during a session at Headley Grange Estate, in East Hampshire. Both guitarist and producer Jimmy Page and bassist / keyboardist John Paul Jones had installed home studios, which allowed them to arrive at Stargroves with complete compositions and arrangements.
As stated the album was a stylistic turning point for the band. The composition and production laid foundations for subsequent releases, nevertheless found its rightful niche
The album largely abandoned their previous music’s weighty, dark blues rock distortion in favor of a clean, expansive rock sound as evinced by Page’s sharper, brighter guitar tone. It was also likely the most eclectic musically of their albums, swing rhythms on “Dancing Days”, and experiments with reggae and psychedelic music on “D’Yer Mak’er” and “No Quarter”, respectively. Its been called “a diverse collection of rockers, ballads, reggae, funk, and fifties-style rock ‘n’ roll”. It was also likely to be the most eclectic musically of their albums.
The cover art for Houses of the Holy was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End. The cover is a collage of several photographs which were taken at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis. This location was chosen ahead of an alternative one in Peru which had also been considered.
Line Up & Credits
- Robert Plant – lead vocals
- Jimmy Page – guitars, production
- John Paul Jones – bass guitar, piano, electric piano, Mellotron, organ, synthesizer, synthesized bass, backing vocals on “The Ocean”
- John Bonham – drums, backing vocals on “The Ocean”
- Eddie Kramer – engineering, mixing
- George Chkiantz – engineering
- Keith Harwood – engineering
- George Marino – mastering (remastered CD)
- Hipgnosis – sleeve design
- Aubrey Powell – cover photography