Wednesday, March 27, 2013

houses of the holy

Led Zeppelin took their time to build a euphonious new foundation with the expansive experimentation and masterful musicianship of this glorious folkloric classic.   After four albums that explored rock and blues in the heaviest of ways, the band was ready to find new sounds.  Jimmy Page produced the sessions that took place at Stargroves and Headley Grange with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, and Island Studios, London; Mixed at Olympic Studios, London and Electric Lady Studios, New York with John Bonham on drums; John Paul Jones on bass guitar, keyboards, mellotron, synthesiser, organ, piano, grand piano, harpsichord, and synthesiser bass; Jimmy Page on acoustic, electric, and pedal steel guitar, and theremin on "No Quarter"; and Robert Plant on lead vocals.  

Page considered:    “We’ve never really been involved in the media.  We’ve never done a TV program and air play, of course, is limited because of the fact that we don’t record singles. The record company may release an album track as a 45 here in the States, but this band has never set out to make a hit single. We’ve never had a single in England, for example. Quite honestly, I don’t know why we’ve had such phenomenal success. Perhaps you could relate it to street music and the fact that people feel more of an affinity to Zep’s music because it’s not constantly hammered down their throats from every direction. All I can say is that whenever we’ve gone on stage or into the studio, we’ve always done our best...I’m happy about that, because there’s a hell of a lot in that LP. It’s not very easy one-time listening, and that’s good. You’ve got to sit down and listen, think about a few things. I’m not saying that every LP is gonna carry on in that progression because they’re not. The next LP will probably have a lot of simple, straightforward cuts like, say ‘Rock and Roll.’ Just really good, straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll.”

Plant explains:   “You’ve got to stretch everything to its limits. We’ve been together five years and after that long, it’s time to move around...experiment a bit. Who knows? Maybe in a year’s time I might be singing through a megaphone. Our experimentation isn’t just for its own sake, though. It’s all to good effect.”

As with their untitled fourth album, 'Houses of the Holy' was released without the band's name on the sleeve.  The cover photo was shot by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland using two siblings Stefan and Samanatha Gates.  Several photos were combined in a collage to create the illusion of several children.  

The band was criticized for their dabbling in jazz, funk, and reggae.  Page says:  “Some took those songs too seriously.  Especially ‘D’Yer Maker.’ I would never say that it was reggae, as a lot of people who’ve lifted their eyebrows at it have said. I think real reggae is rude, dirty music. That’s what makes it great. But it only works when the Jamaicans do it, not the whiteys. It just doesn’t have the same spirit at all. The true Jamaican reggae is, when you really weigh it up, pornographic.”

'Houses of the Holy' rose to nine in Japan; eight in Germany; four in Norway; three in Austria, France, and Japan; and number one in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US.  In the UK, it made its debut at the top of the chart.  'Houses of the Holy' was the first of their albums to actually have a title.

"Over the Hills and Far Away"

"The Rain Song"

led zeppelin - rain song by aosonho

"The Ocean" 

"D'yer Mak'er"

"Dancing Days"

'Houses of the Holy'

full album:

All songs by Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, except where noted.

Side one
1. "The Song Remains the Same" 5:32
2. "The Rain Song" 7:39
3. "Over the Hills and Far Away" 4:50
4. "The Crunge"  John Bonham John Paul Jones Page Plant  3:17
Side two
5. "Dancing Days" 3:43
6. "D'yer Mak'er"  Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant  4:23
7. "No Quarter"   Jones Page Plant  7:00
8. "The Ocean" Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant   4:31

bonus disc
1. "The Song Remains the Same" (Guitar overdub reference mix)
Page Plant
2. "The Rain Song" (Mix minus piano)
Page Plant
3. "Over the Hills and Far Away" (Guitar mix backing track)
Page Plant
4. "The Crunge" (Rough mix - Keys up)
Bonham Jones Page Plant
5. "Dancing Days" (Rough mix with vocal)
Page Plant
6. "No Quarter" (Rough mix with JPJ keyboard overdubs - No vocal)
Jones Page Plant
7. "The Ocean" (Working mix)
Bonham Jones Page Plant


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