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Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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3.91 | 867 ratings

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4 stars "Where's that confounded bridge?"

Possibly the only album in history whose title track was omitted and put on the next album, this is where Led Zep explored other musical genres including funk, reggae and even prog!

The opening track "The Song Remains the Same" is a storming rocker with multi-layered guitars and what sounds like a speeded- up vocal from Plant, even more storming on the film of the same name.. It segues into "The Rain Song", probably the proggiest song they ever did, a beautiful melody with mellotron and piano work from Jones. As with the first track, I prefer the live version on the film soundtrack but this is still a wonderful number. "Over the Hills and Far Away" starts off with Plant singing over acoustic guitar in a slightly odd time signature but then changes to a more typical Zep rocker. The middle section doesn't really fit to my ears, it sounds like it was made up on the spot when they realised the song wasn't long enough. The ending is Jones with a very quiet harpsichord solo. "The Crunge" is Led Zep's answer to James Brown ("has anybody seen the bridge?") and again utilises an odd time signature in places. I didn't like "Dancing Days" much until a read a quote from Plant about how they danced around on the lawn whilst listening to a playback, and then it seemed to slot into place. "D'ya mak'er" (the title comes from an old joke not worth repeating here) is the reggae number. Lyrically not one of their best but it is an infectious melody and Bonham excels here. One of the few Zep songs I've heard played on the radio. "No Quarter" again shows the proggy side of the band and this is pretty much Jones' number on the electric piano. The extended version on "The Song Remains the Same" is probably the highlight of that album. The final song is "The Ocean" (which refers to the waving hands of the audience) where yet again the crunching guitar riff (which follows a count in from Bonham) is in an odd time signature. The track ends with a rock'n'roll section featuring doo-wops from Plant.

They ran into trouble with the cover for this one - particularly with the background colouring - and it caused much controversy over the naked children. Genre- wise it's probably their most varied album and certainly their proggiest.

chopper | 4/5 |


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