Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Led Zeppelin

Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door album cover
2.98 | 671 ratings | 48 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In the Evening (6:49)
2. South Bound Saurez (4:12)
3. Fool in the Rain (6:12)
4. Hot Dog (3:17)
5. Carouselambra (10:31)
6. All My Love (5:53)
7. I'm Gonna Crawl (5:30)

Total Time 42:24

Bonus CD/LP from 2015 remaster - Rough mixes, backing tracks, alt. versions and new material:
1. In the Evening (6:58)
2. Southbound Piano (South Bound Saurez) (4:12)
3. Fool in the Rain (6:10)
4. Hot Dog (3:14)
5. The Epic (Carouselambra) (10:46)
6. The Hook (All My Love) (5:52)
7. Blot (I'm Gonna Crawl) (5:30)

Total Time 42:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Plant / vocals
- Jimmy Page / acoustic & electric guitars, Gizmotron (1,5), producer
- John Paul Jones / bass, mandolin, piano (2,4), synth
- John Bonham / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Hipgnosis

LP Swan Song ‎- SSK 59410 (1979, UK)
2LP Swan Song ‎- 8122795580 (2015, Europe) Remastered by Jimmy Page with bonus LP including unreleased studio outtakes

CD Swan Song ‎- 259 410 (1986, Europe)
CD Swan Song ‎- 7567-92443-2 (1994, Europe) Remastered by George Marino & Jimmy Page
2CD Swan Song ‎- 8122795579 (2015, Europe) Remastered by Jimmy Page with bonus CD including unreleased studio outtakes
2CD+2LP Swan Song ‎- 8122795577 (2015, Europe) Remastered by Jimmy Page with bonus CD (unreleased studio outtakes) and the whole also on 2 LPs

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy LED ZEPPELIN In Through the Out Door Music

LED ZEPPELIN In Through the Out Door ratings distribution

(671 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

LED ZEPPELIN In Through the Out Door reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars For their Swansong (very much an intentional pun even if they were not aware of it), this album is one of the worst final chapter for a band to finish their illustrious career with. With Page busier with other worries than music, this album really became JP Jones' baby. And as much as I appreciate the man, let's face it , he was in a bit over his head here.

Bar the lone In The Evening, the album is filled with tracks that would've barely made the cut on the previous albums, even if those were not up to par with their early career. Boring, overlong and repetitive Carouselambra, the overlong All Of My Love (I remember most kids disbelieving this was a Zep track until their fanboy-ism actually got them to like it) and the equally long and boring Gonna Crawl, in all these tracks there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENING.

Suarez, Hot Dog and overlong Fool In The Rain are very much fillers on this poor showing, and frankly even on the ensuing and posthumous Coda, they would've had problems placing it. Indeed a sad end to one of the greatest band around. But at least Zep would not suffer the 80's, like other groups. That might just be what saved their legend. Give another halfstar just out of respect for their overall career.

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the most progressive Led Zeppelin's efforts, but unfortunately not one of the best. Possibly the weakest one. Actually, there are no (very) bad tracks on the album, but the overall picture is not so good. It's hard to say why, the ideas were not developed (or implemented) badly, but that certain magic is missing. Yamaha GX7 synthesizer is omnipresent on the album, making lush pad and atmospheres not so usual for Led Zeppelin's tunes. The songs are not sharp as they used to be, "Hot Dog" is, for example, terrible, commercial country-rock song, and you can't avoid comparison with the similar-named "Black Dog", which is far better. "All Of My Love" is catchy and radio friendly, "I'm Gonna Crawl" is just scary. It sounds like a grotesque waltz, while someone is dancing with the cloaked death. That's just my impression, but this song is certainly not helping me to get into the good mood. "In The Evening" and "Carouselambra" are perhaps two best tracks, "Carouselambra" being undoubtedly progressive, ten minutes long (but not epic), with different parts, full of impressive guitar parts. However, this guitar sound strangely chorused, not bright and fuzzy, what was Jimmy Page's trademark It's just cold. Perhaps that's the main problem of this album: it so cold. Occasional calypso steel drums (another experiment that didn't hit the bull's eye) didn't help much. Brrr.

It's worth having it in your collection if you are a Led Zeppelin fan. If you are not, try somewhere else. Two and a half stars, rounded to three.

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ...don't shoot the piano player!

Though many Zeppelin fans thought "Prescence" showed the band were past their peak, many felt "In Through the Out Door" seemed to show a lack of cohesion within the Zeppelin camp, dogged by personal misfortune, and signified the beginning of the end. As the titled suggests, the rise of Punk and the aforesaid personal difficulties, the group were finding it worrying that their crown seemed to be slipping. Personally I think there are some great songs on this album which history has been unkind to, the albums still contains the classic mysterious Zeppelin signatures though it is dominated by John Paul Jones' synthesisers and appears largely experimental though underrated - there is some fine work by JPJ here.

Having taken up Abba's invitation to use their Polar recording studios in Stockholm the end result, though not apparent on the primitive setup I was using in 1979, was poor sound quality in comparison to their earlier albums, and though Jimmy Page's expert remastering did little to improve the veiled sound I wish they'd recorded the album back at Olympic Studios in London where their meteoric rise to fame first began.

The cover was an interesting though largely ignored concept by Hipgnosis, a bemused buyer would find the sleeve was contained in a brown paper "jacket" with the band and album title "rubber stamped" in the top corner, with the main sleeve "hidden" within. The main cover showed a man sitting at a bar burning a "dear John" letter, surrounded by five other characters: the barman, a rather tipsy floosie, a "detective" in the corner, another rather tired-looking bar-room girl and a piano player. The six different sleeves, labelled on each spine as "A,B,C,D,E and F" showed a different pair of photos with a different point of view seen from the six characters within the scene. If that wasn't enough, the inner sleeve showed two sketches of some bar debris which could actually be coloured in using a wet brush like in a child's book!

The quiet mysterious eastern-style intro to "In The Evening" belies the straight rock song that follows, with a typical Bonham beat swathed in synthesisers, though the next song "Southbound Suarez" is a more upbeat rock'n'roll "sha-la-la" piano boogie style shuffle. "Fool in the Rain" is a rather simple song but features some fine shuffling drum work from John Bonham and keyboards from JPJ, and breaks into a Santana style latin groove containing a growling Page solo, a good track which I still find hard to keep still to! Some fast fingering by JP is featured on the hill-billy style "Hot Dog" about a girl who "took the Greyhound at the general store", and "she took my heart, she took my keys from in my old blue dungarees", a fun song (try and keep still to this one!) which nicely rounds off side 1.

If JPJ's influence was merely evident on the preceding music, on side 2 it literally dominates - the heavy synthesiser-driven "Carouselambra" is widely considered the best most Proggish track on this album, and features strong drumming from JB though Plant's vocals are so drowned within the mix they are barely decipherable. Some amazing passages from JPJ's synthesiser intertwined with Page's dramatic power chord guitar statements make this a tingling listen, with Plant's vocals reminiscent of the old dragon-and-sorcery lyrics of earlier material, "Faceless legions stood in readiness to weep, just turn a coin, bring order to the fray..", the song then breaks into a different more dramatic direction with "Held now within the knowing, rest now within the beat, take of the fruit, but guard the seed.." followed by some spine-tingling power chords from Jimmy - very dramatic stuff! "All My Love" is much more sedate, and contains some beautiful and catchy almost Vivaldian keyboard passages from JPJ and singing from Plant, leading up to a similar mood in "I'm Gonna Crawl", about unconditional love and devotion, something an old fool like me would know about but scoff at occasionally (!) - though I'm not going to scoff at "In Through the Out Door" as I still think it's a great album, one which I still love hearing, and deserves more recognition , it was better than many other albums released in 1979, Led Zeppelin had already set the bar very very high!


Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you are looking for another Led Zeppelin 2 or 4, then you are going to be disappointed. We feel here the electric guitar is less monolithic & spectacular, and it actually gave room to the omnipresent piano and keyboards arrangements. The songs are not dark and much less psychedelic: they rather correpond to something pop and accessible. The piano is very rhythmic. There are very good modern keyboards parts, like on "All my love", which is probably the best track of this record. The electric guitar is still omnipresent, but it is less supported by a bottom bass sound. Despite very varied, the songs are more conventional than on the first records: they often consist in an American mix of boogie, hard rock and blues. Plant's voice is a bit less extreme. "Fool in the rain" has an interesting Latin rhythmic part full of instrument of the xylophone family.
Review by Chicapah
1 stars Perhaps this should have been titled "Thud" in reference to the impact this album made on the group's fans when it was released in 1979. All of us desperately wanted to hear a triumphant return to glory and if Page and Plant had spent half as much time and effort on the songs as Atlantic did on the artwork and packaging we might be praising this collection of songs instead of ragging on it. I was working in a record store when this arrived and the hoopla and promotion surrounding it was enormous. But once the promising "In the Evening" faded away all we were left with was what sounded like a continuation of the mediocre rock we had sadly experienced with "Presence." By the time the syrupy "All My Love" reached my ears I was ready for the band to announce their immediate retirement. It is simply hideous and I rush to change radio channels any time it is played. Yark. Looking on the bright side of life, maybe the poor reception this album received spared us from Led Zep trying to get on the MTV bandwagon that started up as the 80s began. It would have tragically stained an otherwise magnificent legacy.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is where the studio albums started to slip up. I guess the late 70's took their toll even on Led Zeppelin. In Through The Out Door has some interesting songs and is pretty good in the main but overall one can't help feeling that the output on this LP was nothing more than average at best. There are a couple of great tracks especially ' In The Evening' and ' Carouselambra' isn't bad either. Their most commercial pop sounding song ever ' All Of My Love' can get quite irritating after repeated listens and just doesn't do it for me. The other songs sound more like filler material to make up the studio album. For collectors only.
Review by Zitro
3 stars An album that marks a change for the band, more keyboard-oriented and poppier. If Led Zeppelin didn't end, maybe it could have been great in the 80s, because this album feels like a unconfident transitional album that is experimenting and looking for a new sound. One negative aspect to note is Jimmy Page not being as great as always, playing less-inspired guitar riffs and solos (with the exception of the magnificent "I'm Gonna Crawl".

In The Evening doesn't start things very well, being an overly repetitive song with the same synth riff going on for many minutes and a weak chorus.

South Bound Suarez is poppy, with rhythmic piano, "lalala" vocals, and catchy guitar riffs. An improvement over the opener for sure as this song is really fun and refreshing for Led Zeppelin.

Fool in the Rain is a song dominated by piano. It starts as a pedestrian piano song then turns into a crazy salsa song! The percussion in this section is really good, proving that Bonham can really play any style he wants.

Hot Dog is another fun song. It sounds very western and really shows John Paul Jones playing some good piano.

Carouselambra is the "epic" of the album. It is very unusual, as most of the song is dominated by synths you would hear on a disco song. The rhythm section is outstanding and the song is consistently good until the last section which is too "disco" for my tastes.

All of My Love and I'm Gonna crawl are the highlights of the album. All of My Love is a very emotional song dedicated to Robert Plant's diseased son which is why the song may sound quite tender, poppy, and childish (the synth solo). I really love the arrangements and songwriting in this piece. I'm Gonna Crawl is even better. A wonderful symphonic intro is followed by a sad blues song with strings, making it quite unique. The song is incredibly good and the best is the emotional, desperate, and hearbreaking guitar solo which stands among the best guitar solos of Jimmy Page. You have to hear it.

An uneven album like Presence, containing mediocre songs, good songs, and a few excellent ones. This album is more symphonic and less guitar-heavy than the others. Try it at your own risk, but if you are a Led Zeppelin fan, you can't miss it.

Highlights: All of My Love, I'm Gonna Crawl.

Let Downs: In The Evening

Review by Guillermo
4 stars This is a very underrated album, IMO, but it is one of my favourites from LZ. The underrated John Paul Jones showed in this album his skills as a composer and as a keyboard player. The keyboards in this album are maybe the most interesting thing in this album. I don`t know why Page didn`t compose more songs in this album, but Jones and Plant did a very good job in the songwriting.

This album was recorded after a hard time in Plant`s life. So, he doesn`t sound as years before, singing with more feeling particularly in "All My Love" (dedicated to his late son) and in "I`m Gonna Crawl". LZ wasn`t the same band as before, and they were changing their style for keyboards dominated songs.

"Carouselambra" is a vey good "Prog Related" song. "In the Evening" is "dark", with a very good lead guitar section. "South Bound Saurez", "Fool in the Rain" and "Hot Dog" show the band not taken themselves very seriously, and these three songs brought a balance to the more "serious" songs of the rest of the album.

Bonham`s drums are very good as usual, and after he died, LZ announced their split, knowing that he was the member that had most of the "power" and "soul" in their sound.

Review by ZowieZiggy

Due to serious addiction to heavy drugs (heroin), Page was not really in top form those days. So, John Paul Jones will co-write more songs than ever on this Led Zep album. Something unbelievable will happen on this effort : two songs will be signed by Jones and Plant ! It is the very first time in the band history that Page will not sign a Led Zep track. The situation should have been pretty worrying to have lead to this situation. It will not only affect in his songwriting, but as well his guitar play : (too) few guitar soli here, more a rhythmic role. But the master is still very skilled.

Jimmy Page has always denied his addiction though. So, one has to make his own judgment, but for me it is rather easy... It has also been said, that during these sessions, Page and Bonham hardly showed up in the daytime, leaving Plant and Jones almost like orphans and orchestrating most of numbers on their own while Jimmy and Bonzo would put their parts together at night. This had never succeeded before, the band being very united since day one.

As usual for a Led Zep album, it will reach Nr. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US it will even became the first album by a rock band to debut at the first spot of the charts. Not too bad. It is a clear move towards world music (which Plant will deeply investigate in his solo career).

One of their poorest numbers along with "Hats off to (Roy) Harper" from III is featured here. "Hot Dog". It Is a mix of country & western and rockabilly. Real bad, believe me. But since they produced so few songs of this type during their career, let's not blame them to much.

A bit of funky and rock'n'roll flavours with "South Bound Saurez". Lots of piano and strong vocals. It is the first song in which Jimmy didn't collaborate. Still, there will be guitar solo in the middle part. It's obviously not their best, but still interesting.

Then we have a number in which Led Zep almost meets Santana : "Fool In The Rain". The song features dominant piano and lots of cymbals in the first third of the number (some Spanish-like guitar sounds as well). The second part is truly latin-rock oriented : frenetic samba rhythms with whistles, marimba and tambourines. Copacabana, my friends8 Page will say that he had been influenced by the atmosphere of the world cup in Argentina (1978) when he wrote the song.

Don't worry. We'll also get a heavy one, like in the good old days. "In The Evening" is a powerful song with a catchy riff. Rather long (almost seven minutes) it is one of the highlight. Logically, it has been chosen as the opening track. So, the tradition of great opening numbers is respected.

The fantastic "Carouselambra" is an incredible mix of genres. Wild throughout its 10'34". Lots of synth and great drumming of course. It's Led Zep second longest song and features several rhythm changes. A true kaleidoscope from different sources of music.

A bluesy one with "I'm Gonna Crawl". Somewhat similar to "Tea For One" for the melancholic mood. It's a love song (a bit naïve) : "Hey, she drives me crazy, She's the apple of my eye 'Cause she is my girl, And she can never do wrong". Plant is of course sublime in this exercise and the whole band is very strong. Page will deliver a great guitar break. A strong closing number.

The very emotional "All My Love" is a song that Robert dedicated to his son Karac (aged only five) who passed away in '77. He died from a stomac virus and Led Zep stopped touring immediately after this second tragedy. It is a sentimental ballad written by Plant and Jones.

With such a theme it could not have been a hard-rock one of course. Page did not like it very much to say the least. He told : "I wasn't really keen on "All My Love". I was a little worried about the chorus. I could just imagine people doing the wave and all of that. And I thought, That's not us. That's not us. In its place it was fine, but I wouldn't have wanted to pursue that direction in the future."

But, unfortunately, another tragedy will soon take place on a sad September day (the twenty fifth). On the morning of September 24, 1980, a Led Zep assistant picked up Bonham to go to some rehearsals. On the way, John was willing to get "breakfast". He got four quadruple vodkas with a ham roll. After taking a bite of the ham roll he said to his assistant : "Breakfast." He continued to drink during all day. Late in the evening the band left the studio and drove to Page's house in Windsor.

After midnight, Bonham fell asleep and was taken to bed on his side. It was rumoured that he had a total of forty shots that night and during the night he turned over in the wrong direction... Benji LeFevre (Led Zeppelin's tour manager) and John Paul Jones found him dead the next morning. He had suffocated in his own vomit. Bonham was only 32 years old.

The decision to end the band came instantly. They were really close friends. When the three members met in a London hotel room, it was only a matter of wording the statement.

Much later, Page will say : "It was impossible to continue". Especially in light of what we'd done live, stretching and moving the songs this way. At that point in time especially, in the early eighties, there was no way one wanted to even consider taking on another drummer. For someone to learn the things Bonham had just wouldn't have been honest. We had a great respect for each other, and that needed to continue life or death."

I am very grateful to Led Zep for their high quality output and their immense influence on rock music. Thank you Jimmy, Robert, John Paul and John. I started to love your music in 1970 and I will do so till "Stairway To Heaven" will be featured at my burial ceremony. I mean it.

Seven out of ten. Four stars.

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This was the album that finally gave the punk-obsessed music press the chance to write Led Zeppelin off as "rock dinosaurs". It was a departure for them, as John Paul Jones' keyboards came more to the fore, and was not that well received at the time.

"In The Evening" kicks things off and could have been a real Led Zep classic if it wasn't for the poor production. The keyboards are too loud in the mix and the vocals are too low. It should have been a crunching guitar riff after the eerie opening sounds, but doesn't really come off. "Southbound Suarez" is a bouncy, if inconsequential number based on staccato piano from Jones. "Fool in the Rain" is the best track on the album, a story about a fool waiting for his girl "on the wrong block". Bonham is on good form here, whereas his flabby snare sound lets him down on some of the other tracks. There is a rousing samba section in the middle which leads into an excellent Page solo using an octave divider. "Hot Dog" can only be a pastiche of country ("she took my heart, she took my keys from in my old blue dungarees and I'll never go to Texas anymore") and as such is quite amusing. Page seems to struggle with the guitar picking on the riff. "Carouselambra" is the epic of the album and is dominated by keyboards. The keyboard sound itself is a bit dated now but this is a good song overall.

The last two tracks are excellent - "All My Love" has been spoiled slightly for me by a friend who played it constantly on a drive down to the south of France one year but "I'm Gonna Crawl" is an excellent Led Zep slow blues number in a similar vein to "Tea For One". Plant plays a blinder here with an excellent emotional vocal.

In summary, what could have been an excellent album is spoiled by the production (at ABBA's studios). There are some other tracks from these sessions on "Coda" which are also good, although again the production lets them down (particularly on "Wearing and Tearing").

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Swansong

"In through the out door" turned out to be Led Zeppelin's last studio album. To their eternal credit, the line up is exactly the same as appeared on their first. That alone is quite an achievment.

This is something of a misunderstood album, which finds the band exploring new avenues. Recorded in Sweden (at Abba's studio) in 1978, there is a refreshing diversity to the music which indicates that under different circumstances, the band could have survived for many more years. Much of that diversity stems from John Paul Jones enhanced contribution, especially on keyboards. The unusual sound of synthesisers dominates several tracks, especially "Carouselambra" and "All of my love". Jones also makes by far his greatest contribution to the song writing.

Things start of in relatively conventional fashion, with "In the evening" a pretty straight forward heavy piece. "South bound saurez" is a piano based song, which is almost devoid of Jimmy Page, apart from some so-so guitar. "Fool in the rain", a rare Bonham/Plant composition continues with the piano basis, the song being quite pop. The lyrics tell the tale of a man who thinks he has been stood up by his date, only to discover he is waiting in the wrong place.

"Carouselambra" stands alongside Led Zeppelin's best tracks. The hypnotic synth keyboard rhythm is reminiscent of "Trampled underfoot" but Plant's muddled vocals, which are quite far back in the mix, give the track the Led Zeppelin stamp. The rising key of the synth accompaniment increases the tension throughout the first part of the track. The song has three distinct sections, including a slower Page dominated centre, and a more upbeat conclusion. This is unquestionably among Led Zeppelin's most progressive pieces, and not just because it lasts for 10½ minutes (their second longest ever).

"All of my love" is not in fact a romantic love song, but Robert Plant's dedication to his son who died in 1977. The emotional lyrics are complemented perfectly by the gentle melody. John Paul Jones adds a unique (for Led Zeppelin) synthesiser solo which helps to place the track among the band's finest ballads.

"I'm gonna crawl" is the final Led Zeppelin song, apparently ever. All too soon, John Bonham had died, and the Led Zeppelin story had been told. The song is suitably downbeat, almost soulful, with Robert Plant literally singing his heart out, and Jimmy Page's guitar weeping in unrestrained fashion.

"In through the out door" was a step too far for many of the band's most dedicated fans. For those who were prepared to accept that times had changed, and that the band had to look to move on, this was and is an excellent final album. The fact that it is also one of their most progressive is a bonus too.

The sleeve came with 6 slightly different photographs. These were concealed by the brown paper bag the LP was enclosed in. Apparently, dampening the sleeve causes the monochrome illustration to become full colour.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Led Zeppelin had grown up. They had survived, fought back, continued to progress and even thrive as recording artists. Their live performances as well, though inconsistent, had become well-known for outdoing most top acts of the day, generating more music and magic in a single concert than their contemporaries did in a month of touring. It had been a bumpy but triumphant road and this band was not about to rest on any laurels. It was all or nothing--- a fresh sounding album of quality material polished until ready or no album at all. And as usual, they delivered.

In Through the Out Door was a special record. Understated and elegant, it was a complete departure for these ragged bluesmen and left no doubt they were adults, matured for the better, more interested in the music itself than the impact it would have or statement they could make. Even the rocker 'In the Evening' is done with such restraint, it barely resembles the Led Zeppelin we had known. It shows a group come together as a team, gelled and mellowed with no need to show off, working as a unit and each member playing an equal but vital supporting position. Jimmy Page's new role as compositional harmonizer was a refreshing change, Plant's performance is typically inspired, Bonham's drums sound better than they had in ten years and Jones is stellar as studio director, doing a brilliant job. Additionally, Page's production yields a session that rivals any other for fidelity and clarity.

'Fool in the Rain' is a romantic beauty with a marvelous drum track, Plant's pubescent whine and salute to teenage love songs of the 50s, and 'Hot Dog' is a honky-tonk hoot. The record centers around the next track, the highly progressive 'Carouselambra', constructed with clean and simple layers of synthesizer, guitar, drums, bass and vocals but with many changes of direction and tone. Pure and unhindered, it is a great piece at over ten minutes. The sad and joyous 'All My Love' follows and remains one of their best numbers.

A secret favorite among many fans and the classiest moment in this band's amazing career, In Through the Out Door is unrivaled in its taste and eloquence and sadly became the group's last official studio offering.

Review by Chris H
4 stars Ah, the album that tore apart Led Zeppelin's fanbase.

Most people absolutely detest this album, and were almost in denial to believe that this was an actual Led Zeppelin album when it came out and not just a joke. Then there are other that embraced the changes that Led Zeppelin were making to their sounds, and I believe that they were using this album as their 70's sendoff and were going to steer into a new, more progressive sound in the 80's. Unfortunately, that was never allowed to happen (R.I.P. John Bonham), but this is still a killer album to have as a grand-finale, even if it was unexpected.

The album is kicked off with "In the Evening", the track that most early Zeppelin die- hards find to be the saving grace of this record. It's a very heavy rocker, similar to their first few outputs. "South Bound Saurez" can be considered John Paul Jones' baby, as most of this album is his work. A hugely piano-oriented song with excellent vocals from Robert Plant as usual, but a shocking lack of Jimmy Page, scratch for the high- pitched soloing. "Fool In The Rain" is another John Paul Jones penned tune, and one of Zeppelin's poppiest songs ever released. Although they were starting to make their music more commercially acceptable on this record, they still did it in a way that left some integrity in their songs. This, to me, is one of the finest songs on this album. Also, the message behind it is rather amusing. "Hot Dog" is undoubtedly filler, but it is a fine track from an album-filler standpoint. Very upbeat, almost bluegrass styled and some nice vocal harmonies. But that's about it fro redeeming qualities.

"Carouselambra", the track that receives all of the bashing for being either "too long, too repetitive or too boring", is in fact one of Led Zeppelin's greatest achievements. They managed to fuse the organ, guitars and voice together in harmony to form a 10+ minute epic, their second longest song ever released. The organ sets the tone early on and builds up the excitement until Plant ends the fun and cuts into the action, turning it into a somber vocal performance, which is one of his best off the last 4 albums. The ending becomes upbeat, once again, with some very innovative organ stylings and some hypnotic tones. Also, Jimmy Page finally starts to come alive on the album. Next up, the song everybody and their mother has heard on the radio, "All My Love". It sounds almost nothing like any other Led Zeppelin song, most people hated it, but it was probably the most important song Robert Plant has ever written. not a love song as many believe it to be, it was actually written in memory of Plant's recently (at the time) deceased son. Very slow, organ drive again with some absolutely powerful vocals. "I'm Gonna Crawl" was the last real Zeppelin song. Very dark and somber, this is the perfect mood to send off one of the greatest rock n' roll bands of all time.

All in all, I think this album was much too advanced for Led Zeppelin's original fanbase. Undoubtedly their most progressive attempt, and it is a real shame that Zepheads have to loathe their last album together. This, to me, is one of their greatest musical achievements because they finally, after all of these years, managed to fuse together their individual sounds and make real musical harmony. Their missing link all of those years that is present on this album? John Paul Jones' leadership.

4 stars

R.I.P. John Bonham, Karac Plant, Led Zeppelin.

Review by russellk
3 stars JOHN PAUL JONES' album. Trouble is, it forsakes much of what made LED ZEPPELIN the force of nature they had been.

Like 'Presence', 'In Through The Out Door' is a good album. It says a lot about 1979 to acknowledge this as one of the best hard rock releases of the year. But it is so much less than the sum of its parts, it simply serves to remind us of how far Apollo has fallen.

It seems to me that JONES was given his head here because PAGE had virtually disapeared into his drug habit: certainly, the great man's passionate guitar is missing in action here. Most of the time it's rhythm only, with a few desultory stabs at solos reminding us that the band is, in fact, a four-piece. BONHAM is allowed only a few moments to shine: his thunderous fills following the up-tempo section of 'Fool In The Rain' would barely have been noticeable on 'Physical Graffiti', but stand out here.

Often a gentler approach comes with sophistication and maturity. But what we have here, I fear, is much painting by numbers. (I wonder if this was what all that cover art nonsense was about?) Songs without the energy and sheer Norse God power early LED ZEPPELIN demonstrated. Latin American rhythms, keyboards and PLANT treating us to the complete Americanisation of his voice destroyed, for me, any sense of this being a valid, canonical LED ZEPPLELIN album.

But there are still excellent moments, taken for what they are. 'In the Evening' is a sinister song, a promising (and misleading) start to the album. 'Fool In The Rain' is a fun track, if a little lightweight. Though ruined by dated synths, 'Carouselambra' was almost a good track, and the most progressive thing on this album. 'Hot Dog,' on the other hand, summarises for me all that went wrong with latter-day LED ZEPPELIN: country-rock, banal American phrasing and lyrics, as though aimed at the 'good-ol-boy' market; so artificial, so desperately out of place, so unlike the mastery with which they managed their career in the early '70s. It truly has to be one of the worst songs ever committed to vinyl, given who wrote and performed it. Imagine an album of that stuff coming out in 1968. Would LED ZEPPELIN have become gods of rock with stuff like that?

As this album crawls to a close, one can't help thinking what they might have done had BONHAM lived into the 1980s. With this album as evidence, I half- suspect they might have ended up in Vegas.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Presence would have made a great swan song.

Oh this album is painful. Painful in a Big Generator kind of way. If you like this album please stop reading now because I'm not going to hold back here. I've been a huge Zeppelin fan since my school days. My friends and I knew this album blew back then and I know it even more now. There is nothing redeeming about it. Coda is better. The first Plant solo album is better. This is not maturity, musical growth, or their "most progressive" album. It is lifeless, boring, and horrible.

I'll spare you my track by track wrath because there is not one 3 star track on this album for me. All 1's and 2's. The better songs are South Bound with its jumpy piano energy and All My Love which is at the least a decent pop ballad. The worst offenders are "In the Evening" which is my vote for the worst Zeppelin song ever, just awful and completely throwaway guitar work; and "Hot Dog" which must be a constant source of embarrassment for the lads to this day. It truly pains me to give a Zep album 1 star but the rating guide says 1 means "poor" and that accurately reflects my view of this album. The band is a favorite of mine. For whatever reason they were musically impotent at this time and the sad part is they should have known better than to release this. They didn't need the cash. They could have taken off more time to take care of their obvious personal problems and try again when they were healthy. Instead they threw together this mess proving how lost Plant and Jones were without Page's clear attention and wizardry in the studio. It is clear that without Jimmy Page's talent in playing, arranging, and writing, Zeppelin would have been another Nazareth, Foghat, or Bad Co but with a better drummer. The success of this group is all about Jimmy Page and it always was. Sure the others have talent but Page was the most important catalyst. His being smacked out here tanked this group as much as Garcia's habit did to the Dead.

If you happen to be discovering Zeppelin for the first time, buy everything except this album. Don't waste your cash on this one.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars LED ZEPPELIN “In through the Out Door” 3

Triumphant – this is the way the comeback should have been. Armed with a new sound (finally John Paul Jones shined at his full light!), with new songs and new approach, LZ blown the Knebworth’s legendary day and literally killed those who has already sold out to Punk and tagged the band as a “dinosaur rock”. “All my Love”, the best ballad ZEPs have ever written, has blown the radio, and 10-min long “Carouselambra” has shown that LZ still have some aces in their pockets. Unfortunately (the most popular word in my LZ series!) it all has ended with Bonzo’s ridiculous accidental death. What a band it was! I hope they’ll release a reunion DVD – I just want make sure they’re still alive and rocking ;) Viva LED ZEPPELIN!!!

Best tracks: “In the Evening”, “All my Love”, “Fool in the Rain”

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Led Zeppelin's final album, and most controversial

Unexpectedly ripe with keyboards, this album is often called ''Zeppelin's most progressive'', while it may be highly experimental progressive may be the wrong word for it. Many of the songs on this album are very sophisticated hard rock bordering at times on pop territory, although the synths and keys on the album do make for a satisfying listen for the average prog head. Plant's vocals are a lot more tuned down for this album than, say Led Zeppelin I, but that can be expected given the events between the first album and this one. As we all know, this album would spell an abrupt end for the band with the death of drummer John Bonham, but they managed to put out an interesting album while they had the chance.

There's not a large selection of songs on this album since a lot of the tunes are rather lengthy. Unfortunately there's nothing about many of them that make them particularly memorable or progressive, there's not any manic signature changes that make for wild mood swings within the songs, mostly because they were really going for the sophisto-pop approach on this album - which is very strange coming after the hard-rock Presence album. In The Evening gets things of to a start with the introduction of the synths that will feel very unfamiliar to most Zep fans, but it makes for an interesting ride while they're at it. This song presses on with the same riffs throughout its nearly 7-minute duration, and it's fine - it works. South Bound Saurez is led by a classy riff from Page and some good vocals from Plant. Nothing classic about this song, but it's very enjoyable. Likely the only song that makes one want to reach for the 'skip' button on this album is the incredibly silly Hot Dog which makes one raise an eyebrow. Comic? I suppose. Skippable? Yes.

Luckily the singles on the album are quite good. Fool In The Rain is one of those songs that you've heard a million times, but when you hear it on this album for the first time you'll think, ''Oh wow, Zep does this?'' Sophisto-pop at it's best, Page has a memorable riff paired with a supporting riff from a piano which makes for a good combination. The song is rather upbeat and you can actually imagine some lovesick guy dancing around in the rain, especially after the whistle blows and things get all jumpy-like. All Of My Love, on the other hand, is rather dark thanks to the synths and drumbeat that open the tune. Were this song made today a lot of people would call it 'inspired by The Cure', and who knew that Zeppelin could be so. 'gothic'? Page is pretty drowned out in this song, but Plant puts on a convincing performance. I'm Gonna Crawl wasn't released as a single, but it's still a good tune, opening much in the same fashion as All Of My Love, but less dark. Page is still out of the spotlight, but he has some bigger riffs in this one.

Probably the biggest factor of this album being called 'the most proggy Zep album' is because of it's 10-minute mini-epic that lies in wait at the middle of the album. Carouselambra is a hell of a lot different than anything Zeppelin has released before, and coming as the follow-up to Achilles Last Stand it feels rather strange. The keyboards dominate this one with a recurring riff that sounds rather thin, unfortunately, and they manage to hide the guitars pretty well. Luckily this one does go through some speed changes which allow for the guitar to dominate the middle of the track in the slower segment, but the synths come back with more of a warbly sound nearing the end. Not exactly a progressive masterpiece, but a very interesting listen.

This is far from Zeppelin's best album, and definitely not what you'd expect from the band. It almost makes you glad that they weren't able to carry on into the void of the 80s (although this makes Bonham's death no less tragic). People may find this album to be proggy thanks to it's keayboard heavy landscapes, but that's about where the similarities to prog end. In general this is a pretty good album, although it's not recommended to anyone, really, other than people who already know and love the band. People who start here would get a very wrong first impression of the band. 2 hot dogs out of 5 for an experimental and interesting album which is best left to the fans.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars And a half stars.

In Through The Out Door turned out to be the last Led Zeppelin studio album baring of course Coda which was a posthumous release after the death of drummer John Bonham. It's also their worst having something in common with Houses Of The Holy 6 years previously. Not that it sounds like Houses... The similarity lies in the bands willingness to experiment with different styles which didn't always work. Also on both albums John Paul Jones had a greater input, in fact even more so here, his keyboards taking more of a centre stage position than usual. Jimmy Page's guitar playing comes across as somewhat muted and lacking the fire of earlier days. This is not helped by a somewhat muddy production. Vocalist Robert Plant whilst far from his best work does put in a half decent performance. And of course Bonham is as solid as a rock.

However a weak Zeppelin album is still better than many bands best and does have some good moments though nothing to match past glories. Lets get the rubbish and mediocre out the way first. That'll be Hot Dog then, a weak rock 'n' roll/rockabilly pastiche. Fool In The Rain is only just a slight improvement with it's shuffle groove and even goes into a mid song samba section! South Bound Suarez fairs a little better which is a piece of barroom boogie with a nice riff from Page and Jones's piano making a strong presence.

Treading the mid ground is All My Love, a heartfelt ballad written by Jones and Plant, a tribute to Plant's son who had died just a year previously, which just leaves us the 3 best tracks on the album.

In The Evening makes a strongish opener, it has an atmospheric start like In The Light from Physical Graffiti. It turns into a mid pace rocker though not one of Page's best riffs it kicks along quite nicely, Jones's keyboards also a dominant force. Bonham keeps a simple groove on the drums and Plant turns in one of his best performances on the record.

The albums epic is Carouselambra and happens to be a high point here. It clocks in at just over ten minutes following in the footsteps of the likes of Kashmir, In My Time Of Dying and Achilles Last Stand. It runs through a number of sections from a rocking, once again Jones dominated start. Plant struggles to cut through though and Bonham keeps things simple again. Page cuts through a bit better on a mid song half tempo lull with some nice 12 string playing. The pace picks up again with a sequenced synth riff (never thought I'd hear that in a Zeppelin song but then I guess it was state of the art for the day) which leads us through the final section to fade.

A late (pleasant) surprise is I'm Gonna Crawl. A beautifully melancholic and bluesy piece. Jones's string effect keyboards making a good foil to Page's more angular guitar playing and he puts in a fine solo too. Plant is really on top form putting in his best vocals of the album. A truly brilliant song and the album highlight for me.

In Through The Outdoor is somewhat of a mixed bag then, some weak even poor moments. It does have a few redeeming tracks though to make up for the likes of Hot Dog but 3 good tracks can't really bring this album quite up to 3 stars so we'll settle for 2 ½.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Keyboards driven Led Zeppelin...? Yes, it's their last and worthst album, in my opinion.

I remebmber I got it first time, in form of some Indian-made vynil, with bad quality cover. After first listening, I thought that it's a mistake, it's not a Zepp, no way. May be there, in vynil production, they mixed some buttons!

Ok, I realise, that it's not a mistake very soon, at least you have Plant voice, you have Bonham thunder drumming. But all the music was a bit strange, unfocused... "All Of My Love " sounded as LZ tryed to record something for Pop-Top -10 ( for the eightees). Half of the songs are just fillers, with no right to be presented in REAL LZ album. What a disaster!

Many years after, I can found some positive moments in this album ( I tryed hard, believe me!). But looking from historical point of view, LZ finished their activities with very low quality album. You can only expect, what could be next one!

It's a bit pity, that so great musicians of all times came at the end to that low point, but from another hand during their best years they left us the great legacy.

Review by thehallway
3 stars A nice, mellow end to a roller-coaster of a career. 'ITTOD' is nothing special by any means. But it's warm (in places) and sees a lighter, more poppy approach from the band; the result of some song-writing sessions from the odd partnership of JONES and Plant. Page was, by this point, all drugged out.

Before the hard-rockers criticise the piano pop, take a look at track 1. 'In the Evening' is a sizable dose of classic Zeppelin, so no problems there. 'Saurez' and 'All My Love' have been compared to Elton John. They are fine tunes but not really appropiate for this band (thumbs up to that synth solo though!). The same goes for 'Fool in the Rain' although I'm not sure about the latin insert. It seems a little out of place if you ask me ('Houses...' was the opportunity for diversity, this attempt is late). 'Hot Dog' is harmless country-rock and apparently it went down very well at the Knebworth farewell concert (my Dad thought so anyway). 'Carouselambra' is a respectable 10 minutes of prog, but I struggle to find any depth or feeling in it. Very one-dimensional. And the failed attempt at blues 'I'm Gonna Crawl' is PAST depressing; it ought to be on Pink Floyd's 'The Final Cut'.

So 'ITTOD' really is a mixed bag in terms of quality, making it very very average overall. This isn't surprising, as Led Zep were essentially a two-man band by this point.

Sad to see Bonham go because I think the future Zeppelin may have been more productive.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars I remember the huge amount of anticipation in 1979 for this album, the first new Led Zeppelin album in three years. The hype was enormous. And the LP was to be sold wrapped in brown paper, so you wouldn't know which album cover you were getting. That turned out to be the best part of the album.

"In Through The Out Door" turned out to be a very appropriate title. The phrase indicates moving in the wrong direction. So does the music. Legend has it that Jimmy Page was deep into heroin addiction, and John Bonham was an alcoholic when this was recorded. And it shows.

In The Evening is not bad, but the production always lost me. Carouselambra has a compelling keyboard line, but the song goes on way too long for what it offers. Hot Dog and All Of My Love just lost me at the first listen.

It's sad that this great band ended on such a sour note.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars When you go in through the out door you risk the door slamming your face

The door definitely slammed shut after this release. It spelt the end of a rock band that was hailed as rock gods by the masses. Even gods have their bad days and this was Zeppelins. They had changed with Presence but this follow up album was a total transformation, for the worst. Yes, there will be those who adore this album because it is Zeppelin, but let's get over that fan boyism. This was an abysmal album with only 2 tracks worth mentioning as highlights and they are the obvious ones; "In The Evening" and "Carouselambra".

The prog rock in the 10 minute "Carouselambra" actually saves this from a 1 star rating. The guitars in this are different than Page usually plays but no less endearing. Plant sings up a storm here and proves he still can produce pure magic."In the Evening" has an infectious melody and very nice vocals.

Okay, that's about it for highlights. Stand by for mediocrity with the truly awful tracks. "Suarez", "Hot Dog" and "Fool In The Rain" that are really filler more than killer. "Hot Dog" is not even in the same league as "Black Dog", and "Fool in the Rain" does not hold a candle to "The Rain Song". Okay they are tolerable if you are deep into Zeppelin, otherwise they would go by unnoticed, and in fact the band pretended they weren't in existence when you look at the concert setlists.

John Paul Jones has a field day on keyboards and this album is absolutely saturated in keyboards; even synth on a Led Zeppelin album. The album did not even raise a blimp among the legions of fans who were disillusioned by this new approach and it signified that the party was over. Sadly it was the last studio album before the onslaught of compilations came flooding in, and continue to do so but you won't find many of these tracks on them. Well it ended with a fizzle rather than a masterpiece but that's rock and roll, and it certainly has been a long time since we heard rock and roll played like the incomparable great Led Zeppelin.

Review by Warthur
1 stars Even by the band's own account, this was an oddity. John Paul Jones had a bunch of cool keyboards to play with, Jimmy Page was hooked on heroin, and John Bonham was losing his battle with addiction. With half the members of the band contributing significantly less than on previous albums, the resultant album was dominated by Jones' attempts to incorporate keys into the Led Zeppelin sound.

Whilst he earns points for trying, at the end of the day it just doesn't work - not the way he tries to do it anyway. It certainly doesn't help that the usual Page guitar magic is greatly diminished this time around, or that the keyboard sounds themselves have dated poorly compared even to earlier synthesisers. (Compare any track on here to Sabbath's Sabbra Cadabra and tell me the synthesiser sound isn't superior on the Sabs' track, despite the fact that it was recorded half a decade prior to this and despite the great advances in keyboard technology that had ensued since.)

Furthermore, the compositions are weak this time around, and don't exactly sound like Zeppelin. The most heartfelt song on the album is probably All My Love - which is, famously, Robert Plant's tribute to his son who had sadly died between the recording of Presence and the making of this album. It's pretty enough, but rather lifeless and repetitive - but it's still probably the best song on the album because it's the only one on which any of the participants really seem to have their heart in it. Plant acknowledges that he wasn't exactly in the mood to rock out at the time - who would be? - but it doesn't seem as though any of his bandmates were much interested in rocking out either.

And when all four core participants aren't really interested in making a Led Zeppelin album, what's the point of making one?

Review by patrickq
2 stars Years ago I bought In Through the Out Door for one song, "Carouselambra." I'd heard it on the radio and was surprised to find that it was a Led Zeppelin song. I wasn't much of a Zeppelin fan then - - a situation which hasn't changed much. I never touched that dial when "Stairway to Heaven" was playing, and I enjoyed many of their hits, from "Ramble On" and "Immigrant Song" through "Dancing Days" and "Kashmir." But overall the aimless virtuosity of guitarist Jimmy Page and the histrionics of lead moaner and pleader Robert Plant tended to be a bit much for me.

Nonetheless, since I owned In Through the Out Door, I was going to try to like it. Two of the tracks were familiar and still receiving airplay in the 2010s: "Fool in the Rain" and "All of My Love." Each is surprisingly keyboard-based for the stereotypical hard-rocking Zeppelin, and each is catchy enough to have been marketed as pop-rock. But structurally, these are six-minute Led Zeppelin songs, which reduces their pop-rock appeal. They're both good songs, but not "Stairway to Heaven" good. In particular, "All of My Love" is also interesting as an indication of Plant's direction as a solo artist.

And then there's "Carouselambra," a lengthy synthesizer extravaganza (some would say extravagance). I acknowledge the criticisms of many fans: the repetition and the de-emphasis of both Page and Plant. "Carouselambra" falls short of the quality of "Kashmir," but it's worth the effort - - like making it halfway up Mt. Everest would be worth it. I wonder whether "Carouselambra" could have been a classic if Page were more involved in the creation of In Through the Out Door

But I digress. The rest of In Through the Out Door varies from standard Led Zeppelin fare ("In the Evening") to embarrassing forays into cartoonish western music ("Hot Dog"). Taken as a whole, In Through the Out Door isn't terrible. The most inane songs (that would be "Hot Dog" and "South Bound Saurez") are the briefest. I originally interpreted the strident insistence of fans that Coda was not to be considered the group's final studio album as meaning that In Through the Out Door must have been a more suitable swan song. Now I'm not so sure!

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This one (along with every other LZ album) has been reviewed so many times that it doesn't require much of an introduction. It was the last LZ studio album to be released by the band, but they didn't know that at the time. I tend to agree with most reviewers here that it is probably their weakest album, though it's not one that I ignore either. It seems I love the songs that most people hate on this album and loathe the ones that most seem to enjoy, and that is why I wanted to add my review on this album.

Pretty much everyone knows that history here, so I don't want to go into that. The album tends to concentrate on John Paul Jones' keyboard work than any other album they released, and that seems to give it a somewhat lighter feel. I think the way they merged their sound with the increased use of keyboards was a bit daring, but they did it well, still allowing for Page a good amount of time for some guitar soloing. It's just that a lot of the riffs and background sound was produced by the keys, and LZ fans were not used to that. But, then the band was also new to this sound, and it doesn't always work out so well.

It all starts out with that mysterious sounding introduction on "In the Evening", which is Page making some interesting sounds on a guitar effect device that was invented by Godley and Crème of 10cc. This device would also be used on the long "Carouselambra" track. This first track does sound more like an older LZ track, but the problem here is that the mixing makes it sound a bit muddy. I wasn't too impressed when I first heard it, but since then, I have come to accept it for what it is. The next two tracks are much better and brighter; "South Bound Saurez" and "Fool in the Rain" which do use a lot more repeating riffs from the keys that drive the songs forward. I love both of these tracks and the upbeat feeling they give LZ's music, and Page does get to do some great guitar work on them. Same thing with the track "Hot Dog", which stands apart from any LZ track as being a very rockabilly style track. Again, I absolutely love this one even though most people hate it. Page does some really great soloing on this, just listen to how fast he plays. How can this song not put a smile on your face? Plus, it is also an indicator to where post-Zeppelin members would go (as in The Honeydrippers).

In my opinion, "Carouselambra" is the track that ruins the album for me. This is a 10-minute track, which in reality, was originally 3 songs that have been glued together, two up-tempo songs bookending a slower song in the middle. There's nothing wrong with a suite, I suppose, but these three songs don't give a chance for any soloing and are mostly headed over by Plant's vocals (which seem a bit uninterested here) and Jones' repeating keyboard riffs. This is my least liked track out of all of LZ's tracks. "All My Love" is a pretty decent ballad, though it is a bit light for LZ music, it's still got a nice melody, some great keyboard and guitar work, but just a bit too much repetitiveness and way to much air play has made it less interesting. "I'm Gonna Crawl" ends the album with one of my favorite LZ tracks. I love the heavy orchestral accompaniment here, the slow bluesy feel of it all and Plant's vocals are the best on the album. I think it's an amazing end to a somewhat lesser album from the band.

The main reason I have a hard time with this album has mostly to do with the amount of time given for the uninteresting "Carouselambra", which ends up being a quarter of the album. That along with the bad production on "In the Evening" puts the album down into 3 star territory for me. The rest of the album I consider to be pretty good, though, but it's not quite good enough to raise it another star. I think with time, they might have worked out their style changes if they decided to continue down that road, but we'll never really know for sure. Robert Plant has put out some pretty good solo material and Page and Plant has done some great work together, but it never quite got up to the level LZ was able to put out in previous albums, especially with "Houses of the Holy", "LZ III" and "Physical Graffiti".

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 740

By the late of the 70's, Led Zeppelin was starting to face the consequences of their own excesses. Guitarist Jimmy Page and drummer John Bonham were dealing with tough addictions, heroin and alcohol respectively, while singer Robert Plant was questioning himself about his own future in the music business after the death of his son, Karac. The music's situation was also having changes, pop music and the synthesisers were hitting the scene, and Led Zeppelin had to keep pace with the times and added some synthetic sound to their works. Thus was born "In Through The Out Door".

"In Through The Out Door" is the eighth and last studio album of Led Zeppelin and was released in 1979. The album marks a mixture of sounds and rhythms from different styles. It has a massive use of keyboards and synthesizers by John Paul Jones that excels beyond the chords of Jimmy Page. A fact that greatly marked the release of the album was the edition of six different covers because the scene in the bar was photographed by six opposite angles. It became also the band's final studio album, because it was released one year before the death of their drummer John Bonham.

"In Through The Out Door" has seven tracks. The first track "In The Evening" written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones is a very powerful song in the same line of the good old days. It's a classic Led Zeppelin's tune with a catchy riff and great keyboard lines. It's the second lengthiest song on the album and is a great song to open the album, respecting the good old tradition of their great opening musical numbers. This is one of the two highlights of the album. The second track "South Bound Saurez" written by Robert Plant and John Paul Jones is a song centred around John Paul Jones's piano, with strong vocals, and where is particularly noticed the almost absence of Jimmy Page. It's one of the only two Led Zeppelin's songs without the participation of Jimmy Page, in the song writing, in the history of the band. The other is "All My Love", also from this album. It's a piano oriented song with excellent vocals from Robert Plant, as usual. The third track "Fool In The Rain" written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones was chosen to be released as a single, with "Hot Dog" as the B side. It's a song dominated by piano and with a Latin touch. It's a song that spans several musical genres, and in the end, it has also a surprising samba section. It's an excellent song with a great drumming work that proves that John Bonham could play all type of music. The fourth track "Hot Dog" written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page is clearly a song influenced by the country music. As you know, I don't like particularly of this kind of music, and you can remember, for sure, my negative observations about those songs written by Greg Lake for Emerson, Lake & Palmer. However, in this case and despite being the weakest song on the album, it's audible. The fifth track "Carouselambra" written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones is the other highlight on the album and stands alongside as one of the best and most progressive Led Zeppelin's tracks. It's the lengthiest song on the album and it's also their second lengthiest song ever. This is a fantastic song dominated by keyboards and with an incredible drum work, which soon became one of my favourite songs from the band. The sixth track "All My Love" written by Robert Plant and John Paul Jones was a song written in honour of Plant's son Karac, who died while Led Zeppelin were on their 1977's USA tour. It's a very beautiful ballad, one of the most beautiful ballads that I ever heard, and where the emotional lyrics are sung with a very sentimental feeling by Robert Plant. This is one of their finest ballads. The seventh and last track "I'm Gonna Crawl" written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones is a song heavily influenced by the American soul-blues. It's a very good song very well performed and where Robert Plant have, for me, one of his best vocal performances. It became, unfortunately, the Led Zeppelin's swan song.

Conclusion: I really always loved "In Through The Out Door". I always considered it their second most prog effort with "Houses Of The Holy". Still, "In Through The Out Door" was always the most controversial, unloved and misunderstood album of Led Zeppelin. So, it became an underrated album, one of the many underrated albums in the progressive rock history. "In Through The Out Door" is an album without weak points. It has two excellent progressive songs, "In The Evening" and "Carouselambra" and the rest of the album is very good, and even "Hot Dog" is good. "In Through The Out Door" is another album where Led Zeppelin changed their type of music. So, if John Bonham hadn't died so soon, I would be very curious to know what the musical path they would have followed in the future. Let's now write a few lines about John Paul Jones. I think he was placed in the shadow of the band, but he always was the quiet force of the group. He hadn't the charisma of Robert Plant, the virtuosity of Jimmy Page or the living force of John Bonham. Still, he is a very complete musician a basilar stone in the band. "In Through The Out Door" is essentially a John Paul Jones album. Though he had always contributed with songs to the group, on this album he confirmed he is a great songwriter, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars Just like Presence, I find this album more annoying than anything... without much of the hard rock songs that I love from them, let alone the epic ones. But unlike Presence, this one doesn't have a song as great as "Achilles Last Stand" to save it. I don't give it one star because there is "In ... (read more)

Report this review (#2672397) | Posted by Dellinger | Saturday, January 15, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The final album by the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin is considered to be their weakest by a lot of fans, although I enjoyed the album. In all honesty, this was the first Led Zeppelin album I listened to. If this album is really considered their weakest album, then I expect to be blown away wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2492144) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Saturday, January 9, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 1. In the Evening... the intro that made me love prog! Yes, a latent sound, a vector unknown.... musical on the outlet and the pan pan, John's drums which will deliver heavy blows on his pads during this monolithic title; boutoir which intermingles, yes this break before the hour which makes you pri ... (read more)

Report this review (#2312154) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Yes, it's the weakest Led Zeppelin album. But they don't make the 2 stars spectrum, even at their weakest. One could say that ITTOD is a toned-down Presence. The structure follows the same mindset, but if you put each song next to it's "equal", the Presence songs win every time; Achilles Last Sta ... (read more)

Report this review (#1378732) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Despite the dislike this album usually garners, I actually prefer it slightly over their previous Presence. It is far removed from the raw, heavy-metal inflected self-titled albums, but has an interesting combination of sounds and styles which makes this a noteworthy listen. 'In the Evening' is p ... (read more)

Report this review (#771438) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A much maligned Led Zepplin album from 1979, but I actually like it much more than some of their earlier efforts (I, II). "Carouselambra" is a great tune and so is "in the Evening". No real weak tracks which is often a Zepplin problem on their albums. This was their last real album, and I think it i ... (read more)

Report this review (#733600) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 5.5/10 Well, then this is your swansong, right? In Through the Out Door was the final and unplanned declaration of one of the greatest rock bands of all time. It was launched amid a turbulent time both a Led Zeppelin (not as turbulent as that of Presence, though), since Page and Bonham wer ... (read more)

Report this review (#572311) | Posted by voliveira | Monday, November 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In my opinion, this is a fitting denouement for one of the Greatest Rock Bands. Jimmy Page may have been far from sober but from the album's opening tune, "In the Evening" his guitar solo is still quintessential Pagey. And although drummer John Bonham wasn't quite in top form by this stage, his uniq ... (read more)

Report this review (#485467) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Monday, July 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I suspected this album to be poor because I knew it came out in 1979. And I was right. Just like the most of the other Progressive/Hard Rock bands from the same era, they were struggling and stumbling in the dark in the period 1977-80. I remember listening to it thinking"is this Led Zepp??" ... (read more)

Report this review (#458815) | Posted by Moonstone | Friday, June 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In Through the Out Door is a mixed album. While it has a mostly clear, clean sound, and is held together tonally by JPJ's keys, it has some ragged moments for me. Once again, as with Coda - don't start here if you're unfamiliar with Led Zeppelin. This album doesn't have much that is typical of ... (read more)

Report this review (#456141) | Posted by dreadpirateroberts | Friday, June 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In Through the Out Door ? 1979 (2.8/5) 10 ? Best Song: Fool in the Rain What a mess! I never figured the band to be THIS lazy. It's as if? I'm a complete jackass. Apparently Plant's son died, so he gets a pass. But Jimmy never sounded so damn boring. Bonham's his usual self (good as he needs ... (read more)

Report this review (#441845) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What an absolutely underrated album! Maybe it isn't an undisputed masterwork like II or IV, but In Through the Out Door, in my apparently contrary opinion, is a solid album from start to (almost!) finish. I certainly get much more out of it than Physical Graffiti or Presence. I was always a fan o ... (read more)

Report this review (#270932) | Posted by R-A-N-M-A | Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars " Led Zeppelin? All I have to do is look at one of their album covers and I feel like throwing up". - Paul Simonon, The Clash Much like disco, punk, glam-rock and prog-rock, Led Zeppelin were a phenomenom of the 1970s, but unlike the aforementioned they were a phenomenom unto themselves that tran ... (read more)

Report this review (#263681) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Sunday, January 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Last work of a real Monster... Led Zeppelin reaches the end with a really interesting album. It's important to me saying, that this band has never let me down and every release, really surprised me. ''In Through the Out Door'' is the 8th release of the Led Masters and their last, too. Plant' ... (read more)

Report this review (#241835) | Posted by FatalV | Monday, September 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars In Through the Outdoor 2/5 Adieu. Led Zeppelin return for their last studio album with John Bonham. A keyboard driven affair, with JPJ and Robert Plant taking the bulk of the songwriting burden. John Bonham was fighting alcoholism at the time and Jimmy Page was a heroin addict; honestly, ... (read more)

Report this review (#209839) | Posted by mr.cub | Thursday, April 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I bought this album upon release in 1979 and loved it - but 30 years on my opinion has changed somewhat - it's a very average album and the worst Zeppelin studio album - the band had obviously ran out of ideas by this point and resorted to boogie-woogie ( South Bound Saurez) and a misguided atte ... (read more)

Report this review (#200929) | Posted by GaryHull | Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The last Zeppelin album is their most underrated one. It's not a great album (it contains three awful songs, Hot Dog, Fool In The Rain and South Bound Saurez), but it deserves more than the usual bad reviews and ratings. I love Carouselambra, In The Evening and, in a certain way, I'm Gonna Crawl ... (read more)

Report this review (#164061) | Posted by Zardoz | Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Before starting this review, we must agree that IN TROUGH is a decent farewell for a band that changed the concept of hard rock and acid-blues in the mid-70´s. PRESENCE showed a clear retrospect of what too many drug & ego excess could do to a rock´n roll band. But troughout the ´76 album we ... (read more)

Report this review (#146525) | Posted by rguabiraba | Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Led Zeppelin In Through The Out Door So this is a departure? A band whose albums are all departures in many musical ways. So you get people moaning when Zeppelin used acoustic guitars on 111. Then they moaned because they had none on Presence. Folks were pleased at keyboards on Graffiti but ... (read more)

Report this review (#129016) | Posted by uduwudu | Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars It's a shame such a legendary band had to end on a low note. The posthumous "Coda" wouldn't help redeem this one either. I imagine at this time that Page, Plant and Bonham were so hopped up on drugs, John Paul Jones took the reins with this album, as evidenced by the much more prominent use of ... (read more)

Report this review (#126338) | Posted by Arsillus | Tuesday, June 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of LED ZEPPELIN "In Through the Out Door"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.