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Houses Of The Holy

Houses Of The Holy

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Buoyed by the runaway commercial success of Led Zeppelin IV, Jimmy Page used this 1973 follow-up to hone his already impressive production skills, and the result was a collection sporting an impressively expansive sound. Benefiting–especially on tracks such as “Dancing Days Are Here Again,” “The Crunge,” and “Over the Hills and Far Away”–was Zeppelin’s always underrated rhythm section: thunder-fisted drummer John Bonham and rock-solid bassist John Paul Jones. Jones also emerged here as a secret weapon on keyboards with his subtle work on more pensive fare such as “No Quarter” and “The Ocean.” And the goofy “D’yer Ma’ker” showed that Zeppelin had more of a sense of humor than most people ever gave them credit for. –Billy Altman

List Price: $ 120.00

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Latter Days: Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol.2

The glory days of Led Zeppelin are chronicled comprehensively in Atlantic Record’s 1999 Early Days best-of set, which leaves this ’73-to-’79 package shorter on obvious crowd-pleasers. Still, this secondary set shows just how powerful Zeppelin were at their zenith. Taken from the band’s final four albums, the songs here–”No Quarter,” “Houses of the Holy,” and “Song Remains the Same” among them–brought audiences to their feet in stadiums across the world while the Zeppelin juggernaut trampled their competition underfoot. Zeppelin defined hard rock, but were also capable of a delicacy that’s easy to overlook; indeed, that dimension is missing from the picture of Zep offered here. Otherwise, these two companion volumes offer a rewarding introduction to Led Zeppelin. –Patrick Humphries

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6 Responses to Houses Of The Holy

  • Alan Pounds says:
    123 of 137 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A flawlessly diverse mind-blowing classic, February 17, 2005
    By 
    Alan Pounds (Minneapolis, MN) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Houses Of The Holy (Audio CD)
    Imagine turning out four of the most successful and groundbreaking heavy metal/blues-rock albums of all time, only to go on turning out more outstanding material. Very few bands in history have consistently delivered mind-blowing albums one after the other for an extended period of time the way Zeppelin has. Zeppelin had invented the sound of the decade, and by 1973, they were really ready to spread their wings (as if they hadn’t already).

    “Houses Of The Holy” follows the same foot steps as “Led Zeppelin IV”, but the approach is much more easy-going. Jimmy Page’s riffs range from folk hooks as well as his classic blues-rock hooks, giving the album a lighter and looser feel. The album kicks off with epic “The Song Remains the Same”. “The Rain Song” is a moody, meandering tune, sprawling progressive rock arrangements touching on classical music, jazz, blues, and folk, as well as hard rock. Robert Plant’s vocals are soulful and heartfelt. “The Rain Song” also shows Jimmy Page’s growth as a producer. “Over the Hills and Far Away” was a further progression away from the band’s original heavy blues into more diverse arrangements. The acoustic introduction is a variation of Jimmy Page’s own “White Summer,” which was highly influenced by Davey Graham’s “She Moved Thro’ the Fair.” The affectionate James Brown send-up “The Crunge,” one of my favorites, really adds to the diversity of the album. “Dancing Days” gives you a solid taste of their classic hard rock strut. The reggae-influenced song “D’Yer Mak’er”, featuring John Bonham’s driving drums makes for an exceptional love song. The song was released as a single and reached the top 20, staying on the charts for total of eight weeks. Zeppelin’s spooky “No Quarter” is a jazz, bluesy jam. The songs starts off with John Paul Jones’ electric piano, reminiscent of the Doors’ “Riders On The Storm”. The song jumps into Bonham’s hard-hitting drums, then leads into Page’s blues-rock riff, backed by an analog synthesizer. Plant paints a picture of creepy images within his soaring slowed-down vocals. “The Ocean” makes for a great closer, featuring a funky guitar riff from Page, into an a cappella, going out swinging.

    It’s hard to pick a “best” Zeppelin album. Usually my favorite is the one I am currently listening too. “Houses Of The Holy” lives up to the reputation of their first four masterpieces. They took a chance and were unfazed by the spotlight. This album adds dramatic influence to heavy metal, blues-rock and hard rock as we know it today. Don’t miss out on this flawless classic.

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  • Sal Nudo says:
    67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    For some reason it’s a great summer album, April 19, 2000
    By 
    Sal Nudo (Champaign, Illinois) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: Houses Of The Holy (Audio CD)
    Ah, 1973: It was the year I was born, Pink Floyd put out the seminal Dark Side Of The Moon, and Led Zeppelin’s arguably best release, “Houses of the Holy,” also came out. The urgent opening riffs on “The Song Remains the Same” signal great things to come. Jimmy Page does some marvelous twin guitar work, Robert Plant has an almost Chimpmunkish yelp, and we’re off and running. “The Rain Song” quickly tones things down, a soothing, dreamy tune sprung from the South Carribean, with strings in the background for further relaxing effect. “The Rain Song” might be Zeppelin’s best acoustic song ever.

    Like Pink Floyd, Zeppelin refused to releasing songs as singles. And yet, structured pop shines through on the folkishly delightful “Over the Hills and Far Away,” the fun rock jingle of “Dancing Days,” and the reggae- flavored “D’yer Maker.” “No Quarter” contains a dimmer vibe, filled with buzzy guitars, a brooding piano, and Plant’s isolated voice coming through in distorted tones, like a man coping with deep depression. Midway through, John Paul Jones plays a beautifully serene piano, only to give way to John Bonham’s smooth rhythmic drum kick. The band’s cohesiveness is at an all-time high here, as everyone involved gets to subtly show off. There’s nothing coy about the next sublime rocker, “The Ocean,” which anybody with half a heartbeat could stomp along to.

    “Houses of the Holy” may have been Zeppelin at its height; the band could have called it quits after this record and still be assured easy classic-rock status. It’s simply another great Zeppelin album that adds to a string of greats. The guys kept their style simple, yet branched out a bit and explored new avenues. Some would even say that all Zeppelin albums after this one were pleasant icing on the cake. Of course, the same thing has been said about Pink Floyd after 1973, as well.

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  • Matt Howat says:
    22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Not just heavy metal, August 20, 2000
    By 
    Matt Howat (Melbourne, Australia) –
    This review is from: Houses Of The Holy (Audio CD)
    If you think of Led Zeppelin as heavy metal band, then you’ve only heard Whole Lotta Love and Black Dog. On this album, as with each of their albums, they went far, far outside the realm of whatever heavy metal encompasses.
    From the majestic opening of The Song Remains The Same to the ’50′s doo-wop fade-out of The Ocean, this is possibly Led Zep’s most consistent album. With one-man orchestra John Paul Jones prominent on The Rain Song and No Quarter, Jimmy Page in brillant acoustic form on Over The Hills And Far Away and pulling out a killer riff in Dancing Days, John Bonham dominating The Crunge and D’yer Mak’er (pronounced Jamaica, for those who don’t know), and Robert Plant superb throughout, each member of the band is at their peak, at a time before the excesses of subsequent tours began to take their toll.
    The perfect album to listen to pool-side on a sunny day. Just crank it up and enjoy the magic.

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  • Drew says:
    14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Stick with Albums/Remasters, March 25, 2000
    By 
    Drew (New Jersey) –
    This review is from: Latter Days: Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol.2 (Audio CD)
    Well I gave this CD a 5-star rating because the music on it is, well, Zeppelin, and nothing’s better than that. I dont know why it’s called a “Best Of..” series, when in fact Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are both lacking major radio staples. On Vol. 2, where’s D’yer Mak’er, Dancing Days, The Ocean, Fool In The Rain, etc.? Those are always on the radio, more than Ten Years Gone and Achilles Last Stand, anyway (I’m not putting those last two songs down, they just arent as big ‘hits’ as the first ones..). I’d say this might be a worthwile introduction to Zep for the beginner, but the Remasters series might be better. For those of us who want better Led releases (Page/Crowes @ The Greek comes close, and its pretty good! ), we’ll have to wait ’til Earls Court or Knebworth gets released.

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  • MMAfan says:
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    GREAT, November 12, 2004
    By 
    MMAfan (USA) –
    This review is from: Latter Days: Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol.2 (Audio CD)
    Well I was actually glad that this cd got 3.5 stars rating overall. Why- because I loved this set so much that I knew there albums are even better (as most people didn’t like it because each Led Zeppelin album is its own thing). This is the first thing I bought of Led Zeppelin and right after I listened to this I went right to the mall and bought the $120 COMPLETE STUDIO RECORDINGS only like a day after I got this. That means beware people with no Led Zeppelin albums for if you buy this you’ll want all their albums. You’ll hear great/awesome guitar, vocals, drums, bass throughout the whole cd. You will be satisfied with this in all ways.

    Latter Days
    1.The Song Remains the Same-(5:28)-10/10
    2.No Quarter-(6:59)-10/10
    3.Houses of the Holy-(4:01)-10/10
    4.Trampled Underfoot-(5:35)-9/10
    5.Kashmir-(8:31)-10/10
    6.Ten Years Gone-(6:31)-9/10
    7.Achilles Last Stand-(10:22)-10/10
    8.Nobody’s Fault But Mine-(6:27)-8/10
    9.All My Love-(5:53)-10/10
    10.In the Evening-(6:49)10/10

    I recommend this to anyone who wants to get a great starter Led Zeppelin cd. GET THE 2 DISC SET WHICH CONTAINS EARLY DAYS AND LATTER DAYS (ITS $16.99 GETTING BOTH TOGETHER and its $14.99 BUYING THIS ONE SEPERATE).

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  • Michael Schoenborn says:
    11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    No Matter Who You Are, This Album Is Probably Not For You., January 11, 2006
    By 
    Michael Schoenborn (London, England) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Latter Days: Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol.2 (Audio CD)
    Looking over the songlists for both Early Days and Latter Days, I am often baffled as to who these compilations are aimed at. (My 2 star rating is obviously more a criticism of the compilation than the music itself, which is 5 stars all the way).

    So, are you an existing Zeppelin fan? Then chances are that you already have every one of these songs. There’s nothing new or contraversial here. Certainly you should have all of Early Days (which comprises the hits from Led Zeppelin I-IV) and much of this CD.

    If you don’t own these tracks yet, you would be MUCH better off to invest in “Houses of the Holy” and “Physical Grafitti” INSTEAD. You’d get the first six (out of ten) tracks from Latter Days, as well as the inexplicably absent: “In My Time of Dying”, “The Rain Song”, “Over The Hills And Far Away”, “D’yer Mak’er” and “The Ocean”.

    Are you just discovering Led Zeppelin? (If so, savour these first listens.) Or a casual fan who doesn’t own any albums? DON’T START WITH THIS. Zeppelin is just not a “hot singles” band, you NEED to invest in a few full albums; I can guarantee that you won’t regret it.

    What albums SHOULD you start with?

    The Most Essential:

    Led Zeppelin I

    Led Zeppelin IV

    The Also Essential:

    Led Zeppelin II

    Houses of the Holy

    The Very, Very, Very Good:

    Physical Graffiti

    BBC Sessions

    There’s obviously room for negotiation on which of those albums are “better” and given the depth of Zeppelin’s catalogue you’d be hard-pressed to choose a best release. But, one thing I can say for sure is that any Zepp fan (new or old) is better served buying some of these albums rather than Early and/or Latter Days.

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