March 28: Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy was released in 1973
“The Rain Song” is one of Zep’s finest moments, featuring a soaring string arrangement and a gentle, aching melody. “The Ocean” is just as good, starting with a heavy, funky guitar groove before slamming into an a cappella section and ending with a swinging, doo wop-flavored rave-up. With the exception of the rampaging opening number, “The Song Remains the Same,” the rest of Houses of the Holy is fairly straightforward, ranging from the foreboding “No Quarter” and the strutting hard rock of “Dancing Days” to the epic folk/metal fusion “Over the Hills and Far Away.” Throughout the record, the band’s playing is excellent, making the eclecticism of Page and Robert Plant’s songwriting sound coherent and natural.” – Thomas Erlewine (allmusic)
The epic scale suited Zeppelin: They had the largest crowds, the loudest rock songs, the most groupies, the fullest manes of hair. Eventually excess would turn into bombast, but on Houses, it still provided inspiration.
~Gavin Edwards (rollingstone.com)
#1 – The Song Remains The Same
28 March 1973
January–August 1972, Stargrovesand Headley Grange with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, and Island Studios, London; Mixed at Olympic Studios, London and Electric Lady Studios, New York
Hard rock, heavy metal
Houses of the Holy is the fifth studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records on 28 March 1973. It is the first Led Zeppelin album composed of entirely original material, and represents a musical turning point for the band, who had begun to record songs with more layering and production techniques.
During the sessions, Led Zeppelin also recorded a song named “Houses of the Holy”, and planned to make it the album’s title track. However, the band eventually decided that it didn’t fit in, and the song was instead released on their next album, Physical Graffiti.
Houses of the Holy was certified 11× Platinum by the RIAA
In 2012, it was ranked number 148 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
But side two begins with two amazing, well, dance tracks–the transmogrified shuffle is actually called “Dancing Days,” while “D’Yer Mak’er” is a reggae, or “reggae”
~Robert Christgau (http://www.robertchristgau.com)
#5 – Dancing Days
Album Sleeve Design
The cover art for Houses of the Holy was inspired by the ending of Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End, which involves several hundred million naked children, only slightly and physically resembling the human race in basic forms. The cover is a collage of several photographs which were taken at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis. This location was chosen ahead of an alternative one in Peru which was being considered.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Upon its release, the album received some mixed reviews, with much criticism from the music press being directed at the off-beat nature of tracks such as “The Crunge” and “D’yer Mak’er”. However, the album was very successful commercially, entering the UK chart at number one, while in America its 39-week run (2 of them spent at number one) on the Billboard Top 40 was their longest since their third album.