50 years of the opus “Houses of the Holy”: Led Zep explores new sounds

50 years of the «Houses of the Holy


With Black Dog, Rock and Roll< /strong>, Stairway to Heaven and When the Levee Breaks , present on its fourth opus, Led Zeppelin had the wind in its sails. The Houses of the Holy opus, which followed and celebrated its 50th anniversary, received mixed reviews due to its musical diversity. , but the fans adopted it, propelling the British quartet to new heights.

This fifth studio album by the quartet from London, released on March 28, 1973, reached the top of the charts in Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Its sales total 12.5 million copies.

On this album, released 16 months after Led Zeppelin IV, we find the titles The Song Remains The Same< /em>, The Rain Song, Over The Hills and Far Away, No Quarter and D'yer Mak'er.

Houses of the Holyis considered, by Rolling Stone magazine, as the 278th best album of all time.


Directed by guitarist Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin continues, with this opus, his explorations and stands out from the more raw sounds of his first records. 

Owners of personal studios, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones experimented with different sounds before entering the studio. The synthesizers, the mellotron (The Rain Song), clavinet (Over the Hills and Far Away) and electric piano on No Quarter are present.

The group shows up in the studio with elaborate versions. “Led Zep” surprises fans with The Crunge, with funk sounds inspired by James Brown. D'yer Mak'er is influenced by Jamaican reggae and dub. These two pieces, just like the first single Dancing Days, are not unanimous, compared to The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song and No Quarter, which will become key moments concerts of the formation.

A record

In an interview published in the magazine Guitar World in November 2022, the guitarist Jimmy Page discussed the group's intentions for the opus Houses of the Holy.

“I thought it was important that each Led Zeppelin album sound different from the previous album. All the changes were intentional and that's why we worked with different engineers and different studios,” he said.

The tour following the release of Houses of the Holy is breaking records. The quartet plays in amphitheaters and stadiums in the United States. Led Zeppelin beat that of the Beatles established at Shea Stadium in New York in 1965, with 56,800 spectators, at Tampa Stadium, in Florida.

It was during this tour that Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and the late John Bonham would film three concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the film and live album The Song Remains the Same which would be released in 1976.

< em>Houses of the Holy is the last album released on Atlantic before the creation of the Swan Song Records label by Led Zeppelin. The cover is the first made by the firm Hipgnosis for the quartet with a photograph taken at Giant's Causeway, in the north of Ireland.