Houses of the Holy review by Led Zeppelin

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  • Released: Mar 28, 1973
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (67 votes)
Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy
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Sound — 8
In terms of Led Zeppelin, this is the band at its most diverse musically. This is often cited as Led Zeppelin's worst album, simply because of their experimentation on this record, however in my opinion, the band prove their fine musicianship by doing these different styles so well. Songs such as 'The Crunge' and 'D'Yer Mak'er' prove that Led Zeppelin can tackle a diverse range of styles while still sounding like a band that knows what they are doing. However, that is also my greatest criticism of this album (which albeit is rather small), in that these experimental songs are, although good, a bit lacklustre in terms of what's expected of Led Zeppelin. That being said, the album still boasts many great songs such as 'The Song Remains The Same', 'The Rain Song', 'Over The Hills And Far Away', 'No Quarter' and 'The Ocean' (Admittedly I have just named all but 3 tracks from the album, which goes to show that the album ranges from songs that are good to those that are excellent).

Lyrics — 9
Robert Plant is fantastic on this album, his beautiful voice working perfectly with the rest of the band in tracks such as 'The Rain Song'. The album doesn't show off his voice as much as other albums, but Robert Plant still does a fantastic job at showing the range of his voice, from the energy of the opening track 'The Song Remains The Same', to the hushed beauty of the penultimate track 'No Quarter'. The lyrics also are of a high standard, though lacking a little on songs such as 'The Crunge' and 'D'Yer Mak'er', these drops in quality are more than made up for by other tracks, most notably 'The Rain Song', which, in my opinion, is far more note-worthy than cliched tracks such as 'Stairway To Heaven' (from Led Zeppelin IV) in terms of lyrics.

Overall Impression — 9
In terms of Led Zeppelin, this is definitely their most diverse album, so for casual listeners, it will be hard to get in to. But for the die-hard fans, there are so many overlooked gems on this album that will keep you awestruck for hours. Personaly, I'd say this is my second favourite Led Zeppelin album, second only to Physical Graffiti. Like I've said previously, the overall quality of each track ranges from good to excellent, and is definitely worth a listen by anyone.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    LedZoso4
    i love every song on this album but the rain song. i only like that one. that shows you how good HOTH is. and no one's noticed but the crunge seems to be based off one verse of Sex Machine by James Brown.
    thehallway
    I am loving this album, it has to be in my top 3 led zep albums. No quarter rocks! And the rain song is just beautiful.
    freedomdeceptiv
    7thriff wrote: WOO the covers got the giants causeway! woo northern ireland!
    dude wtf are you talking about?
    jeromyrb
    Pittman wrote: This is about my favorite album of all time.I dont care what people say,I think its 10x better than IV. Hrrm,so good im going to write a review tonight.
    oooh people will get made at you for saying that... not me, however, i agree completely. Theres something about IV that is just so boring. Houses of the Holy is so diverse that i just cant get sick of it. And its got No Quarter of course.
    MaggaraMarine
    Many people seem not to realize the fact that D'yer Mak'er and The Crunge aren't serious songs. D'yer Mak'er was a reggae parody - it's just so simple with all the cliches. And just listen to Robert Plant's singing in The Crunge. You can tell they weren't 100% serious when they made the songs. I think this is the "happiest" Led Zeppelin album, though there's one dark song, No Quarter. I really like the songs on this album. No Quarter is just epic and so is The Rain Song. I don't think this is their best album but it's a great album (OK - I think all their albums are great).