Albums That Helped Build The Foundation Of Heavy Metal :
Artist : Led Zeppelin
Album : Houses Of The Holy
Released : March 28, 1973
Album Rating : 5/5 (Zeppelin’s 5th Masterpiece Record In A Row !)
By the beginning of 1973 Led Zeppelin was to the 1970s what The Beatles were to the 1960s. Yes there were big bands like The Stones, and The Who, but by now Zeppelin was in their own league. And unlike The Beatles who were never really able to shine live, Zeppelin was at their absolute peak not only in the studio, but live too. Their now legendary 1972 tour is still considered one of the greatest in music history. And if you need proof just seek out the bootleg “Burn Like A Candle” which is three hours of pure energy, of four of the greatest musicians at their craft, and the instruments they play. Also coming off their most successful albums in the studio, Led Zeppelin IV was so successful that today it’s one of the ten best selling albums in music history.
By March of 1973 it had been almost a year and a half (an eternity in the 1970s) since Zeppelin had released any new material. Their fifth album now known as “Houses Of The Holy” (the first Zeppelin album to have an actual title) would end up being worth the wait, and a perfect follow-up to their mammoth fourth record. This would be the first collection of songs that the band would release that were all written just from the band themselves. And it would show how much they had grown musically. You have a song that Bob Marley could’ve done “Dyer Maker”, (which is pronounced Jamaica) even a song that the great James Brown could’ve done “The Crunge”. But most importantly each member of the band truly shines. Especially the greatest frontman/lead singer in the history of Rock N’ Roll, the great Robert Plant, whose voice goes through so many octaves, and shows the power and range perfectly.
Page, Jones, and Bonham all shine too. Some of Bonzo’s greatest drumming is on this record. And one of the greatest songs Jonsey contributed “No Quarter”. As for Page, he was in his absolute prime not only as a writer, but a producer too. This record showcases Jimmy’s production techniques in many ways, especially on the beautiful “Rain Song”. This album would make Zeppelin even bigger than they already were. Selling out Stadiums within hours (would’ve been seconds in the Internet age). The 1976 movie “The Song Remains The Same” (also the title track on this record) is the visual evidence of how big Zeppelin had become during this time. There’s a reason Zeppelin is considered one of the five or ten best bands of all time. Houses Of The Holy is one of those reasons. Five albums in, five of the greatest albums of all time. They were truly rolling, and still had one more masterpiece to come a couple years later.
Zeppelin could’ve easily rivaled Sabbath as the “Masters Of Metal”, but their willingness to broaden their horizons musically took them in so many different musical Territories and genres, that it’s almost impossible to think of them as a Metal band. That being said, you still can’t deny their influence on the Metal genre, and musicians who followed that path. Just listen to Sabbath’s Volume Four, or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, which were obviously influenced by the musical directions Zeppelin was taking. To this day over four decades after they lost drummer John Bonham and decided to disband because he was “irreplaceable” they still sell millions of records a year, still considered as relevant as any new or current bands on the scene. They are the definition of what a iconic and legendary band is, and will be for generations to come.
1 The Song Remains the Same (Page, Plant) – 5:32
2 The Rain Song (Page, Plant) – 7:39
3 Over the Hills and Far Away (Page, Plant) – 4:50
4 The Crunge (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) – 3:17
1 Dancing Days (Page, Plant) – 3:43
2 D’yer Mak’er (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) – 4:23
3 No Quarter (Jones, Page, Plant) – 7:00
4 The Ocean (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) – 4:31