Best Zep cover album - and great music too!
M. C Cardoso | Berkeley, CA United States | 06/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, this is one of the best "classic rock" album covers of all time, produced by the same Hipgnosis team that would create great visuals for Pink Floyd. Yep, the album is from that era - you went to the record store, took the big album home and then the whole aural/visual experience was like a ritual. Good times!
The art cover is pretty far out and mystical, what about the sound? I think it is an exciting album from LZ but a notch below their previous effort (untitled), the one of "Stairway" fame. The good tracks are real good and would become concert staples ("The Song Remains...", "Rain Song", "Over the Hill and Far Away" and "No Quarter') and show a band that, while thunderous at times, quite more cerebral than on the glorious horny days of LZ II. The production is tight, with lots of guitar layers and textures and drums and bass sounding real good, which is a saving grace for "The Crunge", a goofy if curious exercise in James Brown-ism. OK riff-tunes like "The Ocean" and "Dancing Days" sound huge and memorable. 'D'Yer Maker" has often be described as "reggae-ish", I think it is more like a '50s rock fun? Great drum sound on this one and the best party song of Zep if they ever had one.
Plant's unique voice is always effective, but I hear on this album the first signs of strain that would become apparent in Physical Graffiti and later. Not to dismiss the guy, just saying.
The album is another fine Zep album. The great thing you have to respect is, even if they had better tunes in other albums, they continued to work hard at adding and blending different elements to their sound yet still sound cohesive (at least most of the time). Like how "over the hill" combines the folk-ish with big rock and "No Quarter" is its own unique trip, a foggy dreamscape of jazz-fusion, metal and "progressive rock". "close the door, put out the light" and enjoy Houses of the Holy!"
Great sounding CD.
G. Burns | St. Louis, MO USA | 06/13/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Buy the original version of this, and not the remaster. The RM is too bright. Great album, though."