To call Led Zeppelin just a “great band” would be the understatement of the century. But that’s the simplest way for Carter Alan to describe Led Zeppelin, whose legendary 1973 album Houses of the Holy turns 40 today.
This was the record where Zeppelin took a major step forward in terms of their songwriting and production techniques. While their first four albums were certainly adventurous, they remained mostly rooted in blues rock. On Houses of the Holy, they employ influences from reggae (“D’yer Mak’er”), James Brown (“The Crunge”), and even a bit of atmospheric psychedelic rock (“No Quarter”).
If Led Zeppelin IV was the confirmation that these guys were legit, Houses of the Holy was the one that silenced the final critic. While the album did receive mixed reviews upon its initial release in March of 1973, it has come to be realized as one of the finest rock and roll statements ever created.
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