Rolling Stone - 12/11/03, p.131Ranked #149
in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time"
Q - 10/94, p.1413 Stars
- Good - "...is the sound of a band whose cup has overfloweth..."
Led Zeppelin: John Paul Jones (bass instrument); Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Robert Plant.
Personnel: Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica, background vocals); Jimmy Page (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); John Paul Jones (piano, grand piano, organ, Mellotron, keyboards, synthesizer, bass synthesizer, background vocals); John Bonham (drums, background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Eddie Kramer; Keith Harwood; Andy Johns.
Recording information: Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY (1972); Headly Garage (1972); Island Studios, London, England (1972); Olympic London (1972); Olympic Studios, London, England (1972); Stargroves, Hampshire, England (1972).
By 1973, Led Zeppelin was getting used to being the biggest band on the planet (both financially and sonically). Letting their guard down and their spirits wander, they came up with the most widely varied album in their discography. Stylistically, HOUSES OF THE HOLY is all over the map, but it coheres in a grand manner befitting the '70s rock royalty Zeppelin had become. Stepping back a little from the epic scale of ZEPPELIN IV, the group slips into a funky James Brown homage ("The Crunge"), offers one of the first-ever attempts at reggae-rock ("D'yer Ma'ker"), and ventures into Pink Floyd-like prog rock ("No Quarter"). Jimmy Page's guitar work is at its most exquisitely beautiful on "The Rain Song," but the heavy-rock punch of yore is still present and accounted for on "Dancing Days" and "The Ocean." From here, it seemed like Led Zeppelin was capable of anything.