Was Houses of the Holy a step down in quality after 4?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Morfmusic, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    When you listen to it you’ve got to factor in that it was recorded, like, nine years before the gated drum effect started ruling the airwaves.
    This album -too- is ample proof that John Bonham maybe wasn’t human.
    The sheer confidence, vitality and feel with which he terrorized the skins with on, say, The Ocean, D’yer Mak’er or The Crunge tells me, with my 6 foot 9, that this was a guy you couldn’t mess with.
     
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  2. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident

    I always thought Houses of the Holy was a step UP.
     
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  3. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    When The Levee Breaks?
     
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  4. maui jim

    maui jim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lanikai
    Pure blues. No prog
     
  5. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    Hmm... Something happened to that blues.
    The structure doesn’t stay the same throughout, it lacks a chorus and what I think is the bridge (what first appears as a guitar interlude) appears at least twice. This kind of thing they already were capable of from the outset (How Many More Times, Dazed) so I would say yes, they dabbled in prog before HOTH.
     
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  6. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    They had significant prog elements in their music from the start.
     
  7. duneman

    duneman Forum Resident

    I tend to agree with those who consider it a side step. Houses is a wonderfully varied album, which to me, is one of the hallmarks of a great band.

    It has progressive tunes, one (NQ) has sort of a Floydian vibe and the other (TSRTS) in a kind of a Yes style , funk (Crunge - love that bass line!), reggae (Dy'er Maker - huge drums!), hard rock (The Ocean, Dancing Days) and The Rain Song which, in my view, edges Stairway as an epic ballad and contains some of Page's most lyrical playing. Then there's Over the Hills... which to me is just other worldly.

    I don't think of it as lesser at all. IV is mighty grand too but Black Dog & Battle of Evermore, while very popular with most folks, are not my fave Zep tunes by any stretch.

    Of course this is splitting hairs as they are both amazing in their own right.

    ps... I remember not liking Houses that much when it came out. Many of my favorite albums are growers.

    pps... having said all that its got some clunky lyrics i.e. 'tadpole in a jar' :D
     
  8. trickness

    trickness Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    In comparison to the other tracks on the album these two pale in comparison, which might be why they never really played them in their live sets. The Crunge is just kind of a goof; albeit, LZ's version of goofing is superior to pretty much anyone else's.
     
  9. trickness

    trickness Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    It's ok on its own I guess, but in comparison to the rest of the album? If some random band released this track way back when, would anyone have ever heard it?
     
  10. Wes_in_va

    Wes_in_va Trying to live up to my dog’s expectations

    Location:
    Southwest VA
    I like Houses better. There. I said it.
     
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  11. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    Yeah, as I quote: ‘I saw a lion, he was standing alone with a tadpole in a jar’.... What was he thinking?? :D
    Surely they can’t be accused of lacking a sense of humour.
    The straight-faced way he sings it with makes it even funnier than it’s allowed to be.

    It makes me think of McCartney’s ‘Leaping armadillo, yeah!’ or Alice Cooper’s ‘Can’t even think of a word that rhymes!!’
    I love it when artists just throw caution to the wind and do whatever it takes when hitting a writer’s block.
     
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  12. featheredfiend

    featheredfiend Forum Resident

    Location:
    Morris Plains, NJ
    I actually like Houses better then IV...
     
  13. OldSoul

    OldSoul Well, I'm a lonesome schoolboy...

    Location:
    Oberlin, OH
    Absolutely not.
     
  14. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    Exceeding the meat and potatoes always has been their main strength. Whoever thinks HOTH is a misstep because of genre exercises should take a closer look at the preceding four albums.
    Not exactly an average bar band.
     
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  15. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    As much as I love ITTOD, and as often as I return to it, I must say Hot Dog is a bit much.

    Scrapping that in favour of Ozone Baby would have improved an already awesome album.
    I’m not sure Wearing And Tearing would have fit the vibe and Darlene loses a point when it kicks into rockabilly territory.
     
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  16. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    Enough reading for today!

    :sweating:
     
  17. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Yikes! I just can't imagine "Ozone Baby" on such a great album. Whereas "Hot Dog" is so perfect - jubilant, catchy, and adds the always essential element of humor.

    I do like "Ozone Baby" but it definitely strikes me as better suited to what it is - a great Coda track.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  18. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    To answer the question posed in the title of this thread, no.

    Yes. Zep cast a wide net from the very beginning, stylistically speaking. I always wondered why they were pigeon-holed as cock rock, or proto-metal, or just another paint-by-numbers heavy blues ripoff, when they so clearly weren't.

    Houses is a wonderful album.
     
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  19. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    I do agree with this.

    I'm amazed, even today, how the "Zeppelin is mostly a metal/hard rock blues band" label still persists to a large degree. As you stated, even when looking at the raw and bombastic debut, one can easily see that their roots, influences and ambitions were higher than just being loud or riff-loaded.

    And it only becomes more evident when you continue through with each album as they evolved.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  20. JayB

    JayB Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
  21. plugmeintosomething

    plugmeintosomething Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    Both great albums but I preferred Houses then and now.
     
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  22. Diamond Star Halo

    Diamond Star Halo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Houses of the Holy is a massive step down from the first four albums IMO.
     
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  23. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    I disagree.
    Although IV feels like the end of an era for them it kicks the door wide open for.... anything!
    If your last three songs on an album are Four Sticks, Going To California and When The Levee Breaks I don’t think any serious follower would regard you as dead in the water.
     
  24. jon9091

    jon9091 Master Of Reality

    Location:
    Midwest
    I have two possible explanations.

    1. It’s an inside joke that we will never be privy to, and Robert felt the need to stick in the middle of a song....not unlike ELP’s “someone get me a ladder”, which comes from Keith Emerson yelling nonsense about how their rehearsal jamming was so high, they were gonna need a ladder to get down. Lake stuck in the middle of a ballad as a joke, and it stuck.

    2. It’s a metaphor about sex or worshipping satan.
     
  25. pinkrudy

    pinkrudy Forum Resident

    I'm going with step sideways. It's just as good. Some ways better. Other ways worse.
     

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