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

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

  1. Morfmusic

    Morfmusic Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    LZ4 is such a mystical, constructed work that imo HOTH feels a bit throwaway in comparison. Ok, you've got the three epics at the start - TSRTS, The Rain Song and OTHAFA..but then you've got The Crunge and Dancing Days which almost feel like the band demystifying their own legend (as enjoyable as they are). No Quarter is another epic which grew legs in live performances..but D'yer Maker and The Ocean feel more glib than grand. Your thoughts please!
  2. zphage

    zphage Beatard

    Bucks County, PA
    catman, Rojo, bonus and 13 others like this.
  3. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    The good stuff is really good, but it was a major step down from IV in my opinion. Then again, where do you go from "Stairway to Heaven"? They were bulletproof at that point, no need to work so hard.
  4. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    United States
    I think it actually builds on the first four efforts. Zeppelin was always advancing and exploring, and never content to just repeat the aura of the previous record.

    I think it is arguably their greatest. The problem, as you said, is that I also agree the likes of IV is their greatest too. Or II. Or III. Or In Through The Out Door. :D

    There are just no "lowlights" with this band. At least not for me.
  5. trickness

    trickness Gotta painful yellow headache

    Nah....No Quarter? The Rain Song? Over The Hills? TSRTS? If anything it was a step up.

    Ok Dyer Maker & The Crunge are filler. But The Battle of Evermore is hokey lords of the ring crap too.
  6. Yes and No

    Cuz its not quite as good as untitled

    Cuz it's bloody Houses of the Holy! FTW
  7. lennonfan1

    lennonfan1 Forum Resident

    baltimore maryland
    for me, having had both since new, 4 has brilliance but is completely overplayed with Stairway being the worst offender. So, side 1 of Houses wins over 4 because of overfamiliarity with Evermore being the only pause, that one is sublime.
    Side 2 sees 4 the winner, better acoustic stuff and more trance-y.
    Morfmusic likes this.
  8. smorrison

    smorrison His Master's Voice

    More like a step sideways.

    Both are great albums. I do like the fourth album better.
  9. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    The West
    Not at all.
    No Quarter is the best song they ever wrote.
    The Song Remains The Same and Rain Song are as good or better than anything on IV.
    Dancing Days and Over The Hills.......fantastic.
  10. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    United States
    I'd argue that the first three songs on "Houses" are the greatest three to ever grace any album. And it's not like the rest of the album is too far behind those. :)

    Of course, I agree that virtually the same could be said about IV too, but...
    gdpeck, Llyrren, SandAndGlass and 3 others like this.
  11. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    No freaking way. For a lot of people, that's their favorite one.
  12. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    No. It was more like a reinvention.
    And I’m glad they did. “4” was as far as blues-based riffs could go. And there’s only a few of those on that album.
    I think they were creative enough to keep reinventing themselves convincingly to survive the style changes ahead, but unfortunately drugs and alcohol took over Page and Bonham.
  13. spotlightkid

    spotlightkid Forum Resident

    Ever Onward-Jimmy Page quote.

    To me each Studio album is different from the last and that's what I expected from this band.

    And I was rewarded on each album.

    Think about it if Robert Plant does not get in that car accident Presence may have never come out or possibly it might have sounded much different.
  14. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    My subjective opinion is no. I like more songs on Houses Of The Holy than I do Zoso. Not by much but I'd at the very least consider them equal. Both are excellent in my book.
    Desolation Row, Llyrren, SG47 and 5 others like this.
  15. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Three Rivers, CA
    It was definitely different than IV. However, I don't think it was a step down. There will always be big fans of LZIV and think that was the peak or their creativity. I personally think that Houses of the Holy has withstood time a little better than IV, at least to my ears. At that time they were trying on some different musical ideas as to keep their music fresh and not beat the horse to death with their previous achievements.

    It took me a while to really appreciate Houses of the Holy for its own merits. It is now one of my first "go to" records when I am in the Led Zeppelin mood.
  16. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    United States
    Well said.
    Morfmusic likes this.
  17. sami

    sami Mono Rules

    Jersey Shore
    Absolutely not. I'll never get the idea that every song had to be an epic, or it's a throwaway. HOTH was Zeppelin looking to show different influences than the heavy blues and folk of the first four records, and they did that brilliantly. And even found room for a few epics.

    It was a great band growing and expanding its palette. HOTH is on the same high level as its predecessors, and the fact that it doesn't have Stairway to Heaven to skip is a bonus.
  18. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    Perception is totally subjective ...

    For me the last Led Zeppelin album I bought on release.
    The sound of Page’s guitar was changing to that later period thinner, jittery sound which didn’t appeal to me as much.

    For me I could hear the drugs and rot starting to settle in.
    Starting in ‘70 we saw them every tour here in L.A. The change was very apparent live.

    Your mileage will vary.
  19. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    Not at all. They deepened and expanded their sound. You don't get to Physical Graffiti without Houses in between IV & PG.
  20. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    I agree with the notion that Houses was a pivot. And a necessary one at that. Regardless how you feel about the individual tracks, it wasn't a step down, it was an evolution in the music explored further with Physical Graffiti. As good as IV was, it was a product of its time and a bit of a dead end artistically.
  21. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    Yes, but IV was a masterpiece that couldn't be replicated. HOTH was still a great album.
    Rojo likes this.
  22. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    London UK
    III was considered widely to be a step down from II at the time. IV the necessary gazillion selling world class career saver. HoTH was considered a step down from IV. Then they come up with PG. Sheesh.....what a six album run. All brilliant, all different.
  23. zen

    zen Forum Resident

    Step down?! More like a...step aside!
    Llyrren, eric777, Man at C&A and 2 others like this.
  24. parkmebike

    parkmebike Stupidly Happy

    Not at all. I think Houses is better than IV.
    George P, RickH, ostrichfarm and 2 others like this.
  25. Sondek

    Sondek Forum Resident

    HOTH is my favoute. The step down was the album that came after. In fact, it's such a step down that's my cut off point.

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