Houses of the Holy Songs Ranked

Houses of the Holy is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released on 28 March 1973 by Atlantic Records. The album benefited from two band members installing studios at home, which allowed them to develop more sophisticated songs and arrangements and expand their musical style. Several songs subsequently became fixtures in the group’s live set, including “The Song Remains the Same”, “The Rain Song” and “No Quarter”. Other material recorded at the sessions, including the title track, was shelved and released on the later albums Physical Graffiti and Coda. All instruments and vocals were provided by the band members Robert Plant (vocals), Jimmy Page (guitar), John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards), and John Bonham (drums). The album was produced by Jimmy Page, and it was mixed by Eddie Kramer. Although the critical response was mixed, Houses of the Holy became a commercial success later receiving a Diamond (over 10-million albums sold) certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999. In 2020, the album was ranked at number 278 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Here are all of the Houses of the Holy songs ranked.

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8. The Crunge

“Bonham wrote The Crunge’s funky drumbeat which Jimmy Page sings over in the style of James Brown – something that gets more exaggerated as the song goes on, emphasising the song’s not entirely serious nature.”

7. D’yer Mak’er

“This song inspired alot of the ska singles by white guys from the British suburbs later in the 70’s, so right there they get some points, and then they also sound a little like Daniel Johnston on here. Immortal band, this is very different to most of there material but awesome none the less.”

Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy (CD) - Discogs

6. Dancing Days

“The verses of “Dancing Days” don’t really follow through on the invigoration of the song’s main (great) guitar hook — or for that matter, the lyrics. “Dancing Days” hstarts off with a great riff and keeps going, it is almost a pop song by Zeppelin.”

See More: Led Zeppelin Songs Ranked

5. The Rain Song

“The Rain Song”, while gorgeous and generally terrific, also shows the band’s limitations — the chord changes just kinda amble around without really doing much (i.e. not going anywhere out-of-the-ordinary), and the climax isn’t handled/paced as well as it could’ve been; the strategy was apparently just to let Bonham start banging around and swell everything else up around him.”

Led Zeppelin 'Stairway to Heaven' Trial Go to Supreme Court

4. The Song Remains the Same

“An opener with some very nice guitar work. Although Plant’s questionable vocals in the second half hamper the song a bit, it’s an overall good way to start an album.”

See More: Led Zeppelin Albums Ranked

3. The Ocean

“Starts off with a pretty boring main riff. It does get better in the second half when the riff changes and the tempo picks up, but not enough to make this song worth writing home about. Honestly, the band should’ve made No Quarter the closer because this track ends the album off on a weak note.”

Led Zeppelin | New York City, 1973 Print | Bob Gruen Photo

2. Over the Hills and Far Away

“”Over the Hills and Far Away” opens with interwoven acoustic work, before the mighty Led Zeppelin shifts gears and kick out the electrical barrage, backed by the John Paul Jones and John Bonham back beat. Robert Plant’s lyrics focus on the open road and Acapulco gold. The song illustrates the continuing growth of Zeppelin’s song writing. the single for “Over the Hills and Far Away” is backed with “Dancing Days”, which carries a meaty riff from Jimmy Page, and Plant’s upbeat lyrics.”

1. No Quarter

“No Quarter features one of my very favourite Led Zeppelin riffs – and there’s plenty of competition – as Jimmy Page saws his way over Bonham’s pounding beat. The riff magic is interspersed with Plant’s I’m-stuck-down-a-large-echoing-hole-please-help-me-out vocal that breaks up the pulverising riffs.”