March 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin’s iconic album Houses of the Holy, the band’s fifth studio album and the first to not feature an eponymous title.
Houses of the Holy featured such Zeppelin classics as “The Song Remains the Same,” “The Rain Song” and “Dancing Days.” Interestingly, the record’s title track didn’t make the album and later appeared on 1975’s Physical Graffiti.
“The sound of it is so much more interesting than any other Zeppelin album because they had more time to play around with it,” Jason Hanley, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s VP of education and visitor engagement, tells ABC Audio about Houses of the Holy. “It was their moment to push those boundaries a little bit.”
Hanley notes that Zeppelin “always sort of diverted people’s expectations in a way.”
“If (1971’s) Led Zeppelin IV became the blueprint of what Zeppelin could sound like, Houses of the Holy is a different record and it takes it in a new direction,” Hanley says. “They just kept upping the ante each time.”
Houses of the Holy went on to be a huge success for Led Zeppelin and was certified Diamond by the RIAA for over 10 million albums sold. In addition, it has made several lists as one of the greatest albums of all time.
“This album was their moment to experiment, and have fun and do something different. And because of that it’s become one of the great iconic records of rock ‘n’ roll,” Hanley says.
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