Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy - 12" Vinyl LP Album

  "Houses of the Holy" is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records on 28 March 1973. The album title is a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "Houses of the Holy." It was the first Led Zeppelin album (apart from their fourth album) to not officially be titled after the band. It was also the first of the band's albums to be composed of completely original material. It represents a musical turning point for Led Zeppelin, as they began to use more layering and production techniques in recording their songs. 


High Resolution Photo of Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy

Album Description:

Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" is an iconic 12" vinyl LP album that marked a significant milestone in the band's career. Released on 28 March 1973, by Atlantic Records, this album showcases Led Zeppelin's artistic evolution and musical exploration. With its distinctive sound, diverse range of songs, and innovative production techniques, "Houses of the Holy" remains a timeless classic.

The title of the album, "Houses of the Holy", holds a special meaning for Led Zeppelin. It is a tribute to the fans who faithfully attended their concerts, which they fondly referred to as "Houses of the Holy". This dedication demonstrates the band's deep appreciation for their supporters and the powerful connection they felt with their audience.

Unlike their previous albums, "Houses of the Holy" is the first Led Zeppelin album, apart from their fourth self-titled release, that does not carry the band's name in its title. This departure from convention highlights the band's desire to explore new musical territories and break away from established norms. Led Zeppelin sought to create a body of work that would stand on its own and be recognized as a unique artistic achievement.

The album is comprised entirely of original material, marking a significant departure from their previous albums that included both original songs and covers. Led Zeppelin's decision to focus solely on original compositions showcased their growth as songwriters and their desire to push boundaries. The band members, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, infused their individual talents and creative energies into crafting a cohesive and diverse collection of songs.

Side One of the album opens with "The Song Remains the Same", a powerful and energetic track that sets the tone for the rest of the album. It combines intricate guitar riffs from Jimmy Page, thunderous drums from John Bonham, and Robert Plant's signature soaring vocals. The song is an excellent example of Led Zeppelin's ability to create a captivating and dynamic sound.

"The Rain Song" follows, showcasing the band's more melodic side. It features a beautiful combination of acoustic and electric guitars, accompanied by Robert Plant's heartfelt vocals. This track exemplifies Led Zeppelin's ability to balance heavy rock elements with introspective and emotive songwriting.

"Over the Hills and Far Away" is a standout track on Side One, featuring a catchy guitar riff and infectious melodies. It demonstrates Led Zeppelin's ability to craft memorable hooks while maintaining their distinctive sound. The song's dynamic shifts and intricate instrumentation showcase the band's musical prowess.

"The Crunge" concludes Side One with its funk-infused rhythm and playful lyrics. This track displays Led Zeppelin's versatility, as they incorporate elements of funk and soul into their hard rock sound. It highlights the band's willingness to experiment with different genres and push the boundaries of their music.

Side Two of the album opens with "Dancing Days", a vibrant and energetic track that showcases Led Zeppelin's more upbeat side. With its infectious rhythm and catchy chorus, this song exemplifies the band's ability to create music that is both memorable and engaging.

"D'yer Mak'er" follows, demonstrating Led Zeppelin's willingness to experiment with different musical styles. With its reggae-inspired rhythm and playful lyrics, this track showcases the band's ability to incorporate diverse influences into their music, creating a unique and distinctive sound.

"No Quarter" stands out as a haunting and atmospheric track on the album. It features John Paul Jones' mesmerizing keyboard work and Robert Plant's evocative vocals. The song's moody ambiance and intricate arrangements make it one of the album's standout moments.

"The Ocean" concludes the album on an explosive note. With its driving rhythm, thunderous drums, and powerful vocals, this track exemplifies the raw energy
and intensity for which Led Zeppelin is renowned. It serves as a fitting finale to an album that showcases the band's musical evolution and artistic growth.

Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" is a testament to the band's musical prowess, innovative spirit, and artistic vision. It represents a turning point in their career, as they explored new sonic territories and incorporated diverse influences into their music. With its timeless appeal and enduring popularity, "Houses of the Holy" remains an essential addition to any music lover's collection, particularly on the 12" vinyl LP format, which allows for a more immersive and authentic listening experience.

The front cover of Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" album generated significant controversy upon its release. Designed by the English art director Hipgnosis, the cover features a surreal and provocative image of naked children climbing on a rock formation. The band intended for the cover to capture a sense of innocence and wonder, but it sparked controversy and raised concerns about the appropriateness of depicting minors in a sexualized manner.

The controversial nature of the album cover led to various reactions and consequences. Several retailers and record stores either refused to stock the album or placed it in a brown paper bag to cover the cover art, deeming it inappropriate and offensive. In some countries, alternative cover art was used to avoid potential legal issues or censorship. For instance, in the United States, a different cover featuring an orange tinted version of the original artwork was released.

Led Zeppelin and their record label stood by their artistic vision, defending the cover as a representation of the album's themes rather than having any malicious intent. The band argued that the image symbolized the beauty and purity of youth and exploration, aligning with the album's title and content. However, the controversy surrounding the cover art remains a notable aspect of the album's history and reception.

Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy 12" Vinyl LP
Thumbnail of ed Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy album front cover

Atlantic ATL 50 014 (50014) , 1973 , France

Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" is a testament to the band's musical prowess, innovative spirit, and artistic vision. It represents a turning point in their career, as they explored new sonic territorie

Music Genre:

Hard Rock Music 

Packaging information

Gatefold/FOC (Fold Open Cover) Album Cover Design, Original custom inner sleeve with album details, lyrics of all songs performed by Led Zeppelin  
Album Production
Produced by Jimmie Page, Engineers: Eddie Kramer, George Chkiantz, Keith Harwood. Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York and Olympic London.
Album Cover Sleeve design by Hipgnosis

Hipgnosis was an English art group founded in 1968 by Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell, and Peter Christopherson. The group was known for their innovative and creative album covers, which became iconic in the music industry. Hipgnosis worked with some of the most influential musicians of their time, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Yes.


The group's name, "Hipgnosis," was a play on the words "hypnosis" and "hip." They believed that their art had the power to hypnotize people and transport them to another world, which was reflected in their album covers. The group's style was surreal and often incorporated elements of fantasy, science fiction, and the occult. Their designs were highly detailed and often required extensive planning and preparation.

One of the group's most famous album covers was for Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon." The cover featured a prism refracting light into a rainbow, which became one of the most recognizable images in rock history. The design was so successful that it became synonymous with the band and their music. Another iconic design was for Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy," which featured a group of naked children climbing on a rock formation. The image was highly controversial but helped to solidify the band's rebellious image.

Hipgnosis also worked with a number of other influential musicians, including Peter Gabriel, Black Sabbath, and Genesis. They designed the cover for Peter Gabriel's first solo album, which featured a photograph of Gabriel wearing a mask with only his eyes visible. The image became another iconic design and was later referenced in Gabriel's music video for "Sledgehammer."

The group's success continued into the 1980s, with designs for bands such as Scorpions and Styx. However, the rise of digital technology and the decline of album sales led to the group's decline. Hipgnosis disbanded in 1983, but their legacy lives on in the countless album covers they created.

Hipgnosis was not just an art group, but a collective of artists who had a significant impact on the music industry. Their innovative designs helped to define the visual style of rock music in the 1970s and 1980s. Their work was not just a complement to the music, but an essential part of the overall experience. They created a world that fans could enter into and lose themselves in, just like the music they were listening to.

Here is a web-page with a gallery of album covers created by Hipgnosis

Record Label Information:

Atlantic ATL 50 014 (50014)

Media Format:

12" Vinyl LP Record  

Year & Country:

1973 Made in France  
Band Members and Musicians on: Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy
Track Listing of: Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy
    Side One:
  1. The Song Remains the Same
  2. The Rain Song
  3. Over the Hills and Far Away
  4. The Crunge
    Side Two:
  1. Dancing Days
  2. D'yer Nak'er
  3. No Quarter
  4. The Ocean
Album cover photos of : Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy
High Resolution Photo of Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy
The album cover depicts a young boy climbing the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its natural rock formations. The cover was criticized for being exploitative and disrespectful to the sacredness of the site. Some interpreted the image as a sexualization of children . The band denied any intentional offense and explained the cover was chosen for its visual appeal and connection to the album's title, which referred to their fans as their "Houses of the Holy."
Photo of Album's Back Cover  

High Resolution Photo of Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy  

High Resolution Photo of the Original Custom Inner Sleeve (OIS) #1  

High Resolution Photo of Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy  

High Resolution Photo of the Original Custom Inner Sleeve (OIS) #2  

High Resolution Photo of Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy  

Enlarged High Resolution Photo of the Record's label  

High Resolution Photo of Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy  

LED ZEPPELIN Vinyl Records and Albums Discography

LED ZEPPELIN Related Rock Bands and Similar Music


Another influential British rock band, featuring Eric Clapton on guitar. Cream explored a wider range of styles than Led Zeppelin, but their blues-rock foundation and improvisational jams share some similarities. Cream

Deep Purple

Pioneered hard rock and heavy metal, with influences from blues and psychedelia. Known for their powerful vocals, driving riffs, and complex instrumentals. Deep Purple

Jimi Hendrix

A legendary guitarist known for his innovative playing style and use of effects pedals. While not strictly a band, Hendrix's influence on rock guitar is undeniable, and his music shares some elements of blues and psychedelia with Led Zeppelin. Jimi Hendrix

The Who

Pioneered power pop and mod rock, known for their energetic live performances and Pete Townshend's distinctive guitar work. The Who's music is often heavier and more aggressive than Led Zeppelin's, but both bands share a love for extended jams and powerful vocals. The Who

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