One of the most varied Led Zep albums, and, not coincidentally, one of their finest, with the gentle Rain Song and humorous D'yer Mak'er balancing off the crushing Dancing Days and No Quarter . From 1973.
Robert Plant once said that a chunk of the Zep catalog was "music for hippie bookstores." While much of Houses of the Holy
thumps hard enough to knock the incense holders off the speakers, the generally upbeat vibe makes this a great choice for playing on the first (dancing) day of spring, windows flung wide open as Jimmy Page's lead lines soar out over the neighbors' rosebushes. Plant is at his most lovey-dovey here, whether updating Chuck Berry on "The Ocean," extolling the virtues of his Page 3 girl on "The Crunge," or writing greeting cards for that patchouli-scented side-street shop on "The Rain Song." In a word: grand. --Rickey Wright