Houses of the Holy (song)

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"Houses of the Holy"
Song by Led Zeppelin from the album Physical Graffiti
Released 24 February 1975
Recorded May 1972
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 4:02
Label Swan Song
Producer Jimmy Page
Physical Graffiti track listing
"In My Time of Dying"
"Houses of the Holy"
"Trampled Under Foot"

"Houses of the Holy" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1975 album, Physical Graffiti.


The track is a mid-tempo rock song, heavy on bass and featuring a distinctive Jimmy Page guitar riff.

In order to create the layered guitar introduction and fade-out, Page used a Delta T digital delay unit.[2] The squeak of John Bonham's drum pedal can be heard throughout the song.

Although the name of the song is "Houses of the Holy," the track does not appear on the earlier-released album Houses of the Holy. It was originally set to be the title track of that album but was removed when the band decided it did not fit. The song did not require any further re-mixing for its inclusion on Physical Graffiti, having already been fully mixed by audio engineer Eddie Kramer at the Electric Lady sessions in June 1972.[2]

Record producer Rick Rubin has remarked, "This is a funk jam with really interesting, jazzy chords. It's one of their more compact feeling songs. And it's the only Zep song to use what sounds like a cowbell."[3]


Lyrically, the song is an ode to Led Zeppelin concerts, with the "Houses of the Holy" referring to the arenas and auditoriums in which the band performed.[citation needed] Despite this, the song was never played live by Led Zeppelin,[2] though Robert Plant performed it with the Band of Joy during his 2010 solo tour.[4]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak position
Italy (FIMI)[5] 27


Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Miller, Jim (27 March 1975). "Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Lewis, Dave (1994). The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-3528-9. 
  3. ^ Fifty Artists Pick Their Personal Top 10s – Rick Rubin: Led Zeppelin at the Wayback Machine (archived 11 December 2010). Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  4. ^ Derrough, Leslie Michele (13 August 2010). Robert Plant: Saenger Theatre, Mobile, AL 7/28/10 at the Wayback Machine (archived 16 August 2010). Glide Magazine. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Indice per Interprete: L" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 19 January 2009.