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 (1975-02-24)
Recorded Olympic Studios, London, 1972
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 4:01
Label Swan Song
Producer(s) Jimmy Page
ISWC T-070.076.540-7

"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 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]


The song title taken with the lyrics refers to the "sacred" places where young adults have their sexual rites of passion such as movie theaters, drive-in movies, concert halls and arenas, or even a hilltop.[citation needed] The opening and closing lines are, "Let me take you to the movies. Let me take you to the show. Let me be yours ever truly," with sexually suggestive verses in between (e.g., "Let me wander in your garden, and the seeds of love I'll sow").

Live performances[edit]

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] Additionally, Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes tested out the song in rehearsals for their 2000 tour, but dropped it before touring began.[5]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak position
Italy (FIMI)[6] 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.
  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.
  5. ^ Basham, David (9 March 2000). "Jimmy Page, Crowes Discuss Possible Set Lists". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Indice per Interprete: L" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 19 January 2009.