By 1973, Led Zeppelin ruled the world. On Houses of the Holy, their 5th album, they rose to the challenge of breaking new ground. The continual move away from heavy metal got the album mixed reviews. But it topped the charts and sold 11 million in the US alone.
The mellotron-driven 7 minute The Rain Song was inspired by George Harrison’s complaint that Zeppelin didn’t do ballads; the opening two notes borrowed from Something. While Page used guitar riffs as architectural motifs on The Song Remains the Same, No Quarter was a John Paul Jones showcase for a tale of a battle in a snowstorm. They tried reggae (D’yer Mak’er), funk (The Crunge) and doo-wop (The Ocean - a tribute to their fans). It came wrapped around the gorgeous cover of children at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End.