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Mr E

Houses of the Holy (song) query

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I've often thought about this but basically this is a great catchy song that was mysteriously left of the album even though it's the title track. A song like The Crunge made it onto the album, which I consider to be one of their weaker efforts. 

They also never played it live or not to my knowledge anyway, which makes you think they may not think highly of it. But then it has featured on every 'best of' that has been released.

So a song that was left off of it's original album and never played live, but ends up on all the best ofs? Any thoughts?

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As for leaving the song off the HOTH album, they had two songs with a similar theme - HOTH and The Ocean; they opted for The Ocean. No argument there. They also had a few tracks of about four minutes in length that were pretty straightforward. In the interest of diversity, something had to go. I dig The Crunge myself. It may have come down to length of the album. HOTH is a minute longer than The Crunge. Doesn't sound like much but they had to draw the line somewhere.

Leaving it out of the setlist perhaps had to do with lacking ideas for how they might play it live. They weren't ones to play songs note-for-note from albums, even if it was just extending a solo. Dancing Days may be an isolated example of staying true to the album version. Also, HOTH involved Robert singing in his "primal" voice to a degree; by '75 perhaps they figured the fewer songs that had to be delivered in a lower register than the original (compromised?), the better. He surely could have handled it in '72 but there again it wasn't on the album so they went with OTHAFA, Dancing Days and The Ocean.

Perhaps surprised it wasn't made the B-side of a single like HHWCID. OTHAFA (B-side Dancing Days) and D'yer Mak'er (B-side The Crunge) were released as singles in North America. HOTH would've made a cool B-side.

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I would have kept The Crunge (I agree it has a certain funky appeal), and replaced D'Yer Maker with HOTH.

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I think mainly because it is a side opener. It's a great side opener, but not nearly as great as The Song Remains The Same or Dancing Days... well maybe as good as Dancing Days.

Running orders on lp's was very important..IMO more important than cd's. Also, like Zep Hed mentioned, maybe too similar to other tracks.

Houses OF The Holy could have been a much heavier album with Houses and The Rover included. But it is great as is.. The opening 3 tracks are Jimmy Page at his melodic best. The Crunge was some nice light hearted relief after 3 epic opening tracks.. 

 

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Actually, it was Dancing Days that the band felt sounded too similar stylistically to Houses of the Holy. They've also said they liked the idea of having the title track to the album... on a different album. So it's reasonable to presume that they preferred Dancing Days (either as a song, or in the running order of the rest of the album), and given that, thought it would also be cheeky to separate the song from its album namesake.

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