Collaboration post! Sarca from Caught Me Gaming and Kevin from Buried On Mars take on Led Zeppelin! Each week, we will be reviewing a Led Zeppelin album on our respective blogs! So don’t forget to check out Kevin’s blog too!
Read up on my thoughts on:
This week, we look at Led Zeppelin’s eighth album, In Through the Out Door (1978)
More confessions: Like Presence, Led Zeppelin’s In Through the Out Door was another album I never owned until my husband bought it on vinyl in the early 2000s, and it wasn’t until recently when we got the CD. No reason why I never owned it other than it was always too expensive to buy. I have not really listened to it, even though I am very familiar with four of its songs. Again, my point of reference is the Led Zeppelin Complete box set (a.k.a. the Orange Box), which has In the Evening, Fool in the Rain, All of My Love and I’m Gonna Crawl. John Paul Jones has a real presence on this album, and you can hear his work in the bass and piano arrangements. John Bonham’s drums never let us forget he’s there, and Jimmy Page is centre stage on guitar.
In Through the Door is one album where Led Zeppelin experimented with more styles in the rock realm, and took some risks. Let’s look at the three songs that are relatively unfamiliar to me as examples: South Bound Saurez, Hot Dog, and Carouselambra.
South Bound Saurez, a rocker with a strong beat is starting to grow on me with each additional listen, but it’s taken a few spins to get there. Bonzo’s signature power bass drum and Jonesy’s piano are staples here. Hot Dog, fourth song on the album, however, is a rockabilly tune that I didn’t enjoy.
Carouselambra, the fifth song on the album, is an epic 10-minute song that I can only describe as Led Zeppelin’s take on prog rock. Last week while I was taking breaks from cooking turkey and trimmings, the hubs and I started a puzzle (a hobby we have been involved in for a couple of years now) while we took In Through the Out Door for a spin. I immediately took to Carouselambra. Its initial Jones organ makes the song sound a little “Theme to the Olympics on CBC“-ish. But, then there is a change to the song that is quite haunting; if you don’t know the part, Page comes in with a droning and echoey guitar. It’s a beautiful thing. Now, I listen to it on repeat. The arrangement reminds me a lot of Genesis and I really like it! A completely underrated and overlooked tune.
The songs that are familiar to me, particularly In the Evening, Fool in the Rain and All of My Love are those Led Zep staples we’ve all heard before and are good tunes, if a bit overplayed on radio. My least favourite song (even more so than In the Light, I think) is I’m Gonna Crawl. It’s a slow dance of a song that suffers from a lack of inspiration I think, and ends with Plant screaming into a microphone. I don’t complain too often about Plant’s delivery in a song, but this one is not good. And, there it is in Led Zeppelin’s box set. “She give me good lovin’, she give me good lovin’. AAAAAAHHHHH. I’m gonna……………….CRU-AWWWWL.”
Complaints about one song aside, the majority of songs on In Through the Out Door are solid. And might I add, I enjoyed it much more than Presence. Further, thanks to Carouselambra not being on anything other than this album, I would definitely pull the CD off the shelf to listen!
3.5 / 5
In Through the Out Door (1979)
Producer: Jimmy Page
Now go read Kevin’s take!