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In Through The Out Door
[Click above for album images]

After a three-year lapse between releases that was caused in part by the tragic death of Plant’s son Karac, Led Zeppelin’s final studio album was a significant departure from anything that had come before it. More than any other Zeppelin album this one belongs to John Paul Jones, who co-wrote all but one song, and gave the synthesizer/piano parts a major presence. The album begins with the eerie effects and powerful guitar swirl of In The Evening, which also contains a cocky Plant vocal that confidently told the punk pretenders (who had cropped up in the band’s absence and who were supposed to render older rockers such as Led Zeppelin irrelevant) who was still boss. South Bound Saurez is an upbeat piano rocker highlighted by Page’s guitar solo and some sunny “sha la la” harmonies, while the #21 (in US charts) single Fool In The Rain presented more catchy piano pop while also creatively making use of the studio.

Hot Dog is a barrelhouse Texas rocker and the 10+ minute Carouselambra is rather low-key compared to past epics. It’s still a solid song with a bright synthesizer melody, but it definitely doesn't completely warrant its long running time. All Of My Love continues the album with a pretty, if somewhat schmaltzy, song that registers due to the band’s beautifully understated playing and Plant’s heartfelt vocals, while I’m Gonna Crawl enjoyably closes the album with a slow, confident blues performance, albeit one that still features modern synthesizers most prominently.

In short, this album was an enjoyable affair that saw the veteran band keeping pace with the snarling young punk upstarts by, ironically enough, toning things down. Yet Zeppelin’s slicker new sound was notably less powerful than on previous albums, and though the band was still very relevant they were no longer revelatory. Ironically, John Bonham’s death by asphyxiation and Led Zeppelin’s subsequent breakup prevented the band from hanging around past their prime, leaving an untarnished musical legacy.

Statistics

Released:
Aug. 15, 1979 (US)
Aug. 20, 1979 (UK)
Jul. 31, 2015 (Reissue)

Chart Position:
#1 (US) #1 (UK)

Certified:
Gold: Jan. 7, 1980
Multi Platinum: 6x Nov. 25, 1999

Tracks

1. In The Evening
2. South Bound Saurez
3. Fool In The Rain
4. Hot Dog
5. Carouselambra
6. All My Love
7. I'm Gonna Crawl


DELUXE EDITION BONUS DISC
1. In The Evening (Rough Mix)
2. Southbound Piano ("South Bound Saurez") (Rough Mix)
3. Fool In The Rain (Rough Mix)
4. Hot Dog (Rough Mix)
5. The Epic ("Carouselambra") (Rough Mix)
6. The Hook ("All My Love") (Rough Mix)
7. Blot ("I'm Gonna Crawl") (Rough Mix)
Quick Fact

All six of the album covers, both the front and back side, are of the same scene, but with a completely different perspective.

When released, the sleeve covers were prepared so that if exposed to warm water, their colors change.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

May 31, 1948 - John Henry Bonham was born at Redditch, Worchestershire
May xx, 1969 - The band’s debut album enters the US Top 10
May xx, 1969 - Recording sessions for Led Zeppelin II begin
May xx, 1970 - The band works on new material at Bron-Y-Aur
May 03, 1971 - Richard Cole jams on Whole Lotta Love playing congas
May xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy recording sessions on location at Stargroves and Olympic studios
May 27, 1972 - Warm-up gigs kick off in Holland for an upcoming American tour
May 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin gross nearly $250,000 for their performance in Atlanta, GA
May 05, 1973 - 56,800 attend the second show of the 1973 US tour at Tampa. This sets a record for the largest attendance for a one-act performance, previously held by the Beatlesfor their Shea Stadium show in 1965
May 10, 1974 - Swan Song Records is officially launched
May 11, 1974 - Led Zeppelin attend an Elvis concert and are thrilled when Elvis announces that Led Zeppelin is in the building
May 10, 1975 - Showco ships their PA system and video screens for the Earls Court shows from Dallas to London
May 23, 1976 - Page and Plant join Bad Company onstage at the LA Forum
May 21, 1977 - The Houston Summit claims $500,000 in damages to their venue caused by rowdy fans
May xx, 1978 - The band reunite at Clearwater Castle to rehearse
May 22, 1979 - It is officially announce that Led Zeppelin will headline at the Knebworth Festival in August
May 15, 1980 - After many revisions the European tour dates are finalized and the band is scheduled to open in Germany
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