Friday, August 15, 2014

Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door

Today (August 15th) is the thirty-fifth anniversary of In Through the Out Door, the eighth studio album from Led Zeppelin. This multi-Platinum selling 1979 album spent seven weeks at the number 1 spot on the US Billboard Album chart, with a forty-one week run on the chart total. It also went to number 28 in Germany, number 20 in Austria and the Netherlands, number 17 in Sweden, number 14 in Norway, number 7 in France, number 5 in Spain, number 3 in Australia, number 2 in Japan, and number 1 in Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

Side one begins with “In the Evening”. The opening has a mystic, far-Eastern vibe to it that acts an overture for the album. The band is going to take us somewhere exotic. The guitar hook through out this one has a primal quality to it that cuts right to my very core.

“South Bound Saurez” has a raw, classic rock sound with a very strong and upbeat piano foundation. I really like how the band could change things up from track to track.

“Fool in the Rain” was released as a single late in the summer of 1979; it went to number 44 in New Zealand, number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 12 in Canada. The album version runs a full six minutes. The lyrics tell of a man who is waiting on a woman only to realize he has been standing in the wrong place. This one has came into my life just as I was starting my freshman year of high school; the familiar opening riff instantly takes me back to those days. I really like the break in the middle of the song, where it really embraces a Calypso carnival tone.

The B-side to the single was “Hot Dog”; it falls squarely into a rockabilly category.

Side two starts with “Carouselambra”, the album’s longest track at ten and a half minutes. The track has three movements, with the first sounding like a carnival fanfare. I was expecting it to build but instead it sort of levels out on the mid-section and loses all that kinetic energy with an unimpressive discharge.

The slow-winding “All of My Love” was written as a tribute to Robert Plant’s son Karac who died in 1977. This one was released as a single but only in South American countries. I remember this one getting a lot of play during high school, both as a slow dance song at parties and school dance and on the local album-oriented rock station.

The album closes with “I’m Gonna Crawl”, a bluesy song about a guy who is completely in love with a girl.

In Through the Out Door was nominated for an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album in 1980. It lost out to the Bee Gee’s Spirits Having Flown (click here for that review). As a fan of the brother’s Gibb, this is something with which I can totally agree. While I enjoyed this one from Led Zeppelin, only a couple tracks standout as classics for me (“Fool in the Rain” and “All of My Love”).

For more Led Zeppelin related blog posts, click here.

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