Houses of the Holy is the fifth album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in 1973. The album title is actually a dedication to the Zeppelin fans who appeared at venues which they called “Houses of the Holy“.
Houses of the Holy was the first Led Zeppelin album with a specific title, although the album name was on a separate banner wrapped around the album. The previous albums were all named by their number of sequence (I, II, III & IV). Houses of the Holy was also the first Led Zeppelin album to be composed of completely original material.
The cover art is a collage of photos taken at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis. The cover was designed by Storm Thorgerson and it was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s famous novel Childhood’s End. The two children modelling for the cover were siblings and child actors/models Stefan and Samantha Gates who were just 5 and 7 years old at the time of shooting.
Houses of the Holy is regarded as one of Led Zeppelin’s finest albums. The album has sold over 11 million copies in the United States alone. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best album package in 1974. The cover was rated number 6 on VH1’s 50 Greatest Album Covers of All Time and it was ranked number 149 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums covers of all time.
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