LED ZEPPELIN — In Through The Out Door

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LED ZEPPELIN - In Through The Out Door cover
2.93 | 64 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1979

Filed under Hard Rock
By LED ZEPPELIN

Tracklist

1. In The Evening (6:50)
2. South Bound Saurez (4:14)
3. Fool In The Rain (6:12)
4. Hot Dog (3:17)
5. Carouselambra (10:34)
6. All My Love (5:56)
7. I'm Gonna Crawl (5:30)

Total Time 42:35

Line-up/Musicians

- John Bonham / drums
- John Paul Jones / bass guitar, keyboards
- Jimmy Page / guitars
- Robert Plant / vocals

About this release

Release date: August 15, 1979
Label: Swan Song Records

Thanks to Stooge, Time Signature, Pekka, Lynx33, diamondblack, Unitron for the updates

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LED ZEPPELIN IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
Even by the band's own account, this was an oddity. John Paul Jones had a bunch of cool keyboards to play with, Jimmy Page was hooked on heroin, and John Bonham was losing his battle with addiction. With half the members of the band contributing significantly less than on previous albums, the resultant album was dominated by Jones' attempts to incorporate keys into the Led Zeppelin sound.

Whilst he earns points for trying, at the end of the day it just doesn't work - not the way he tries to do it anyway. It certainly doesn't help that the usual Page guitar magic is greatly diminished this time around, or that the keyboard sounds themselves have dated poorly compared even to earlier synthesisers. (Compare any track on here to Sabbath's Sabbra Cadabra and tell me the synthesiser sound isn't superior on the Sabs' track, despite the fact that it was recorded half a decade prior to this and despite the great advances in keyboard technology that had ensued since.)

Furthermore, the compositions are weak this time around, and don't exactly sound like Zeppelin. The most heartfelt song on the album is probably All My Love - which is, famously, Robert Plant's tribute to his son who had sadly died between the recording of Presence and the making of this album. It's pretty enough, but rather lifeless and repetitive - but it's still probably the best song on the album because it's the only one on which any of the participants really seem to have their heart in it. Plant acknowledges that he wasn't exactly in the mood to rock out at the time - who would be? - but it doesn't seem as though any of his bandmates were much interested in rocking out either.

And when all four core participants aren't really interested in making a Led Zeppelin album, what's the point of making one?
AtomicCrimsonRush
When you go in through the out door you risk the door slamming your face!

The door definitely slammed shut after this release. It spelt the end of a rock band that was hailed as rock gods by the masses. Even gods have their bad days and this was Zeppelins. They had changed with Presence but this follow up album was a total transformation, for the worst. Yes, there will be those who adore this album because it is Zeppelin, but let's get over that fan boyism. This was an abysmal album with only 2 tracks worth mentioning as highlights and they are the obvious ones; "In The Evening" and "Carouselambra".

The 10 minute "Carouselambra" actually saves this from a 1 star rating. The guitars in this are different than Page usually plays but no less endearing. Plant sings up a storm here and proves he still can produce pure magic."In the Evening" has an infectious melody and very nice vocals.

Okay, that's about it for highlights. Stand by for mediocrity with the truly awful tracks. "Suarez", "Hot Dog" and "Fool In The Rain" that are really filler more than killer. "Hot Dog" is not even in the same league as "Black Dog", and "Fool in the Rain" does not hold a candle to "The Rain Song". Okay they are tolerable if you are deep into Zeppelin, otherwise they would go by unnoticed, and in fact the band pretended they weren't in existence when you look at the concert setlists.

John Paul Jones has a field day on keyboards and this album is absolutely saturated in keyboards; even synth on a Led Zeppelin album. The album did not even raise a blimp among the legions of fans who were disillusioned by this new approach and it signified that the party was over. Sadly it was the last studio album before the onslaught of compilations came flooding in, and continue to do so but you won't find many of these tracks on them. Well it ended with a fizzle rather than a masterpiece but that's rock and roll, and it certainly has been a long time since we heard rock and roll played like the incomparable great Led Zeppelin.

Nightfly
In Through The Out Door turned out to be the last Led Zeppelin studio album baring of course Coda which was a posthumous release after the death of drummer John Bonham. It's also their worst having something in common with Houses Of The Holy 6 years previously. Not that it sounds like Houses... The similarity lies in the bands willingness to experiment with different styles which didn't always work. Also on both albums John Paul Jones had a greater input, in fact even more so here, his keyboards taking more of a centre stage position than usual. Jimmy Page's guitar playing comes across as somewhat muted and lacking the fire of earlier days. This is not helped by a somewhat muddy production. Vocalist Robert Plant whilst far from his best work does put in a half decent performance. And of course Bonham is as solid as a rock.

However a weak Zeppelin album is still better than many bands best and does have some good moments though nothing to match past glories. Lets get the rubbish and mediocre out the way first. That'll be Hot Dog then, a weak rock 'n' roll/rockabilly pastiche. Fool In The Rain is only just a slight improvement with it's shuffle groove and even goes into a mid song samba section! South Bound Suarez fairs a little better which is a piece of barroom boogie with a nice riff from Page and Jones's piano making a strong presence.

Treading the mid ground is All My Love, a heartfelt ballad written by Jones and Plant, a tribute to Plant's son who had died just a year previously, which just leaves us the 3 best tracks on the album.

In The Evening makes a strongish opener, it has an atmospheric start like In The Light from Physical Graffiti. It turns into a mid pace rocker though not one of Page's best riffs it kicks along quite nicely, Jones's keyboards also a dominant force. Bonham keeps a simple groove on the drums and Plant turns in one of his best performances on the record.

The albums epic is Carouselambra and happens to be a high point here. It clocks in at just over ten minutes following in the footsteps of the likes of Kashmir, In My Time Of Dying and Achilles Last Stand. It runs through a number of sections from a rocking, once again Jones dominated start. Plant struggles to cut through though and Bonham keeps things simple again. Page cuts through a bit better on a mid song half tempo lull with some nice 12 string playing. The pace picks up again with a sequenced synth riff (never thought I'd hear that in a Zeppelin song but then I guess it was state of the art for the day) which leads us through the final section to fade.

A late (pleasant) surprise is I'm Gonna Crawl. A beautifully melancholic and bluesy piece. Jones's string effect keyboards making a good foil to Page's more angular guitar playing and he puts in a fine solo too. Plant is really on top form putting in his best vocals of the album. A truly brilliant song and the album highlight for me.

In Through The Outdoor is somewhat of a mixed bag then, some weak even poor moments. It does have a few redeeming tracks though to make up for the likes of Hot Dog but 3 good tracks can't really bring this album quite up to 3 stars so we'll settle for 2 ½.

Members reviews

Dellinger
Just like Presence, I find this album more annoying than anything... without much of the hard rock songs that I love from them, let alone the epic ones. But unlike Presence, this one doesn't have a song as great as "Achilles Last Stand" to save it. I don't give it one star because there is "In the Evening", which is good, as well as "All my Love", but still they are not at the same level of their greatest songs from previous albums. It's a shame that this would be the last album they would record before the end of their career.

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