Jimmy Page Uploads Original Idea For ‘Houses Of The Holy’ Opener
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin‘s fifth album, 1973’s Houses Of The Holy, Jimmy Page treated fans to “The Seasons” — a piece of unreleased music originally intended to open the album. The guitar-based tune was intended to serve as an overture to the album, but instead was destined to serve as the basis of the album’s classic, “The Rain Song.”
Jimmy Page posted a note to fans on his YouTube page under the recently unveiled music, which reads in full:
My original idea for the opening tracks for Houses Of The Holy was that a short overture would be a rousing instrumental introduction with layered electric guitars that would segue in to “The Seasons,” later to be titled “The Rain Song.” Again there would be a contrasting acoustic guitar instrumental movement with mellotron that could lead to the first vocal of the album and the first verse of the song.
“The Seasons” was a memo to myself as a reminder of the sequence of the song and various ideas I’d had for it in its embryonic stage. I’d worked on it over one evening at home. During the routining of the overture now titled “The Plumpton and Worcester Races,” the half time section was born and the overture shaped in to the song, “The Song Remains The Same.” These rehearsals were done in Puddle Town on the River Piddle in Dorset, UK.
The first set of recordings were done at Olympic Studios with George Chkiantz. We then came to record at Stargroves, Sir Mick Jagger‘s country home, and, like Headley Grange, with the Rolling Stones‘ recording truck. “The Song Remains The Same” was played on a Fender 12 string, the same one used on “Beck’s Bolero,” with my trusty Les Paul number 1 on overdubs in a standard turning.
“The Rain Song” was an unorthodox tuning on acoustic and electric guitars. On live shows, it became a work-out feature for the double neck.
Jimmy Page told us he’s still confused as to why some fans believe that Houses Of The Holy was the first time he layered his guitars on a Led Zeppelin album: “Well, to be honest with you, I thought the way the guitars were layered on the first album was a clue to, I mean, if the band was gonna get past the first album, how I was intending to portray the guitar — or the recorded guitar — on the second album? Y’know, ’cause that’s got something. . . like ‘Ramble On’ has got layered guitars to it. I’ve heard this before about. . . this quote about, ‘Oh, that’s when the guitars get layered,’ or something, on Houses Of The Holy. It’s inaccurate and I don’t know where it comes from.”