In Through the Out Door

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In Through the Out Door
Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door.jpg
Studio album by Led Zeppelin
Released 15 August 1979 (1979-08-15)
Recorded November–December 1978
Studio Polar, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre
Length 42:25
Label Swan Song
Producer Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin chronology
The Song Remains the Same
(1976)
In Through the Out Door
(1979)
Coda
(1982)
Singles from In Through the Out Door
  1. "Fool in the Rain/Hot Dog"
    Released: 7 December 1979

In Through the Out Door is the eighth and final studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded over a three-week period in November and December 1978 at ABBA's Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, and released by Swan Song Records on 15 August 1979. In 1980, the band's drummer John Bonham died, and they disbanded soon after.

The album is a reflection of the personal turmoil that the band members had been going through before and during its recording. Frontman Robert Plant and his wife had gone through a serious car accident, and their young son, Karac Plant, died from a stomach illness. All four band members also felt weary of dealing with record companies and other associates.

The release became a huge commercial success, particularly in the United States (sitting at the No. 1 slot on Billboard's chart in just its second week on the chart). In Through the Out Door was the band's sixth studio album and seventh overall (including one live album) to reach the top of the charts in America.

Background

The album was named by the group to describe its recent struggles amidst the death of Robert Plant's son Karac in 1977,[1] and the taxation exile the band took from the UK. The exile resulted in the band being unable to tour on British soil for over two years, and trying to get back into the public mind was therefore like "trying to get in through the 'out' door".[2]

The group began rehearsing material in September 1978, and after six weeks they were ready to record material. The group travelled to Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden to begin recording.[3] In contrast to previous Led Zeppelin albums, In Through the Out Door features much greater influence on the part of bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones and vocalist Robert Plant, and relatively less from drummer John Bonham and guitarist Jimmy Page. This diminished input by Page and Bonham is attributed to the two band members often not showing up on time at the recording studio, with Bonham struggling with alcoholism and Page battling heroin addiction.[4] Jones later said, "there were two distinct camps by then, and we [Plant and I] were in the relatively clean one."[5] Many of the songs were consequently put together by Plant and Jones during the day, with Page and Bonham adding their parts late at night.[6] Jones had also been inspired to create new material after purchasing a Yamaha GX-1 synthesizer prior to the album's record, and he was "working closely with Robert, which was something that had not happened before".[7]

Following the recording sessions at Polar, the album was mixed at Page's personal studio at his home in Plumpton.[2] "Wearing and Tearing", "Ozone Baby" and "Darlene" were recorded during sessions for this album, but were dropped because of space constraints. All later appeared on Coda.[8]

Songs

The music on In Through the Out Door was dominated by Jones. Two songs from the album—"South Bound Saurez" and "All My Love"—were the only two original Led Zeppelin songs that Page had no part in writing.[9] Aside from "Darlene", a boogie-woogie based song credited to all band members (which was eventually released on the 1982 album, Coda), Bonham did not receive writing credits for any of the songs.[8]

Side one

"In The Evening" was planned as the opening track for the album as "a full-blown epic", in order to show that Led Zeppelin could still make good music.[10] Page played the guitar with a violin bow, as he had done in the early days of the band. The track features a contrast between the powerful riffs in the main part of the track, against a relatively quiet middle section.[9]

"South Bound Suarez" was a straightforward rocker. Jones played piano on the track.[11]

"Fool in the Rain" was an attempt to combine a samba rhythm with a basic rock tune, resulting in a polyrhythm part way through the song. The idea was inspired by Plant explaining that the group must explore new musical territory in order to remain current.[9]

"Hot Dog" was a rockabilly inspired track, that came out of initial rehearsals, where the group warmed up by playing a series of old Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson covers. It was played live at the 1979 and 1980 shows.[12]

Side two

"Carouselambra" is a ten-minute track, dominated by Jones' keyboards and covering a variety of musical styles. Page played his Gibson EDS-1275 double neck guitar, which was normally only used for live performances. The group had intended to play the song live for the planned 1980 US tour, which was cancelled after Bonham's death.[13]

"All My Love" was a love song composed by Plant and Jones when they were the first to arrive at the studio. Jones played a classically inspired synthesizer solo in the middle of the track.[13]

"I'm Gonna Crawl" was a relaxed blues. Plant arranged the track to be in the style of mid-1960s soul music such as Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. Jones contributed a string synthesizer arrangement.[13]

Packaging and artwork

The original album featured an unusual gimmick: the album had an outer sleeve which was made to look like a plain brown paper bag (reminiscent of similarly packaged bootleg album sleeves with the title rubber-stamped on it), and the inner sleeve featured black and white line artwork which, if washed with water, would become permanently fully coloured. There were also six different sleeves featuring a different pair of photos (one on each side), and the external brown paper sleeve meant that it was impossible for record buyers to tell which sleeve they were getting.[9][a] The pictures all depicted the same scene in a bar (in which a man burns a Dear John letter), and each photo was taken from the separate point of view of someone who appeared in the other photos. The walls are covered with thousands of yellowed business cards and dollar bills.[citation needed] The photo session in a London studio was meant to look like a re-creation of the Old Absinthe House, in New Orleans, Louisiana.[9]

The album artwork was designed by Hipgnosis' Storm Thorgerson. [14] In 1980, Hipgnosis were nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Album Package for In Through the Out Door.[15]

Release and promotion

The album was intended to be released before the band's twin concerts at Knebworth in 1979, but production delays meant that it was released shortly after their performances at this event, on 20 August.[9] Plant jokingly referred to the delays at times during the performance on 4 August.

The album went to No. 1 on Billboard's chart in its second week on the chart, reportedly selling 1.7 million copies within days of release.[16] On this album's release, Led Zeppelin's entire catalogue made the Billboard 200 between the weeks of 23 October and 3 November 1979, an unprecedented feat, topping their own record in 1975, when all their albums up to Physical Graffiti were on the chart.[9] The album remained on the US top spot for seven weeks and sold three million copies by the end of September 1979.[17] It was credited with helping to revive the US record industry, which had begun to struggle.[9] In January 1980, "Fool in the Rain" was released as a single to further promote the album, but it narrowly missed the top 20 of the singles chart.[9]

In Through the Out Door is the Led Zeppelin album that has spent the most weeks on the top of the charts (tied along with Led Zeppelin II). To date, the album has sold six million copies in the US.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[18]
The Daily Telegraph 1/5 stars[19]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[20]
MusicHound Rock 4/5[21]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[22]
Smash Hits 7/10[23]
The Village Voice B+[24]

In Through the Out Door divided contemporary critics and Led Zeppelin fans; some found its synthesizer-influenced music inevitable but forward-thinking while others felt the band had forsaken their heavy, fast sound.[25] According to Jimmy Page biographer Martin Power, "predictably, in the wake of punk, In Through the Out Door received a rough ride from some critics, with Zep's veteran status in the music business now used as a stick with which to beat them."[26]

Reviewing the album in Rolling Stone, Charles M. Young said Page's diminishing creativity resulted in little good material to work with for Plant, whose lyrics Young found inane, and Bonham, whose drumming was viewed as heavy handed. This brought to the forefront the keyboard playing of Jones, who Young said "functions best behind Page, not in front of him".[27] Chris Bohn from Melody Maker said "the impressionable first play" of the record "had everyone in the office rolling around laughing", while accusing the band of being "totally out of touch" and "displaying the first intimations of mortality". By contrast, NME journalist Nick Kent argued that the album was "no epitaph", believing its "potential points of departure" deserved further listening.[26] Robert Christgau also wrote positively of the record in The Village Voice, observing the usual "lax in the lyrics department", but regarding the album as the group's best since Houses of the Holy (1973). He said "the tuneful synthesizer pomp on side two confirms my long-held belief that this is a real good art-rock band", while "the lollapalooza hooks on the first side confirms the world's long-held belief that this is a real good hard rock band".[24] At the end of the year, In Through the Out Door was nominated for the 1980 American Music Awards, in the category of "Favorite Pop/Rock Album".[28]

Following the album's release, Plant, Page and Bonham all expressed reservations about the record. Plant later said that he enjoyed the variation in styles from previous albums, though he appreciated the album was "a bit sanitised".[29] Page said in 2004, "we wanted, after In Through the Out Door, to make something hard-hitting and riff-based again. Of course, we never got to make that album."[30] He is also quoted as saying, "It wasn't the most comfortable album. I think it was very transitional ... a springboard for what could have been.[31] In Through the Out Door was Led Zeppelin's final album to be released while all the original members were still living. Drummer John Bonham died the next year on 25 September 1980.

In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Gaylord Fields said the album was "maligned upon its release a retreat from heaviness" but "now stands as an art-rock oddity with some alluring tangents".[22] Colin Larkin appraised it in his Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2006) as "lacking the definition" of the band's previous records, yet "a strong collection on which John Paul Jones emerged as the unifying factor".[20] Neil McCormick, however, reinforced past complaints about the album, ranking it as the band's worst album in a 2014 retrospective on the band in The Daily Telegraph: "Muddy production, perky synths, jaunty pop rhythms and an orchestral ballad make these songs barely recognisable as the heaviest band in history."[19]

2015 reissue

2015 reissue ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 73/100[32]
Review scores
Source Rating
Classic Rock 7/10[33]
Pitchfork 8.0/10[34]
PopMatters 5/10[35]
Q 4/5 stars[36]

A remastered version of In Through the Out Door, along with Presence and Coda were reissued on 31 July 2015. The reissue comes in six formats: a standard CD edition, a deluxe two-CD edition, a standard LP version, a deluxe two-LP version, a super deluxe two-CD plus two-LP version with a hardback book, and as high resolution 96k/24-bit digital downloads. The deluxe and super deluxe editions feature bonus material containing alternative takes and previously unreleased songs, "Southbound Piano", "The Epic", "The Hook", and "Blot". The reissue was released with a black and white version of the original album's artwork as its bonus disc's cover.[37] A replica of the brown bag and the colourable line drawing are included in this edition.

The reissue was met with generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 73, based on eight reviews.[32] Q magazine said "it's aged remarkably well and All My Love is breathtakingly beautiful",[36] while Tim Batcup from Classic Rock observed in the bonus material "a scruffier, rambunctious Hot Dog and a sparser In The Evening, the drone intro truncated and Jones's synths high in the mix".[33] PopMatters reviewer Andrew Doscas was more critical, especially of the bonus disc: "While In Through the Out Door does have some merit, it's cruel of Led Zeppelin to think that anyone, even a dedicated fan, could muster the strength to listen to the album twice in a row."[35]

Track listing

All tracks written by John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, except where noted.

Standard edition

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "In the Evening"   6:53
2. "South Bound Suarez"
  • Jones
  • Plant
4:13
3. "Fool in the Rain"   6:10
4. "Hot Dog"
  • Page
  • Plant
3:18
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Carouselambra"   10:34
6. "All My Love"
  • Jones
  • Plant
5:53
7. "I'm Gonna Crawl"   5:29

Deluxe edition bonus disc

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "In the Evening" (Rough mix)   6:54
2. "Southbound Piano" ("South Bound Suarez") (Rough mix)
  • Jones
  • Plant
4:14
3. "Fool in the Rain" (Rough mix)   6:13
4. "Hot Dog" (Rough mix)
  • Page
  • Plant
3:17
5. "The Epic" ("Carouselambra") (Rough mix)   10:48
6. "The Hook" ("All My Love") (Rough mix)
  • Jones
  • Plant
5:52
7. "Blot" ("I'm Gonna Crawl") (Rough mix)   5:31
Total length: 42:49

Personnel

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (1979–80) Peak position
Australian KMR Albums Chart[citation needed] 3
Austrian Albums Chart[38] 15
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[39] 1
French Albums Chart[40] 7
Italian Albums Chart[41] 12
Japanese Albums Chart[42] 2
New Zealand Top 50 Albums Chart[43] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[44] 14
Spanish Albums Chart[45] 5
Swedish Albums Chart[46] 17
UK Albums Chart[47] 1
US Billboard 200[48] 1
West German Albums Chart[49] 28
Chart (2015) Peak position
Swiss Albums Chart[50] 17

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1980 "Fool in the Rain" Billboard Hot 100 21[51]

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[52] Gold 30,000^
Australia (ARIA)[53] 2× Platinum 140,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[55] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References

Notes

  1. ^ There is actually a code on the spine of the album jacket which indicated which sleeve it was—this could sometimes be seen while the record was still sealed

Citations

  1. ^ Lewis 1990, p. 59.
  2. ^ a b Dave Lewis (2003), Led Zeppelin: Celebration II: The 'Tight But Loose' Files, London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-056-4, pp. 49, 63, 80.
  3. ^ Lewis 1990, p. 22.
  4. ^ Aizelwood, John (2003). "Closing Time". Q Magazine, Special Led Zeppelin edition: 94..
  5. ^ Gilmore, Mikal (10 August 2006). "The Long Shadow of Led Zeppelin". Rolling Stone (1006). Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  6. ^ Snow, Mat (December 2007). "The Secret Life of a Superstar". Mojo magazine.
  7. ^ Brad Tolinski and Greg Di Bendetto, "Light and Shade", Guitar World, January 1998.
  8. ^ a b Lewis 1990, p. 62.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lewis 1990, p. 60.
  10. ^ Lewis 1990, p. 23.
  11. ^ Lewis 1990, pp. 23, 60.
  12. ^ Lewis 1990, pp. 60–61.
  13. ^ a b c Lewis 1990, p. 61.
  14. ^ Thorgerson, Storm (1999). Eye of the Storm: The Album Graphics of Storm Thorgerson. pp. 34, 35. ISBN 978-1-86074-259-0.
  15. ^ "Grammy Award for Best Album Package (Hipgnosis) – 27 February 1980". Grammy. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  16. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2, illustrated ed.). Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 0-214-20480-4.
  17. ^ Welch 1994, pp. 89-90.
  18. ^ AllMusic review
  19. ^ a b McCormick, Neil (23 April 2014). "Led Zeppelin's albums ranked from worst to best". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  20. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 5 (4th ed.). MUZE. p. 141. ISBN 0195313739.
  21. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 662. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  22. ^ a b Fields, Gaylord (2004). "Led Zeppelin". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 479–80. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  23. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (20 September – 3 October 1979): 25.
  24. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (31 March 1980). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  25. ^ Akkerman, Gregg (2014). Experiencing Led Zeppelin: A Listener's Companion. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 113. ISBN 0810889161.
  26. ^ a b Power, Martin (2016). "Chapter 27: Wearing and Tearing". No Quarter: The Three Lives of Jimmy Page. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1783235365.
  27. ^ Young, Charles M. (18 October 1979). "In Through The Out Door". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  28. ^ "Favorite Pop/Rock Album – 18 January 1980". rockonthenet. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  29. ^ Mat Snow, "Apocalypse Then", Q magazine, December 1990, p. 82.
  30. ^ Charles Shaar Murray, "The Guv'nors'", Mojo, August 2004, p. 75.
  31. ^ Liner notes for the Led Zeppelin boxed set.
  32. ^ a b "In Through The Out Door [Remastered] - Led Zeppelin". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  33. ^ a b Batcup, Tim (August 2015). "Led Zeppelin Presence / In Through The Out Door / Coda". Classic Rock. pp. 102–03.
  34. ^ Richardson, Mark (28 July 2015). "Led Zeppelin: Presence / In Through the Out Door / Coda". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  35. ^ a b Doscas, Andrew (22 September 2015). "Led Zeppelin: In Through the Out Door (Deluxe Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  36. ^ a b Anon. (September 2015). "Review". Q. p. 121.
  37. ^ Grow, Kory (3 June 2015). "Led Zeppelin Announce Final Three Deluxe Reissues". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  38. ^ "Top 75 Albums – 15 October 1979". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  39. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 32, No. 6, November 3, 1979". RPM. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  40. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 1979". infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  41. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 1979". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  42. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 25 August 1979". Oricon. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  43. ^ Scapolo, Dean (2007). "Top 50 Albums – November 1979". The Complete New Zealand Music Charts (1st ed.). Wellington: Transpress. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8.
  44. ^ "Top 20 Albums – 16 September 1979". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  45. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 15 December 1979". PROMUSICAE. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  46. ^ "Top 60 Albums – 7 September 1979". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  47. ^ "Top 100 Albums – 8 September 1979". chartstats.com. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  48. ^ "The Billboard 200 – 15 September 1979". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2009. [dead link]
  49. ^ "Top 100 Albums – November 1979". charts-surfer.de. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  50. ^ "Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  51. ^ [1] Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  52. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Led Zeppelin – In Through the Out Door". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers.
  53. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  54. ^ "British album certifications – Led Zeppelin – In Through the Out Door". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type In Through the Out Door in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  55. ^ "American album certifications – Led Zeppelin – In Through the Out Door". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

Sources

External links

  • In Through the Out Door at MusicBrainz (list of releases)
  • Images of the six covers
  • Storm Thorgerson's official website – includes an In Through The Out Door feature
  • Rick Barrett In Through The Out Door Album Covers

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