Rochmon Record Club: Led Zeppelin “Houses of the Holy”

Rochmon Record Club is back on Tuesday, July 17 at 7 pm for Led Zeppelin “Houses of the Holy”!

Led Zeppelin had reached the top of their talents with the release of their previous album, “Led Zeppelin IV”. The epoch “Stairway to Heaven” stands as one of the iconic songs in the history of Classic Rock. Led Zeppelin didn’t seek to duplicate their success. They pushed forward and exceeded all expectations with an album that outshines every other album in their catalog. “Houses of the Holy” stands as a testament to what some refer to as “The Greatest Band Ever”.

Rochmon himself, aka Chuck Vosganian, explains his history with the album.

Do you remember when this album came out? What do you remember about it?
I remember driving to Mother’s Music in Patchogue, the day it was released, buying the record, going home and listening to it on my parent’s stereo (sitting on the couch in the sweet spot). I skipped school the next day and listening to it 4 or 5 times with my friends at Jimmy Federico’s house in Center Moriches. His mom had a big old console stereo and she worked during the day. I still have that record.

When researching this album, what was one thing you found out about it that really surprised you?
The same thing that always surprises me when I “dig in” to a record from my youth. It’s hard to explain because I’ve listened to “Houses of the Holy” hundreds of times on various formats. When I write a Rochmon Record Club, I live with the album, listening over and over, searching web, getting pictures of the bands and players, live and candid shots. It’s a total immersion. So the one thing that always gets me is the depth of emotion and connection I have with the music. Some of this sounds cliche, but it’s honest. I smell the smells and feel the feelings that 16 year-old me was feeling, all filtered through an extra 45 years of living. It’s a rare writing of a Rochmon Record Club that I’m not pumping my fists, playing air guitar, laughing my head off or reduced to tears. Sometimes all at once.

What is your favorite song on this album?
“The Ocean”! Robert Plant’s “kiss on the forehead” to his daughter, Carmen, “Now I’m singing all my songs to the girl who won my heart. She is only three years old and it’s a real fine way to start” sung over Bonzo’s monster beat driving Page and Jones’ epic riff. The center acapella section slays me every time and when they go into the swing feel at the end you can hear the band smile! Awesomely fun, unbelievably powerful. “The Ocean” is the last song on the album and what a closer it is. 

Why should this be listened to on vinyl?
Full disclosure, I listen to music on any format available, often the easiest is digital or streaming. It’s the future after all. However, I listen in these formats as if it’s vinyl. In other words, I don’t create a playlist and only include the “good” songs. I listen to the entire album, front to back the way it was intended to be listened to by the artists who created it. So, while my preferred format is vinyl because it sounds better and it’s real, the music is pretty much all there. A vinyl record exists in the real world. A vinyl record comes with a 12″x12″ piece of printed art which includes all kinds of information, pictures, lyrics and original artwork. Music which transcends the virtual world can touch me in ways that streaming and digital downloads cannot. Imagine if you would taking just Mona Lisa’s smile and looking at it without the rest of Da Vinci’s painting. Just the smile, nothing else. We all pretty much agree the smile is the focal point of the painting, but without the rest of her face? Without her gently folded hands, her eyes, the river and the roads in the background? Who cares? Nice lips. That’s why I listen like everything is a record. It’s where the heart is.