80.4 MB

Using Vinyl LP as the source media, this is a remastering of “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zeppelin. It appears on the album HOUSES OF THE HOLY.

I’ve been working on this album for about a year I think, and it’s been decided listening to it in multiple media formats, that really the best representation of it is on Vinyl LP.

Numerous reasons why this is so:

A) Various CD versions meld certain frequencies into one “tone”, which makes the solo section of this song in particular harder to separate and define, because John Paul Jones’s Bass Guitar comes in very strong in that section, and it’s difficult to get him to back down without losing bass frequencies needed for John Bonham.

B) If I was a super-uber Led Zeppelin fan, I would hunt down the FIRST version of this album rendered to CD, which came out in 1985, just to see if it included the white noise hum that accompanies “No Quarter” throughout the song, the “crackle” that happens on Jimmy Page’s solo during “The Ocean” and various other issues found on later CD releases. But that first version isn’t cheap to find, and I’m not that super-uber about Zep. I liked John Paul Jones.

As said, Vinyl LP is probably the best way to go with Houses of the Holy, but it also brings up some mixing issues that I find hard to understand, especially for 1973. There’s some odd decisions that happen on this album, and very much so with John Bonham’s kit and where it appears in the stereo image. It’s all recorded well, but I just find it strange that his snare would appear all the way over to the left (HEADPHONES) but the rest of his kit would be spread out across the mix. Sometimes he appears completely contained into one spot, the entire kit. Other times .. I don’t know. There’s some odd mixing decisions.

One of those appears coming out of that solo section in “Over the Hills and Far Away” into what is… I don’t know, a verse? Does this song have verses and choruses?? Not really if you think about it. But in that solo section, they put kind of a slapback reverb on his kit entire, which beefs up the whole section, and as said John Paul Jones comes in a lot stronger, but it’s easier to deal with on an LP because the tones get spread out more evenly. But coming out of that solo section, they drop the reverb before the “verse(???)” comes back in again, and it’s such a clear edit it’s a little bit jarring.

I’m not sure why they just didn’t wait until the entire solo section was complete, then dry Bonham out again as they came back in.

I don’t know. Houses of the Holy, it’s an oddly mixed album. Probably why it’s taken a year to really get to grips with some of it, and I feel there’s more gripping to be done. (“No Quarter” and “The Ocean” are difficult.)