In Through the Out Door -- Led Zeppelin, September 15, 1979
Swan Song 16002
Producer: Jimmy Page
Track listing: In the Evening / South Bound Saurez / Fool in the Rain / Hot Dog / Carouselambra / All of My Love / I'm Gonna Crawl
September 15, 1979
Following the success of Presence, Led Zeppelin's long-awaited concert film/live album The Song Remains the Same was released. Although neither the band nor its fans were particularly pleased with the film and soundtrack, the album reached number two in November 1976. However, the two-record set was unable to knock Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life from the top spot.
On July 27, 1977, Plant's five-year-old son died of a stomach infection. A devastated Plant remained in seclusion for nearly a year, forcing the cancellation of the second leg of an American tour. When the band finally began working on its eighth and final studio album, their sound was altered dramatically. With guitarist/producer Jimmy Page battling a drug problem, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones rose to the forefront, with writing credits on six of the album's seven songs.
"I had gotten a brand new keyboard, a big Yamaha," says Jones. "Basically, Robert and I got to rehearsals first and by the time Jimmy turned up, we had written a number of songs."
The party atmosphere that had characterized the recording of the band's previous albums no longer existed. Like on Presence, the band opted for a traditional recording studio rather than a mansion. This time, they chose Abba's Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. "It seemed to be continually nighttime in Stockholm," says Jones. "The sun was out for maybe three hours a day, so if you got up late you'd miss all the daylight, and it was really cold. So we were kind of lethargic."
The change in the band's sound was a natural evolution, Jones says. "Technology was beginning to advance more and we were beginning to use it more," Jones says. "We used synthesizers on some of the early records; it just got more interesting."
"Fool in the Rain" is one of Jones's favorite tracks from the album. "I really liked the Latin influences on that song and that whole sort of swing style," he says. "'In the Evening' was quite an epic track. I wrote it all on this huge keyboard, and when I played keyboard I played bass as well with the foot pedals, so out of guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums, I was playing two of them."
By this point Led Zeppelin had become one of the most obvious targets of the punk rock movement. Nonetheless, the members of the band liked what they heard and were influenced by their young rivals. "We were quite excited by the energy of punk," says Jones. "So we had begun to tighten up a bit. There was a period when our things were a little longer and perhaps a little more overblown, but then punk kicked everybody up the ass a little bit, and what we were doing needed stripping down a bit."
Even with the change in the musical climate and the alteration of the Zeppelin sound, In Through the Out Door didn't disappoint. The album, which was released in a brown paper bag with six different covers, became Led Zeppelin's sixth and final Number One album in its second week on the chart.
On September 25, 1980, while the band was rehearsing for a long-awaited U.S. tour, drummer John Bonham was found dead in his bed after an afternoon of heavy drinking. In December, Led Zeppelin announced that it was officially calling it quits.
THE TOP FIVE
Week of September 15, 1979
1. In Through the Out, Door Led Zeppelin
2. Get the Knack, The Knack
3. Candy-O, The Cars
4. Breakfast in America, Supertramp
5. Million Mile Reflections, Charlie Daniels Band
Here's the mighty Led Zep performing "In the Evening" and "Hot Dog" from In Through the Out Door live at Knebworth in 1979.