In Through the Out Door is the eighth studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin before John Bonham died and the group disbanded in 1980. 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 Through the Out Door was the band's sixth and final release to reach the top of the charts in America.
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. Two songs from the album — "South Bound Saurez" and "All My Love" — were the only two original Led Zeppelin songs which Jimmy Page had no part in writing. With the exception of "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 recorded at Polar Studios. 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. 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. As Jones said:
There were two distinct camps by then, and we [myself and Plant] were in the relatively clean one.
Both Page and Bonham later expressed reservations about the album. In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1998, Page stated that he and Bonham:
...both felt that In Through the Out Door was a little soft. I wasn't really keen on "All My Love". I was a little worried about the chorus. I could just imagine people doing the wave and all of that. And I thought, that's not us. That's not us. In its place it was fine, but I wouldn't have wanted to pursue that direction in the future.
The original gramophone record of this album featured an unusual gimmick: the album had an outer sleeve which was made to look like a plain brown paper bag, and the inner sleeve featured black and white line artwork which, if washed with a wet brush, would become permanently fully colored. 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. (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.) 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 album artwork was designed by Hipgnosis. In 1980 the album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best album package.
The album was intended to be released prior to the band's twin concerts at Knebworth in 1979, but delays meant that it was released shortly after their performances at this event. Plant jokingly referred to the delays at times during the performance on August 4.
The album went to #1 on Billboard's charts in its first week of release — a first for a rock band. As a result on this album's release, Led Zeppelin's entire catalogue made the Billboard Top 200 between the weeks of October 27 and November 3, 1979. The album has sold six million copies in the US to date.
CD Mastering engineers
|1979||Billboard Pop Albums (Billboard 200)||1 (7 weeks)|
|1980||"Fool In the Rain"||Billboard Pop Singles (Billboard Hot 100)||21|
|RIAA (U.S.)||6x Platinum||6,000,000|
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