No Quarter is a song written by John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant. It’s the 3rd track on side two of Houses of the Holy, which was released March 28, 1972. The title arises from the military practice of showing no mercy to a conquered opponent and the act of not asking for mercy when conquered.
An attempt to include No Quarter in Led Zeppelin IV was abandoned. John Paul Jones added synthesizers as well as acoustic and electric piano. No Quarter became a live favourite and was performed at every show from 1973 to 1979. Starting in 1975 Jones would frequently play a short piano concerto.
In Eddie Kramer’s Guide to Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, written by Mick Wall, producer Eddie Kramer had this to say about No Quarter:
“This was the album where Jonesy really came into his own, and this is the track that proves it. I wasn’t there when they finally recorded it, but they had demo versions of it going back a few years. It really demonstrates that Led Zeppelin could do anything they turned their minds to now – and do it better than anybody else.
They were able to really stretch out now and experiment, which allowed the space for Jonesy to come in and do his thing on the arrangements. It wasn’t just his brilliance as a keyboard player or even a writer, it was also the subtlety of his arrangements, and the economy of notes that made this track such a powerful statement. Genius.”
Sources: Louder Sound and Wikipedia
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