“No Quarter” by Led Zeppelin

The lyrics of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” are very non-specific and as such have led to all types of creative interpretations. But what it seems like the vocalist is referring to, most simply put, is a ferocious, merciless army. In that regard, Led Zeppelin seems to have been in part influenced by the Vikings of old, a historical group of warriors who also served as partial inspiration for some of their other tracks, such as “Immigrant Song“, which also came out during the early 1970s. But to reiterate, the lyrics are so open that can be applied to any such entity, i.e. a fearsome military unit who intends to show “no quarter” to those who may get in their path.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Led Zeppelin's No Quarter at Lyrics.org.
Lyrics for "No Quarter" by Led Zeppelin

When did Led Zeppelin release “No Quarter”?

“No Quarter” was launched on March 28 of 1973, as part of Led Zeppelin’s project “Houses of the Holy”. This project is the fifth studio album of the English rock group.


“No Quarter” was authored by three members of Led Zeppelin including the group’s guitarist Jimmy Page, who was also responsible for producing the song and its entire album. The track’s other two writers are:

  • John Paul Jones
  • Robert Plant

Popular Covers of “No Quarter”

This is one of several Led Zeppelin songs that have been extensively covered. Notable cover versions have been done by the following artists:

  • Crowbar (in 1993)
  • Kasia Kowalska (in 1994)
  • Tool (in 2000)
  • Ayreon (in 2004)

The “Houses of the Holy” Album

“Houses of the Holy” was put out by Atlantic Records. It was promoted by singles “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “D’yer Mak’er”, with the former being the project’s lead single. Both singles were issued in 1973 on May 24 and September 17, respectively. To note, these singles were backed by the songs, “Dancing Days” and “The Crunge”.

This album proved to be a major success for Led Zeppelin. It reached #1 on the album charts in many countries. This includes the UK, the US, and Canada. In addition, this project landed inside the top-10 of the national album charts. Some of them include:

  • Finland
  • Australia
  • France
  • Japan
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Spain

By 1999, the album had registered more than 10 million copies in sales in the US and was certified Diamond by the RIAA. It was certified 2-times Platinum in Australia and Platinum in the UK.

“Houses of the Holy” has been included on several editions of Rolling Stone’s famous list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. For instance, in 2003 and 2012, the magazine ranked it at #149 and #148, respectively on the said list. It also appeared, at #278, on the 2020 edition of the magazine’s list.

British magazine Classic Rock included this album, at #90, on their 2006 compilation of “100 Greatest British Rock Album Ever”.

In 1974, this project received a nomination at the Grammys. It was shortlisted for the award of “Best Recording Package” but lost to “Tommy”, a project by London Symphony Orchestra.

No Quarter

2 Responses

  1. David says:

    ’But to reiterate, the lyrics are so open that can be applied to any such entity, i.e. a fearsome military unit who intends to show “no quarter” to those who may get in their way.’

    I interpret this the other way around, that they won’t ask for mercy for themselves if captured. ”They ask no quarter, they want no quarter, they need no quarter.”

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