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Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
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Led Zeppelin had eight new songs or so - enough for a cool album, but too many minutes in running time to fit on a single vinyl album. They didn't want to lose any of the songs they had, so took another solution. The initial idea was to include live material alongside the already recorded studio tracks. In the end Jimmy Page dug into the Zeppelin archives and took out songs left off the second, third, forth and fifth Leppelin albums - and put those on 'Physical Graffiti' as well. The result of this action is the feeling that 'Physical Graffiti' does absolutely everything, shows absolutely everything - that Led Zeppelin ever were. By the way, the album title comes partly from the effort the group took in piecing this album together. Overdubs were added where necessary and all fifteen tracks then mixed by Jimmy Page. The first two sides, songs one through to six, are Zeppelin perfection for me. The best two sides they ever put out. 'Custard Pie' carried on from the sound of the more 'usual' Zeppelin songs from 'Houses Of The Holy' - but my god is the riff good. The feel of the song is so damn sexy and fucking beautiful! More cool riffs arrive all the way through 'The Rover', fantastic guitar actually - Jimmy Page on the top of his game. An eleven minute blues workout for 'In My Time Of Dying', the definitive Zeppelin blues workout for my money. Not that I have very much money, but that doesn't matter... Ah! The sound of the drums, the actual SOUND of the drums! Just so damn good. Bass drum to the fore, so very heavy. Also, giving away the fact that songs were taken from 'elsewhere', we have 'Houses Of The Holy'. It was an out-take or something? As I said, overdubs were added. This sounds better than a good half of the 'Houses Of The Holy' album, why the hell wasn't it on that album, already?? No matter.

Diversification? To their credit, and the 'Houses Of The Holy' album amply demonstrated this, Led Zeppelin tried, they really did. Hence the magnificence of the funk influenced 'Trampled Underfoot'. These guys were on fire, absolutely. As for Robert Plant, apparently his voice was shot from all those years of touring and he had to learn a different method of projecting his vocals. Judging by the damn sexy performance he gives all through 'Trampled Underfoot', with it's wacky, funky keyboard sounds - he more than succeeded. I'm only upto track five. Track six is only fucking 'Kashmir', for fucks sake!! More 'epic' than 'Stairway To Heaven', more magnificent sounding than anything else they'd done - and the bass drum sound is diamond and gold and heavy as all HEAVY you can imagine. Imagine the heaviest thing? This is heavier, oh yes! Amidst all that, we've got keyboard/string type things, classical stuff going on. Robert Plant moaning all sexually. Not that I actually FIND him sexy - he's utterly hideous to a hot heterosexual stud like me - but you get the idea. Make love to this song! It lasts for eight and a half minutes!!

'Bron Yr Aur' is a nice interlude, pretty folk acoustic stuff from Jimmy. There's more epic stuff with 'In The Light', more RIFFS AND HEAVINESS  with 'The Wanton Song'. A couple of bits of near filler, although the likes of 'Down By The Seaside' and 'Ten Years Gone' are both pretty damn fine in my book. They fit, adding to the epic, absolutely everything nature of this 'Physical Graffiti' album. 'Boogie With Stu' sounds just like it's title suggests, it's a plain old rock n roll boogie - but fun. You know, IT IS fun. Robert Plant sounds utterly daft, and that's fun - hugely enjoyable stuff. 'Black Country Woman' is a weird semi-acoustic thing, very eccentric and filler - but for the fact this album REQUIRES such songs. Fifteen songs lasting an hour and a half all EPIC and ALL HEAVY would be silly, wouldn't it? These pieces of 'filler' such as 'Black Country Woman' actually add to the overall whole, even though it's readily apparent such songs ( and, there's not that many of them here ) wouldn't stand well on their own. Still, the closing 'Sick Again' is as heavy and magnificent as anybody could wish it to be. Jimmy Page goes supernova. It's exhausting just listening to this album. Heaven knows where Led Zeppelin even thought they could go next....

Custard Pie / The Rover / In My Time Of Dying / Houses Of The Holy / Trampled Underfoot / Kashmir / In The Light / Bron Yr Aur / Down By The Seaside / Ten Years Gone / Night Flight / The Wanton Song / Boogie With Stu / Black Country Woman / Sick Again

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