February 28, 2010

Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti

For those who dont know Led Zeppelin, (and I cant imagine anyone who doesn't) their 6th album, would be a great place to start. From side 1, song 1, Custard Pie to side 4, song 5, Sick Again you will find a veritable musical history of this great band. Given the luxury of a double album format, Physical Graffiti mirrors every facet of the Zeppelin repertoire.

Although the album was released in February of 1975, many of the songs were recorded and written much earlier. Many of the songs that just missed the cut on earlier albums were gathered for a tour de force album.

Personally for me, it was released in my senior year of high school and while I listened to their earlier albums, this one hooked me and reeled me in and never let me go. It cut a smoke-filled swath through many a joy ride in the country. I still listen to the entire album on a regular basis.

I have seen too many cover bands to mention, aspiring to the bands greatness, but I am going to include a special video now of a cover band (don't know their name) who do a great version of Custard Pie.

From the hard-driving beat of the last song to this one harkening back to their Led Zeppelin III album.

It was also a unique album package with the cover of a building tenement in New York City. The insert slid in and spelled out the name of the album through the windows. The inner covers depict various objects and people including Robert Plant in drag. This was also their first album released on their own Swan Song Records.

The album soon reached number 1 on the Billboard charts and was the first album ever to go platinum on advance orders. After its release, all of their previous albums re-entered the top 2oo album chart. Arguably the most desired song from this album is the following, with its far eastern roots and its Bonham and Jones driven back-beat.

While I agree the earlier Zeppelin albums call to their roots and influence, this album rushes over you at their most creative and expressive ever! To close this post I can not go without including my favorite song. I believe this one represents all of what they were and how they played off of each other so well.



Barbara said...

One of my favorite Zeppelin albums. One of about four favorites :)

When I look at the cover, I can hear the music start playing in my head and I am transported back to my sister's bedroom, lying on the floor near the turntable so I could flip it over when needed. We really did stop and listen back then....music on the go was not as popular. I need more of that today.

Rockin' Jeff said...

I bought this on vinyl at K-Mart when i was about 12 years old. I still have that same copy.

Sean Coleman said...

This is the last truly phenomenal Zep disc. Even their cutting room floor stuff was worthy of a thousand listens. I'll bet that we all have given this one at least that many spins.

Presence and In Through the Out Door are too uneven to be in the same class with the other LPs.

JohnnyG's Blues said...

Good collection of videos. To not know who Zeppelin is ranks right up there with not knowing who Mozart is. Their music and influence will last for generations to come.

How many songs from the 60s and 70s do you hear and say "wait, who was that?". Bet you never do it with any Zeppelin tune. Ever.

Dan said...

Barbara: I can just see you young giggling girls fawning over your Robert Plant poster with his skin tight jeans and of course listening to every word. LOL
You are right though, not everyone had a good stereo in their vehicle like all cars come equipped with today. I happen to have the latest Panasonic Super Tuner with an excellent cassette player (a very good stereo back then). It was an auto reverse so you never had to eject it and put it back in to play the other side.

Jeff: That old copy is probably worth some money. Do you still spin it? How does it sound?

Sean: I totally agree with you. I cant beleive Houses of the Holy didnt make its own namesake album.

Johnny: I agree that most anyone who listens to music much will know Zeppelin when they hear it although my girlfriend does not so that is why I mentioned that. She reads my blogging so this is to encourage her on where to start with them.

Dan said...

Barbara: The only problem was I had to have both a cassette for the car and an album for home as I didnt have a cassette player in the house. Bummer! I still have my vinyl. It is hanging on my office wall in a frame.

riffraf music blog said...

i used to work in this record store that sold vinyl. one day, a couple of girls were checking out the records. they asked me if i thought "physical grattiti" was any good. i told them that i would play it for them, not to take my word for it. so i played "kashmir."

they didn't stop talking to each other to listen. they didn't stop browsing through the used vinyl. finally, they said "goodbye," and headed for the door. "What about the record?" i asked. they said, "no thanks, there is a skip in the record"

i told them it only cost a quarter and that they couldn't possibly lose. two zeppelin albums for a freakin' quarter!

it could have changed their lives.

Barbara said...

Dan, I never noticed Robert wore skin tight jeans.... :)

MaxiMilion said...

It's a pity on the digital age, that we can't get that feeling of holding the 12" vinyl editions .. and pry inside the jacket while listening the songs..

Bond said...

I still have my copy of course...I think I like this one best

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