Album #330 – Physical Graffiti

Album #330

Physical Graffiti is the only Led Zeppelin album that has special meaning for me. For Christmas when I was about 15, I asked my parents (aka Santa) for a Led Zeppelin album on CD. I was really hoping that they would get me Led Zeppelin IV. Instead, I opened all my gifts Christmas morning to find that I received Physical Graffiti instead. I was crushed. The only song off this album that I knew at the time was Kashmir, my least favorite Zeppelin “hit” at the time. Kashmir was just the same thing over and over again. My how time changes one’s opinion. Kashmir is now one of my favourite Zeppelin tracks. So, I decided to listen to it. I listened to it incessantly for a couple of years. It ended up becoming my favorite Zeppelin album. These songs are some of the best they ever wrote. I love the fact that nobody ever acknowledges this album. It makes it that much better. Eight of the tracks on Physical Graffiti were recorded in early 1974 after John Paul Jones returned to the group after quitting briefly. Zeppelin decided that they wanted to release more than just these eight tracks so, they ended up releasing outtakes from their first four albums. It ended being their only double album and their first for Swan Song Records, Led Zeppelin’s record label. Physical Graffiti is more widely known for it’s album cover, which is basically a photo of a New York City apartment building. Physical Graffiti continues the eclectic nature that was present on Houses of the Holy. Middle Eastern, funk, country, acoustic and plain old rock and roll are all represented here. Blues rock is not dominant on Physical Graffiti and that is what makes this album special. All the limits of what this 70’s powerhouse could do are featured on Physical Graffiti. So, in a weird way I am grateful my mother bought me Physical Graffiti for Christmas and not Led Zeppelin IV. This album made me appreciate Led Zeppelin more and Physical Graffiti is an album that I will cherish and love more that the other Zeppelin albums. Other Highlights include: In My Time of Dying, Houses of the Holy, Trampled Under Foot, In The Light, Bron-Y-Ur, Down By The Seaside, Ten Years Gone, Boogie with Stu and Black Country Woman. Overall, I give Physical Graffiti, 5 out of 5.

Next: The Koln Concert by Keith Jarrett

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