Album Review: Physical Graffiti By Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin in The Song Remains The Same - thespartacus47 / Youtube
The band was gone for almost 2 years, before surprising fans and critics alike with the release of Physical Graffiti. This was amidst reports of John Paul Jones being ill, where in fact the bassist had grown weary of touring and was at the verge of quitting the band. Manager Peter Grant offered Jones some time off the band to recover, which allowed the album to continue production by 1974.
Physical Graffiti was a double album release that didn’t follow a fixed concept, unlike the previous albums with tracks tied to each other. This catalog showcased Led Zeppelin’s foreign influences melded into their own brand of rock, like the lulling progression of the Eastern-styled “Kashmir”, while John Paul Jones incorporated his love for funk in the funk-metal hybrid, “Trampled Underfoot”. “Houses Of The Holy”, which was used as the name for their fifth album, was more pop-oriented, and “Down By The Seaside” takes a chunk of that country goodness to the Zeppelin catalog.
The band went out of its way and transformed the gospel song “In My Time Of Dying” into a blues rock masterpiece, along with other heavy parts of the catalog including “Custard Pie” and the lumbering track that was “The Rover”. This time, Led Zeppelin perfected the orchestration and provided a fuller, more textured sound than their preceding albums. Led Zeppelin even maximized the album with the second half containing shelved tracks from the past that were polished, like “Sick Again”, and the light folk rock of “Boogie With Stu”.
While Physical Graffiti had no tying themes to adhere to, it became Led Zeppelin’s prime piece that encompassed the genres and influences they were paying homage to. With rockers like the four virtuosos of the band, it wasn’t hard to showcase flexibility in a catalog that was well-received by both niche and broad connoisseurs of rock.