Classic Rock n Roll Web Site
Released - February 24, 1975 on Swan Song Records. Produced by Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page -
Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Mandolin on
"Boogie With Stu"
All songs written by Jimmy Page & Robert Plant unless noted below.
The last of the great albums put out by Led Zeppelin, and this double album, like the ones before it, was heavy hitting - but with some different, new sounds mixed in to some of the songs to boot. But still, how come so many of these songs have that similar Zep sound to them? Well, it must be Jimmy Page and his guitars, that's why.
I've heard so many people these days say they don't play their Led Zep albums any longer, and I guess I'm one of them. But I always listen to, and enjoy their songs when they come on the radio. Yet I'm sure had I rated this album back in 1975 when it first came out, I would have given it a higher rating, not that it got a bad rating this time around, in fact it still sounds great today. But I rate five songs on here nines, I don't think I've ever done that before on any other albums (but I didn't check any of my old reviews to see for sure, either). Let' face it, a rating just under ten means it is almost perfect, just something small is missing from it, and I think that describes all five of those songs that got those near tens. I really wanted to give "In My Time of Dying" a ten too, but perhaps because it is so long was why it just missed, even though for a song of great length it holds my interest all the way through.
My two favorites songs on this album are not as hard rocking as most of the others. I just love Robert Plant's vocals on "Night Flight", that is what puts that one over the top for me. My number one pick on this album is "Down By The Seaside", so unlike other Zeppelin songs, very, very mellow, with Page's simple slide, and John Paul Jones' electric keyboards sounding just fine. In fact, even though most think of Jones as the band's bass player, on this album he gives us some real magic on the keys, he is the only reason why "In the Light", with it's boring and dull lyrics, gets the rating it does, take away his synthesizer and this songs is about a 5.0 at best.
One more tune on here that again is not as heavy as one would expect from Zep, but does have a great heavy beat to it thanks to John Bonham's percussion, is "Boogie With Stu". Another one of those songs that just miss the top rating, it features the album's only guest musician (and is named after), honky tonk piano player Ian "Stu" Stewart, my all time favorite piano man. I've heard Stu get down more on a few other songs, but still, it's great to hear him on this number.
Overall, the first part of Physical Graffiti is a lot harder and metal sounding than the second side of it, but if you dig the early days of heavy metal, this album is for you.
- Keno 2005
To listen to some soundclips from Physical Graffiti, or to purchase it click on: Physical Graffiti (Deluxe CD Edition)
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