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Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


Prog Related

4.06 | 855 ratings

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5 stars Many people ask why Led Zeppelin is included in the prog archives. Well, if it weren't for the Prog- related category, then I really can't see why they would be here. They touch upon progressive rock at times, but, except for maybe "Achilles Last Stand" and "The Rain Song", they really don't develop and explore it much. So it is hard to give a decent review to an excellent album like "Physical Graffiti" in the Prog Archives using the rating system as described. But, my line of reasoning here is, that LZ did stretch the boundaries of rock here and they made an amazing rock record because of it, and, since Prog-related is a category, then it stands to reason that it can be considered a masterpiece in the Prog Archives.

I love this album for a lot of the same reasons that a lot of LZ fans and Prog archivists don't love it as much. I love it for it's variety and for it's explorations, for the boundaries of the typical LZ sounds that were stretched here. It's a double album that does not wear out it's welcome (except for the very weak last track "Sick Again").

So, there is a lot of discussion about this being an inconsistent album because it includes new songs and several older songs that were recorded previously and not used on other albums for whatever reason. Honestly, I never even knew this until I read some reviews here. I never thought any of these tracks sounded out of place, they always sounded like LZ was exploring their sound and venturing into new territory which, after all, isn't that what being progressive is all about? People argue that the new songs sound like LZ was losing it's edge. The funny thing is, that after reading a lot of reviews here, the songs that most reviewers like and consider to be more like the older LZ sound were actually the newer songs

. So, which songs were written specifically for this album and which ones where previously recorded? Here is a list: Songs that were previously recorded and left off of other albums were (drum roll please) 1) Bron-Yr-Aur (a short acoustic guitar solo recorded for LZIII) 2) Night Flight, 3) Boogie with Stu, 4) Down By the Seaside (#2,3,4 were all intended to be used on LZ IV which most people consider the highlight of LZ studio work which I disagree fact I think their inclusion would have made it a better album and most LZ fans hate "Boogie with Stu" for whatever reason, it would be interesting to see what their reaction would be in an alternate universe where these songs were included on LZ IV), 5) Black Country Woman, 6) Houses of the Holy, 7) The Rover (5, 6, and 7 were recorded for "Houses of the Holy" album which I think was an underrated album also btw except for "The Crunge" which should never have been released anywhere). The list of songs recorded specifically for this album were 1) Custard Pie, 2) In My Time of Dying, 3) Trampled Under Foot, 4) Kashmir, 5) In the Light, 6) Ten Years Gone, 7) The Wanton Song and 8) Sick Again. What I am trying to say here is that LZ did not lose their edge at this point, and with the songs that are now considered classics in rock being recorded specifically for this album (specifically thinking of "In My Time of Dying" and "Kashmir") only proves this. The better songs in most of the reviewers opinions were the ones recorded for this album. Even though there is a mix of what they consider good and bad in both lists, it seems that the real staples were recorded at this time.

What I would like to say is that your argument about LZ losing their edge at this time is invalid, but of course, it's always a matter of opinion when it comes down to it in the end. The only song I don't like here is "Sick Again" and its a sin that it also ends the album on a bad note. The rest of the songs are 5 star quality in my opinion and I absolutely love the variety here. I can also consider this a progressive masterpiece because 1) it is included here in the Prog Archives under a legitimate category (Prog related) and 2) I feel that LZ was progressing by exploring their signature sound and there is nothing wrong with that. The only place they really messed up was on the album "In Through the Out Door" with the track "Carouselambra" which, no matter how I try, I cannot seem to take a likening of any sort to. In my opinion, "Houses of the Holy" and "Physical Graffiti" was LZ at their peak with LZ III and "Presence" being very close. Not bad for being prog related!
TCat | 5/5 |


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