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Friday, September 07, 2012

My favorite albums: Physical Graffiti

From the semi-modern, back to the classic.

Today I figured I'd feature an album from my #2 favorite classic rock band of all time, Led Zeppelin.

As far as their long catalogue of hits and albums go, there's so damn many to pick from, as I basically love, LOVE their first four albums, and most of their stuff.

So in the interest of keeping on point, and keeping this post down to a minimum, I'll be briefly discussing their multi-platinum hit double album, Physical Graffiti.

1975 was a very good year for Led Zeppelin. Coming out in 1975, this album, along with their famous live album, The Song Remains The Same and the movie that came from that, helped solidify the band's reputation as Rock Gods. One could even argue that the band creatively hit their respective peak by '75, with subsequent albums being good, but not as good as the two albums released in this time frame.
Which doesn't mean they weren't good; in fact in total, all nine of their studio albums all reached the top ten on the billboard charts, with six of those grabbing the #1 spot in the US. Not bad huh?

No wonder they're considered to be as influential for rock during the 70's as the Beatles were during the 60's. And that people, is why their in my top 2 of all time:)

So, with all the albums to chose from, why Physical Graffiti? Well don't worry, I'll eventually cover the others as well, but this album was staring me in the face the other day while thinking about what other albums to talk about, so there.

With 15 songs logged onto to this album, there's certainly no shortage of good music. Hell, you're bound to find at least one or two you'll really like, as if you wouldn't like them all:)

From "Custard Pie" to "Sick Again", this album's a virtual smorgasbord of rocking tunes all designed to make you get up and shake your ass.

One thing you'll immediately get, is how heavily the blues influenced the making of this album. Sure in general, the band was majorly influenced by the Blues and blues artists. Hell, the first two albums contain a few classic blues cover songs. But this album stands on its own with the types of songs you'd swear came from the blues masters of old themselves, like Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, or Willie Dixon.

I like "Custard Pie", since it has a nice beat to it. And yeah you can say that about all the songs listed, because they all really do.

"In my time of dying" is super, super blues-ified! I fucking love it! Here, have a listen:
From the beginning riffs, to the heavy Bonham drums, this song kicks ass like only Led Zeppelin knows how to:)
And of course the Robert Plant vocals seal the deal, especially when it starts going "Oh my Jesus, oh my Jesus, oh my jeeeesus." Oh that's some good shit!

"Houses of the Holy" is another classic, sharing its name with their 1937 album with the same title. If you have quick minute, check out the cool, but creepy cover to that one. No wonder they got a lot of shit for that cover.

"Kashmir" is another classic, and a constant staple in rotation on most classic rock stations. This is one of those songs I discovered in my youth, and loved instantly. Drugs jokes aside, and yes this song is perfect for tripping or smoking, this song will mentally transport you away to some distant land. Well you have to use your imaginations silly, but it works.

In the bible, it talks of there being the rapture, and the dead in Christ rising up. Well, if God has a sense of humor about it all, how cool would it be if both Kashmir and Immigration Song played while it happened?
Now that would be a lazer-light show of a lifetime!

Kashmir:
I'll never forgive Jimmy Page for letting P. Diddy remake that song for that horrible remake of Godzilla!:(

That takes me to "Trampled under foot." Back in 1999, I was going through a break up, and I had recently bought a new LZ greatest hits album, Led Zeppelin: The Early Years. Well for some reason this song seemed to resonate with me during this emotional period. I don't know, but it did. Just another example of music healing the soul I guess.

Which in turn leads to me to one of my ultimate favorite tracks on this album, and that one I just mentioned, "Ten Years Gone."  Again, during that break up, and the one I just went through recently, this song hold major, major significance with me. Just listen to the lyrics and the song, and you can feel the pain and regret Robert Plant sings about. It's so palpable, you can't but not feel it. I used to think when I was younger that is was about the loss of their drummer Jon Bonham, but in reality, it's about the loss of one of Plant's children, Karac Pendragon.

This song still makes me sad and teary-eyed every time I hear it:(

Whatever the true origins of the song, you can attach any personal meaning to it, as is the case with most songs. Hey, they just do that to us. It's why they resonate with us so much; because they touch our very souls and the cores of our very being. If music doesn't do that to you, no matter what the genre, then maybe you should check your pulse and see if you're still alive:)

Here's Ten Years Gone:

And finally, on to the side two.

I really, really like "In the light", as like Kashmir, it instantly mentally transports you to another place. This is made all the more easily done by the opening cords:
All I can say is G***DAMN!

"Boogie with Stu" is a nice rocking country song, and by country, I mean English countryside, not country western. It definitely has a 50's Elvis/Little Richard influence to it.

"Down by the seaside" is another nice slow song, that seems to act like a polite pause/rest from the high-octane action of the album. But by no means think it's not any good; on the contrary, it's merely a pleasant walk to the next song, Ten Years Gone. And we all know how I feel about that one right?

The rest like, "Night Flight", "The Rover", "The Wanton Song", "Bron-Yr-Aur", "Black Country Woman", and "Sick Again" are also good, good selections to listen to. 

I highly suggest giving these, and the whole damn album an honest good listen to. I swear you'll enjoy it:)


Not a bad week huh? You can bet your sweet asses I'll be staying on this series from here on out, but don't worry I'm not abandoning the funny. In fact I have a few skits I'm working on, so we'll see what next week brings.

                                                          Have a good weekend people:)


9 comments:

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Dale Bagwell said...

Hey brother, thanks for stopping by. I've recently started doing these reviews of sorts, as you can tell by now how much of a HUGE classic rock fan I am. I glad you were able to learn even a lot from this review. I highly recommend checking out the other LZ albums, and my other reviews I've put out earlier in the week.

As I mentioned, I'll be doing more of these, in addition to my regular action figure skits, so stick around and see what else you might like.

Again, thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

And yeah, I'll be stopping by your site as well. Thanks.

Randomnerd said...

Saying which of Led Zeppelin's albums is my favorite is impossible for me. Each time I hear one I think "Oh yeah. That one. That's the one I needed to listen to just now." In My Time of Dying is a fantastic masterpiece, less heard by the more casual Zeppelin fan. But well worth the double take. You can feel the tension and release with every whine of that guitar. And I dare anyone not to "cough" along at the end when they get hooked. I could go on and on about every song here, but you've already done that brilliantly. Thank you so much, for showing off one of my favorite albums by my #1 band.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Randomnerd, thanks man, I appreciate the kind words, and you stopping by. It's really hard for me to to pick a favorite LZ album too. Like I said, I love the first 4 the most, than Physical Graffiti after that. But for a really good, kick-ass album, I highly recommend checking out the Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions CD. It's the live studio version of the first 3 albums, and sounds so damn good. That's definitely a fav of mine.

More LZ album reviews are on the way, so stay tuned:)

Dan said...

onesty despite on of my mates never boxing training to anything other than LZ, I've never actually owned a song or album (waits to be struck by lightning for saying such).

It's not that I don't like them, I just haven't got round to it. The amount of times I've hit play on those vids though, suggests to me I should :)

Randomnerd said...

Oh Dan. If I had known that before you would have an entire stack by now. I think the only thing I don't own is the soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same and the box set. Because I couldn't justify rebuying every album just for those few extra tracks. Although that was a close call. Led Zeppelin is my default and my baseline and has been ever since I heard the first few notes of Stairway way back when. You'd never regret owning Zeppelin.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan, uh oh mate, I may have just find a new wingman, albeit a musical one. And LZ's his default band? I smell fierce competition in here:)

No it's cool man, but you need to rectify not having any LZ tunes though. Hell man, just download the free mp3's like everyone else:)

@Randomnerd, that's right man, testify!

Dan said...

LOL how to be unpopular in one easy step huh? :) No problemo - I will sort this weekend and let you know how I get on!

I don't know who my favourite classic rock band would be. I was once a dj on a classic rock radio station, so I spent all day playing the stuff, American, English, Kiwi, Australian and all points in between. I can't believe that station plays Nirvana now. Nirvana was big when I was in school - am I that old that me teen interests are dubbed classic?

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan, awww don't worry ma, you'll always be my internet wingman for life, as I am yours:)

Ok, that was a little gay:)

Anyhoo.....

Don't feel too bad about being in the learch; you like what you know, and everyday you find new stuff to like.

And no, I'm in the same boat as you my friend; it's the price of getting older I'm afraid. The kids now have no idea what good music is anymore, and it shows. What's worse is that they're content to listen to this crap, and never appreciate all the cooler, rocking music that was around before they were born. Now that's tragedy worthy of Shakespeare my friend.