Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Atlantic)

Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Atlantic)

Like in Texas, everything was bigger in the Seventies. And Led Zeppelin were bigger (and louder) than everything else. But if, from a modern vantage point, it’s difficult to comprehend exactly the position Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham found themselves in as the biggest beasts in the decade’s rock equivalent of Jurassic World, 1975’s Physical Graffiti shows the band themselves knew exactly what their status meant. Because this is the sound of a band that knows they can do pretty much whatever they like. A sprawling double album, Physical Graffiti takes the time and space to explore every nook and cranny of Zep’s sound. So we get the relentless blues of In My Time Of Dying and Kashmir, a song so colossal it seemed like it was soundtracking the arrival of Godzilla long before Puff Daddy appropriated its central riff to do just that. But there’s also the folk-rock of Bron-Yr-Aur and the joyous rock’n’roll of Boogie With Stu to lighten the heaviness. Forty years and over 10 million sales on, Physical Graffiti still sounds untamed and unrestrained. Only now – as with all the beautifully-presented, Page-helmed Led Zep reissues – it comes with even more music, including demos that show the evolution of several classic tracks. Sometimes, bigger really is better.

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