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139 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zeppelin's peak
Containing some of Zeppelin's very best tracks, "Physical Graffiti" is definitely worth the price of two discs. Like most double albums, it can get a little excessive... but if you've purchased their first 4 albums and still can't get enough, this is a must have! "Kashmir" is essential by itself and possibly the best song the group ever recorded... a majestic epic that...
Published on January 14, 2004 by Levi Stofer

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ... Ugggghhhh!!!!...
May 2009:

The epitome of Classic Rock. My favorite Zep album. Possibly responsible for most of my hearing loss... What was the question?

Oh yeh. Been looking at the $25 CD-set for decades, but I wasn't sold. Then, I see Amazon has an MP3 download for $12, and I bought it in a second. It's 256 kilobits-per-second, which is good enough for my...
Published on May 31, 2009 by Neil


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139 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zeppelin's peak, January 14, 2004
By 
Levi Stofer (Lawrenceville, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
Containing some of Zeppelin's very best tracks, "Physical Graffiti" is definitely worth the price of two discs. Like most double albums, it can get a little excessive... but if you've purchased their first 4 albums and still can't get enough, this is a must have! "Kashmir" is essential by itself and possibly the best song the group ever recorded... a majestic epic that fuses rock, blues, and middle eastern influnces... all the things Zep is known to do best! Then there's the blistering "Trampled Under Foot" which has one of Page's best riffs of all time and a funky clavinet played by the multi-talented John Paul Jones. Plant is in top form on the spiritual catharsis of "In My Time of Dying" with John Bonham providing the raw energy all the way through.
Disc one is more consistent, but disc two offers a wide variety of gems such as the building ballad "Ten Years Gone" which offers some of Robert's best lyrics to date, the fun old-timey feel of "Boogie With Stu", the countrified acoustic track "Black Country Woman", and the wild "Wanton Song". Many of these tracks have the feel of b-sides (which is essentially what they were) and makes them even more fun to listen to.
One of the few double LPs to truly be worth purchasing (along with the Beatles White Album, Stevie Wonder's Songs In the Key of Life, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, and Pink Floyd's The Wall), Physical Graffiti is the high water mark of Led Zeppelin's career.
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207 of 235 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-Rock goes Baroque, July 25, 2004
By 
Valjean (Salem, Ma United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
If you can understand sheet music and are attempting to master any instrument (from a cello to a tuba) you might want to take a look at the scripts for this album. You'll be devistated! Also, if you are interested in making an album and happen to own a studio, you might find a listen to Physical Graffiti to provide a very instructive statement the limits of how complex mixing and multi-tracking get.

Sure, a few tracks on the ablum: Custard Pie and Trampled Under Foot, are probably the best embodiment of the blues-rock Zep-sound that most people are familiar with, but after those tracks, the album turns into a zen statment on overindulgence. Normally, I might agree that musical overkill is a bad thing, but there's a right time and place for everything; and within the framework of this album, overkill becomes baroque. I argue that only Zep could pull this off.

Beginning with Kashmir, the album lays track upon track until many songs (ie: In the Light, Ten Years Gone) are orchestrated with somtimes 7 or 8 different guitar tracks and 3 or 4 different bass tracks. Bach himself might be proud of such hefty orchestration. Throw in JPJ's keyboards, along with several exotic instruments such as mellotrons and vibrophones, and you've got yourself a saturated hard-rock symphony. Many of the songs, such as Kashmir, In The Light, and Ten Years Gone, are very cerebral, creating a soothing Indian Raga-like effect, while others sustain a hectic Occidental pace (ie: Rover, Night Flight) but are never abrasive to the ear.

I feel that the overall album gets a bum rap sometimes, because many people would prefer to hear the more concise and abbreviated sound associated with the pentatonic riffs of earlier Led-days (ie: Whole Lotta' Love, Heartbreaker). They complain that this album is overindulgent, solos are extended too long, etc.. But they never really explain why this makes the album less worthy than say, the Runes Album. I think that the intent of the album was to push the manifold of hard-rock overindulgence and the result is the raga-like, baroque musical symphony from the '70s that is Physical Grafitti.

I would not hesitate to say that this is the best album from the 70's hard-rock genre; if not the best rock and roll album of all time.
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74 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful 90 minute journey through rock music..........., September 17, 1999
By 
"strat1@inreach.com" (Three Rivers, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
Wow. As Zeppelin's most ambitious statement, and their first and only double album, Physical Graffiti would hypothetically be a contender for greatest rock album of all time it it weren't for Zoso (Not that I'm complaining or anything! :-))
Custard Pie is blues on speed, while being squashed under the skillful wah-wah pedal of Jimmy Page.
The Rover simply rocks. It combines headbanging with flair in a musical statement that is hard to overestimate.
In My Time of Dying contains some of the best spitfire-blues slide guitar you'll ever hear.
Houses of The Holy is a great, catchy pop-rock song that just makes you wanna get up and get your schwerve on.
Trampled Under Foot is pure, 100%, unfiltered headbanging enjoyment.
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant both agree that "Kashmir" was their greatest work. I say they're just being humble about "Stairway to Heaven", but Kashmir is a close second. (Man, Puffy really pissed me off when he did "Come With Me"! Ruined a great song! (Yeah I know Jimmy helped him, but I think Jimmy was just trying to expose a new generation of listeners to Zeppelin, which is honorable))
In The Light has two distinct moods: A peaceful, glorious side, and a dark, foreboding, heavy metal side. These two moods throw you back and forth until you're dizzy, which is a good thing.
Bron-Y-Aur is an acoustic track kinda hidden amidst greatness, but it's actually Jimmy Page's best perfomance on this album! As a guitarist, trust me. This is NOT an easy song to play! Very pretty, too.
Down By The Seaside is a really peaceful little song, with really cretive use of a tremolo effect on Page's guitar. Gets you in the mood for the next two songs.
Ten Years Gone is the middle track of PG's "mellow part", and really lets the listener appreciate Zeppelin's flair and subtleties.
Night Flight is a great ballad that, while overall pretty subdued, starts to rock up the album a little again, as to get you ready for....
The Wanton Song! Headbanging conviently wrapped in a sleek, 4:06 package for your enjoyment!
You'll find Boogie With Stu kinda silly the first couple times you hear it, but the more you listen to it, the more you're gonna wanna get up and, well, boogie!
Black Country Woman is some great acoustic blues that really convey the blues to the listener.
And finally, Sick Again is a great romping, rockin' closer that, along with the overall effect of the album, will leave you breathless.
So BUY THIS ALBUM, for god sakes!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Zeppelin Mish-Mash, January 22, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
In 1975, Led Zeppelin released their only double-album, "Physical Graffiti," a brilliant Zeppelin mish-mash that combines eight songs the band recorded specifically for the album, plus seven leftover tracks recorded during the sessions for "Led Zeppelin III," "IV," and "Houses Of The Holy" that the band wanted to give a proper home to. It's quite a balancing act, but it works, as "Physical Grafitti" is yet another Led Zeppelin classic.Of the songs the band specifically laid down for "Physical Grafitti," the most famous one by far is "Kashmir," without a doubt Led Zeppelin's second-most beloved song in their catalog, second only to "Stairway To Heaven." This legendary Zeppelin rocker, with it's Eastern-influenced force & swagger, is simply a monster, and, like "Stairway," it contains all the classic trademarks of this legendary band in a single song: Robert Plant's seductive voice that can just as easily rise into an air-raid siren, Jimmy Page's precise, rock-god command of the guitar strings, John Paul Jones' powerful bass & keyboard work, and, to cap it off, John Bonham's knockout, sledgehammer attack on the drums. It's no wonder this Zeppelin number is so cherished by both the fans and the band themselves. But "Kashmir" is in darn good company with many other classic Zeppelin songs on this album, including the equally-brilliant rockers "In My Time Of Dying," "In The Light," "Ten Years Gone," the album's opening shot "Custard Pie," and the thrilling, head-bobbing, foot-stomper that is "Trampled Underfoot" (which is said to have been inspired by the Stevie Wonder hit, "Superstition").As for the album's outtakes assortment, they're just as excellent. The band brilliantly rock out on "The Rover" and "Night Flight," "Houses Of The Holy" & "Down By The Seaside" are wonderful, melodic songs (and I love that daring shift in tempo and back again during "Seaside"), "Bron-Yr-Aur" is a classy acoustic showcase for Page, and "Boogie With Stu" is just plain fun, with some great ragtime piano from Jones.Admittedly, "Physical Graffiti" would've worked just as well as a single album, as the outtakes would've greatly benefitted the band's sparse release of odds-and-sods, "Coda," but no matter. "Physical Graffiti" is a fantastic Led Zeppelin album, and worth every penny of the double-CD price.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest of Zeppelins studio albums, March 15, 2000
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
By 1975, Led Zeppelin had established itself as the premier hard rock group in the world, which gave them the luxury to experiment and to release older tracks which normally wouldn't see the light of day. Seven older tracks were added to eight new songs to create "Physical Graffiti", and the result is Zeppelins finest studio output.
"Kashmir", although overplayed, still ranks alongside "Stairway to Heaven" and the latter "Achilles' Last Stand" (from "Presence") as one of the bands greatest "Zepics". The real beauty of "Graffiti", however, lies with the songs which don't make the airwaves that often. "In My Time Of Dying" is one of Zeppelins underappreciated tracks. Similarly, "The Rover" , "Houses of the Holy", "Custard Pie", "The Wanton Song", and "Sick Again" illustrate the band could still compose a compact rocker and play it with conviction. Jimmy Pages talent shines on "In the Light" and "Ten Years Gone", proof that while he may not have been on the same technical level as his contemporary Jeff Beck, he was the most expressive and well rounded guitarist of his generation.
The remaining songs show off Zeppelins diversity and fearlessness: traces of funk ("Trampled Underfoot"), country ("Down by the Seaside"), and soul ("Night Flight") grace "Graffiti's" grooves, along with acoustic blues ("Boogie With Stu", "Black Country Woman") and Pages shimmering acoustic solo "Bron-Y-Aur".
Performance-wise, it is not Robert Plants finest hour, as he does sound hoarse in several songs, but his bravado makes up for lack of technical excellence. John Paul Jones continues to stretch out as a performer and songwriter (check out the intro of "In the Light" and his brass/string score of "Kashmir"), while the late John Bonham maneuvers through the complex time changes of "In My Time of Dying" and "Kashmir" with ease, the former containing some of his most powerful work.
The album is not an easy first listen, especially when compared to earlier work such as "Led Zeppelin II", but it is the most powerful evidence that Led Zeppelin was at its creative peak.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Zeppelin album, February 9, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
As a 12 year old girl who loves Led Zeppelin (and gets a lot of grief for it from her friends!) I'd have to say that this is my favorite Led Zeppelin album, with Zoso as a very close second favorite. Some favorite tracks: Custard Pie, Trampled Underfoot, Kashmir, In the Light, Night Flight
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Led Zeppelin at its finest!, September 12, 2003
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
When I started listening to Led Zeppelin, this is where I began. It rivals even Led Zeppelin IV, their career-defining record containing Stairway to Heaven, their most accoladed song. Here are my ratings:
1. Custard Pie: A great opener. Will make anyone's foot tap. The scratchy, howling guitar pefectly matches Robert's hoarse voice. (8.5/10)
2. The Rover: Zep's last real hippie song. It describes the materialistic, plundering nature of humans, pleading for us to 'just hold hands.' The beginning is deceptive and slow, but the song climaxes into a passionate chorus. (7/10)
3. In My Time Of Dying: A tune that was modelled after the early song, 'Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed.' The drums are great, and the warbling guitar adds to Robert's wonderful singing. Don't put it down after 2 minutes; about halfway into the song is a great, seismic piece that you'll be humming all day. Would be perfect if it wasn't long enough to be impractical. (9/10)
4. Houses of the Holy: A cheerful, poppy song that lifts the mood of the disc. However, it's not a personal favorite and is too cheerful for my liking. (6/10)
5. Trampled Underfoot: Will get your feet tapping! The clavinet lick at the beginning is barely audible but gives way to awesome, head-bobbing drumming and a very catchy riff. Perfect! (10/10)
6. Kashmir: The best song on the CD. I always listen this one through. Q magazine said it 'sounds like the last dinosaur walking up the path.' Inspired by sandy, desertlike Morocco, this track is pure mystique. Very impressive drumming by Bonham as well. (11/10)
7. In The Light: A mystic, long, exotic intro-could be inspired by the east just as Kashmir was. This song has a haunted ambience, due partly to the excellent interleaving of keyboard and guitar. (9/10)
8. Bron-Yr-Aur: Put me in another world. An entirely acoustic piece, with no drums, bass, or even volcals except for Robert's harmonious note at the end of the song. Inspiring and deep. (7/10)
9. Down By The Seaside: A staggering, beachy intro with breezy lyrics and harmonies. Thematically perfect; you can just feel the waves licking your feet. (8/10)
10. Ten Years Gone: Epic, underrated. Very deep and stirring. Makes you feel like you're careening through a midnight sky, following the moon. (9/10)
11. Night Flight: A clear, fanfaric info that wavers into a bluesy middle. John Paul Jones shows his stuff with the warbling keyboard. (9/10)
12. Wanton Song: A bashing song with a catchy riff, but not a special effort on LZ's part. Gives you a headache after a while. (6/10)
13. Boogie With Stu: Experts saw it as 'frivolous nonsense', but the rolling, saloon-style piano and banging spoons create a really catchy song nevertheless. (8/10)
14. Black Country Woman: Bluesy. It doesn't really fit in
much with the other tracks on the CD. Rather, it brings back the feel of Led Zeppelin III's warm, country acoustics. Robert wails about his woman's
15. Sick Again: A popular song, but follows in the footsteps of The Rover. Why does it sound SO much like the song? Ah well, Bonham shows his stuff. (7/10)
There you have it. The first 6 tracks alone make the record a must-have. Their length may make newbies squirm, but it's well worth it. If you want to hear the roots of rock, the cream of the crop, the most intelligent, genius songs ever sung, then I recommend this to you with my high regards.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STAIRWAY TO GRAFFITI!, September 28, 2000
By 
ssj (new orleans, louisiana United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
Listening to that CRAPPY,DOUCHEBAG song "Come with me" by Puff Daddy which was a sample of Kashmir made me go out and buy Physical Graffiti. This goes to show that trying to sample the best songs (even the classics), proves that today's artists, whether pop, r&b or rap have ran out of ideas when it comes to creating original music! If they (including Puffy) was trying to pay tribute to the artists of yesterday, then they're doing a piss-poor job. (John Bonham, who co-wrote Kashmir with Page & Plant is definately rolling over in his grave). Led Zeppelin's double album, the last great album, is without a doubt a masterpiece (that, ZOSO, Houses of the Holy,and ITTOD, my personal faves). What makes these 2CDs work is the fact that songs recorded between the album's release (1974-75) were blended with earlier unreleased Zeppelin songs (1970-73)...I guess that explains why Houses of the Holy(the song on PG) wasn't on Houses of the Holy..the album. Nevertheless, the combination was well worth it. And like the Beatles White Album, the Led-ed fellows did very well on experimenting with synthesizers, classy guitar riffs, and Robert Plant's wailing to the top of his lungs. You just gotta love Jimmy Page's Bron-yr-Aur, A very soothing acoustic ditty. It may be short, but it's worth listening to again and again. This album is a must-have for every household. I know just about every fan of LZ has bought this Cd as well as the re-releases, and if you haven't, BUY THIS CD QUICK BEFORE PUFF DADDY GET MORE WEIRD IDEAS!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine work, August 19, 2000
By 
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
After Physical Graffiti had been completed, Led Zeppelin's proudest accomplishment was probably advancing their work by including so many types of music on one double album, all of them unique and individual in their own right and all of them resounding the fundamentals of Led Zeppelin's collective styles which included Robert Plant's redoubled and high-pitched vocals, John Paul Jones' compositional skills, Jimmy Page's inventive and wavy guitar techniques and John Bonham's lyrical and theatrical drumming which, like Page's guitar work, could buttress the rest of the band's skills while remaining impressive on its own accord. Led Zeppelin tour threw pop (Houses of the Holy), smoking blues (Trampled Under Foot), prog-rock (In the Light), folk (Black Country Woman, Night Flight), tropical (Down by the Seaside) Middle Eastern (Kashmir), hard rock (The Wanton Song, Sick Again), epic rock (The Rover) and even tried their hand at creating the ultimate stoner song, the twelve-minute In My Time of Dying with its moody vocals and repetitive, intense guitar rift and pounding drums. I would grant them the right to be very proud.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviews with less than 5 stars!?!....Are You KIDDING ME!!!!!!!, August 7, 2006
This review is from: Physical Graffiti (Audio CD)
Well....I guess everybody DOES have their own opinions----and Lord knows I've "smattered" enough of mine around within the context of my reviews here at Amazon. I've finally felt compelled to write a review for my personal favorite band, and quite possibly my all-time favorite Album (right next to "Abbey Road" and "Who's Next"). However, after reading through more than a few reviews here---- some VERY comprehensive, I decided that most of my comments would end up sounding very redundant. So with that said, maybe I'll throw some of the aforementioned "opinions" around....

To me, this (and every other LZ) release embodies everything I know to be a GREAT Album,...by a GREAT band. When I say GREAT album, I mean a release that has a varied mix of songs...though still remaining cohesive; musicians that play for the songs----songs that play for the musicians; and 'Good Time' music that never becomes "dated-sounding" for me. Led Zeppelin is among a VERY ELITE crowd as far as I'm concerned....in that, I can't imagine this band with ANY other than these four men----each member as equal as the next. The above said "elite" would include bands such as The Beatles, The Who, Rush, and possibly KISS and Van Halen as well. And as known, some of these bands were able to "trudge" on with different members....however, when it was announced that the Mighty Zep would not continue after the death of the GREAT John Bonham, it was none too shocking for me. That is quite a testament to the "Brotherhood" of a great band----and in the case of the three remaining members, felt they needed to morally do the right thing and "call it a day" for their 'Fallen Comrade'.

Led Zeppelin WILL be remembered as long as Rock and Roll exsists...and the music heard on "Physical Graffiti" is a Major reason why. Every song offers the listener something different and special----- My favorites?......that's like picking your favorite Child! However, if pressed I would pick "In My Time of Dying", "Kashmir", "Trampled Under Foot", "Houses of the Holy", "The Wanton Song" and "In the Light". I would strongly recommend this piece of musical Art to anyone not familiar with this legendary band, as well as any and all releases by them. In conclusion (and at the possible cost of many "Not Helpful" votes cast against me)..... If ever stranded on a desert island, I would take this over "Tommy", "The Wall" and "White Album" any day of the week....or month.....or YEAR. One of The BEST ever recorded-----BUY NOW!
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Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin (Audio CD - 1994)
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