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Mandatory Music and CD #2: Physical Graffiti by Led Zepplin

 Physical Graffiti Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine Led Zeppelin returned from a nearly two-year hiatus in 1975 with the double-album Physical Graffiti, their most sprawling and ambitious work. Where Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy integrated influences on each song, the majority of the tracks on Physical Graffiti are individual stylistic workouts. The highlights are when Zeppelin incorporate influences and stretch out into new stylistic territory, most notably on the tense, Eastern-influenced "Kashmir." "Trampled Underfoot," with John Paul Jones' galloping keyboard, is their best funk-metal workout, while "Houses of the Holy" is their best attempt at pop, and "Down by the Seaside" is the closest they've come to country. Even the heavier blues -- the 11-minute "In My Time of Dying," the tightly wound "Custard Pie," and the monstrous epic "The Rover" -- are louder and more extended and textured than their previous work. Also, all of the heavy songs are on the first record, leaving the rest of the album to explore more adventurous territory, whether it's acoustic tracks or grandiose but quiet epics like the affecting "Ten Years Gone." The second half of Physical Graffiti feels like the group is cleaning the vaults out, issuing every little scrap of music they set to tape in the past few years. That means that the album is filled with songs that aren't quite filler, but don't quite match the peaks of the album, either. Still, even these songs have their merits -- "Sick Again" is the meanest, most decadent rocker they ever recorded, and the folky acoustic rock & roll of "Boogie with Stu" and "Black Country Woman" may be tossed off, but they have a relaxed, off-hand charm that Zeppelin never matched. It takes a while to sort out all of the music on the album, but Physical Graffiti captures the whole experience of Led Zeppelin at the top of their game better than any of their other albums. If you missed our first show on Skid Row, you can listen to it here. Please follow the show on Twitter. If you want to email the show we can be reached at MandatoryMusicAndCD@gmail.com. Let us know how you rate Physical Graffiti If it is the best album you've ever heard, it goes to Paradise City If it is really good, but not perfect, it spends time with Dr. Feelgood If it is solid, but not perfect, it goes to the Crossroads If it is mostly crap with a hidden gem or two, it goes to Skid Row If it is the worst album ever, it goes directly to Hotel California for all eternity where you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. #mandatorymusicandcd --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/comics-in-motion-podcast/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/comics-in-motion-podcast/support

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