LED ZEPPELIN – Physical Graffiti [Deluxe Edition 3CD Remastered] (2015)
The LED ZEPPELIN reissue campaign continues in 2015, turning the spotlight on perhaps their most famous album, the double “Physical Graffiti“. The Deluxe Edition of the group’s sixth studio album will arrive exactly 40 years to the day after the original debuted on February 24, 1975.
As with the previous deluxe editions, Physical Graffiti has been newly remastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page and is accompanied by a disc of companion audio comprising previously unreleased music related to the original release, and both original and new artwork.
For an album wich half of the tracks are leftovers from earlier records, “Physical Graffiti” sure sounds cohesive. Led Zeppelin‘s 1975 double-LP behemoth — a rafters-shaking, foot-stomping assault that’s bigger and badder than their previous five albums — was made during a rocky period in the band’s career.
After staging a mammoth tour in support of Houses of the Holy, the group started work on their sixth album. But progress quickly stalled as fatigue set in. At one point, bassist John Paul Jones almost quit altogether. By the time they left a U.K. studio in early 1974, they had eight new songs to go along with seven outtakes stretching from 1970′s Led Zeppelin III through Houses of the Holy.
And by weaving the material over four sides — and opening and closing the album with a pair of the new cuts — Zeppelin formed one of their heaviest records.
Besides a few tell-tale signs (the acoustic instrumental “Bron-Yr-Aur,” leftover from Led Zeppelin III, “Boogie With Stu,” a throwaway bluesy jam from more than four years earlier), most fans at the time had no idea that songs such as “The Rover” were shelved from older sessions.
Listening to it today, 40 years later, “Physical Graffiti” stands as one of Zeppelin’s greatest achievements, a powerhouse work that juggles monster tracks both new (“Trampled Under Foot”, “Ten Years Gone” or the immortal “Kashmir”) and old (“Houses of the Holy”).
And with a bonus disc of extra songs on the Deluxe Edition of the album’s latest remaster, we get a brief peek into the working stages of some of the record’s most eternal cuts.
There’s an interesting rough orchestra mix of ‘Kashmir’ which is is called “Driving Through Kashmir”, an early mix of ‘Trampled Under Foot’ titled “Brandy & Coke” and a ‘overdubs’ version of “Houses of the Holy”.
Perhaps the most revealing track is the rough, almost-skeletal-at-times version of ‘In the Light’ titled “Everybody Makes It Through” presenting a real new light to this tune.
The rough mix of “Trampled Under Foot,” which puts more focus on Robert Plant‘s appealingly abrasive vocals, also gives the band a vicious and rugged edge that would be explored more deeply on Physical Graffiti‘s follow-up, the next year’s Presence.
This “Physical Graffiti Deluxe Edition” remaster really sharpens the album’s awesome twists and turns (and the reproduced artwork is fantastic).
It’s an essential revisit at one of the planet’s greatest Rock groups working at full throttle. Nobody could touch them when they were this big and this bad. Even their leftovers are gargantuan.
Essential in everyone’s collection.
1. Custard Pie
2. The Rover
3. In My Time Of Dying
4. Houses Of The Holy
5. Trampled Under Foot
1. In The Light
2. Bron – Yr
3. Down By The Seaside
4. Ten Years Gone
5. Night Flight
6. The Wanton Song
7. Boogie With Stu
8. Black Country Woman
9. Sick Again
1. Brandy & Coke (Trampled Under Foot – Initial Rough Mix)
2. Sick Again (Early Version)
3. In My Time Of Dying (Initial Rough Mix)
4. Houses Of The Holy (Rough Mix with Overdubs)
5. Everybody Makes It Through (In The Light early version / In Transit)
6. Boogie With Stu (Sunset Sound Mix)
7. Driving Through Kashmir (Kashmir Rough Orchestra Mix)
John Bonham – drums, percussion
Jimmy Page – electric, acoustic, lap steel and slide guitar, mandolin
Robert Plant – vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar on “Boogie with Stu”
John Paul Jones – bass, organ, piano, mellotron, mandolin, VCS3 synthesiser, Hohner clavinet, Hammond organ, string arrangement