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18 February 2015 2,364 views 2 Comments

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Physical Graffiti Olympic Studies Playback Event February 19: Yahoo Live Streaming Details:

On 19 February at 2:00PM ET/7:00PM GMT, Yahoo Live will stream the Led Zeppelin Official Physical Graffiti 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Premiere. This event will feature the worldwide debut of the complete, previously unreleased companion audio from the upcoming deluxe edition of Physical Graffiti. This will be followed by a live Q&A with guitarist and album producer Jimmy Page in front of a live audience at Olympic Studios in London.

Tune-In HERE on Thurs, Feb 19: 2:00PM ET/7:00PM GMT


 TBL Countdown to the release of the reissue of Physical Graffiti – five days to go and counting…

Facts and Info about Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin:

 The initial sessions for what would emerge as the sixth Led Zeppelin album, commenced in the autumn of 1973 using the mobile studio owned by Ronnie Lane  at Headley Grange the 18th century workhouse building they had previously used to record Led Zeppelin IV

Further sessions took place at Headley Grange in the early months of 1974.

Eight tracks were sourced for release from these sessions engineered by Ron Nevison, namely Custard Pie, In My Time Of Dying, Trampled Underfoot, Kashmir, In The Light, Ten Years Gone, The Wanton Song and Sick Again. It was decided to extend the album to a double set with the addition of seven unreleased recordings sourced from previous album sessions.  Lining up as follows:

Bron Yr Aur (Led Zeppelin III sessions) Down By The Seaside, Night Flight and Boogie With Stu (Led Zeppelin IV sessions) The Rover, Black Country Woman and Houses Of The Holy (Houses of The Holy sessions),

The whole package was mixed down by Jimmy Page with the late Keith Harwood engineering at Olympic Studios, and released as Physical Graffiti on February 24n 1975. It was a massive outpouring of Zeppelin music that proved to be the definitive summary of their studio work.

At the time Jimmy Page commented :’’We have more material than would fit in with a single album. So we figured it was time to put out a double set and include some tracks we have in the can. It seems like a good time to do that now.”

The sleeve design is one of their most elaborate. It features a photograph of a New York City tenement block, with interchanging window illustrations. The album designer, Peter Corriston, was looking for a building that was symmetrical with interesting details, that was not obstructed by other objects and would fit the square album cover. He said:

PG sleeve

‘’We walked around the city for a few weeks looking for the right building. I had come up [with] a concept for the band based on the tenement, people living there and moving in and out. The original album featured the building with the windows cut out on the cover and various sleeves that could be placed under the cover, filling the windows with the album title, track information or liner notes.’’[

The two five-story buildings photographed for the album cover are located at 96 and 98 St Marks Place in New York. In 1981 – the same location was used for the Rolling Stones video for Waiting On A Friend

To enable the image to fit properly with the square format of the album cover, the fourth floor (of five) had to be cropped out, making them appear as four-story buildings in the image. Mike Doud asssted on the inner sleeve typography.

The inter changing window illustrations featured photos of the band in drage taken at a party on their 1973 US tour along with random images such as the Lunar moon landings and the Queens Coronation.

Jimmy Page talking about the cover at the Physical Graffiti press playback Q and A at Olympic Studios February 3rd:

The Physical Graffiti artwork – the idea of it was to have something which was a sum of moving parts – in so much it was a follow on from the idea of third album with the wheel. You could find things in that with the various cut outs that moved. So being a double album we could have different visuals each side and then there’s an insert as well. The idea was to have this slightly more controlled aspect of the idea of the third album. It wasn’t my idea to use the building in St Marks Place but like I say, it was an idea to have something like the wheel.

Back thent he artwork as you have to remember and it’s not hard to forget, well everybody was paying so much attention to the art work. They were works of art these packages for 12inch albums right across the board I’m not just saying Led Zeppelin – but to really have artwork that would really complement everything. There was attention to detail in every respect.

Physical Graffiti was the band’s first release on their own Swan Song Records label, which was launched in May 1974 with a roster that comprised of Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Maggie Bell and The Pretty Things. This was inaugurated with launch parties in New York and Los Angeles in the early summer on 1974. The UK launch duly followed at Chiselhurst Caves on Halloween night that year.

The name of the record company was derived from the title of an instrumental piece Jimmy recorded at the time of the Physical Graffiti sessions which was dubbed Swan Song.

Physical Graffiti was released on February 24th 1975. It entered every US chart at number three – a then record for a first week chart entry. It earned gold and platinum status within the first week of release, racking up  $10 million worth of business in the process.

It’s success spurred sales of all five previous Zep albums, prompting every album in their catalogue to re- enter the Billboard top 200 chart. No other rock act had ever been so well represented.

The release of Physical Graffiti coincided with a lengthy two legged US tour that spanned mid January to late March – this tour that saw them premiere Sick Again, In My Time of Dying Trampled Underfoot, The Wanton Song and Kashmir from the album.

In the UK, it entered the charts at number one just as they were announcing a string of sold out shows at London’s Earls Court Arena. These five sold out appearances to a combined audience of 85,000 took place in May 1975 and are considered to be amongst the finest the band undertook.

At the time the noted film maker Tony Palmer commented in The Observer ’’ With Led Zeppelin, statistics are irrelevant…expect to say they are truly astonishing. No pop group in history, no entertainer or opera singer has ever attracted such an audience’’.

Physical Graffiti sales figures to date approx and counting:

UK 600,000 2x Platinum –  US 16,00,000 16x Platinum…and counting…

It’s a very personal and honest statement. It really allowed the listener to enter our world’’ 

Jimmy Page 2000

”We were just thinking about putting out an album that was going to knock everybody’s socks off – it’s a tour de force.”

Jimmy Page  2015

 Compiled by Dave Lewis – February 2014.


Until next time…

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy –  February  18, 2015 

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  • Larry said:

    Looking forward to the Physical Graffiti release…this and ITTOD were the most remarkable sonic upgrades on the itunes releases.

    Also happy to see Jimmy’s Sound Tracks release via his website…will be great to have that material in one set with the extra tracks.

    This is one of those pretty cool times to be a Zeppelin fan!

  • Steven Gale said:

    Regarding the above album sales.
    Do you mean the following?;
    UK 6,000,000 (million) sales and
    US 16,000,000 (million) sales.
    Steven Gale.
    Lecturer in Accounting.

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