You can imagine somewhere in a parallel universe early man – in the form of a dodgy clothes shop proprietor and his hooligan young acolytes – circling Led Zeppelin’s sixth album Physical Graffiti with their primitive weapons, seeing in front of them a dinosaur which had grown bloated and even in the moment of it’s near extinction, unaware that it was about to be killed off.
Regardless however of punk’s mission and metaphors and despite the fact that it contained a mixture of older and specifically new material, in abstract..Graffiti was then and remains now a late period renaissance, a triumph leveraging the kind of stylistic diversity rock’s behemoths were supposedly incapable of producing. Whether grinding out a crusted, evil blues (the eleven minute epic In My Time of Dying), letting loose their pop creds on the clavinet (Trampled Underfoot) or toting on a weave of psychedelics (In The Light) this was a more modern, ancient sounding Zep, one that took far more risks than necessary given their stature as the world’s premier selling act.
Handily, Kashmir made the case both for the prosecution and the defence. If you were here to throw rocks with words like “Prog” and “Indulgent” written on them, then is was certainly not a song which was going to let either brevity or introspection trouble it. However it was without coincidence a track which only Robert Plant could’ve sung, John Bonham could’ve beaten a tattoo along with and Jimmy Page could be..Jimmy Page on. As grand of scale and outlook as things with no natural predators could ever be, most would subsequently come to find that whatever you thought you knew about yourselves, attacks on it came with their own risk.