Led Zeppelin: innovative, ground-breaking, influential, enduring, mystical, and as a collective, a bunch of wild-haired, testosterone-fuelled lunatics with a penchant for pant-shittingly insane debauchery. The list of superlatives to describe their music and legacy is almost unending, and they blazed a trail of drug and alcohol-influenced chaos across the globe during their heyday in the 70s, cultivating legendary tales of decadence and establishing themselves as rock and roll nut-bars of the highest order. Despite their outrageous and, probably, mostly apocryphal tour behaviour, the music itself never wavered: their world tours consistently broke attendance records and each gig they played would last up to four hours at a time; due care and attention was given to every note in every song they performed invariably ensuring every fan got their moneys worth. In spite of all their off-stage tomfoolery, their professionalism in the studio and on-stage rarely dropped below their impeccably high standards of near perfection. As a musical collective, they were simply ravishing. Technically brilliant, each member perfectly complemented the other: Robert Plant possessed a voice made of pure sex, a stage presence that would level audiences and a golden mane that would make both sexes go knock-kneed. The rhythm section comprised the stoic and brilliant John Paul Jones on bass and the ferociously brutal John Bonzo Bonham going doolally behind the kit. Finally, their leader Jimmy Page was a wizard-like virtuoso on guitar, creating some of the mightiest riffs and most innovative studio techniques in musical history. If Eric Clapton was God, Jimmy Page was the devil. It was a perfect assembly of musical minds. To celebrate the 40th anniversary re-release of their seminal 1975 album Physical Graffiti next month, the following are ten of their most enduring, creative and innovative songs from their, frankly, near-perfect body of work. And such is the quality of their recorded output, on another day you could pick a totally different ten-track list and it would be equally as brilliant. Agree, disagree, laugh, sneer, love or hate all you like, but most of all, enjoy.
Chris James Peet says hello. His interests include hoping for the best and sitting in chairs. He much prefers moaning to counting his blessings and suffers fools gladly. He also likes to look out of the window and check what's in the fridge but he hates standing up, dripping taps and reality.