Night Flight (song)

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"Night Flight"
Song by Led Zeppelin
from the album Physical Graffiti
Released 24 February 1975 (1975-02-24)
Recorded 1971
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 3:37
Label Swan Song
Producer(s) Jimmy Page

"Night Flight" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1975 album Physical Graffiti. Although credited to John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, Jones is the main writer and his keyboard playing is featured throughout the tune.

The song was originally was recorded at Headley Grange in 1971 and was intended for Led Zeppelin IV, but was held over and included on Physical Graffiti to fill up the double album.[2] A somewhat lyrically ambiguous song, Plant recounts the tale of a young man attempting to evade the military draft. A different version was also recorded which included extra backing vocals.[2] Page played his guitar through a Leslie speaker for the song.[2]


In Experiencing Led Zeppelin: A Listener's Companion, author Gregg Akkerman describes "Night Flight" as "a competent but unremarkable song and it's easy to see why it was left off of Led Zeppelin IV".[1] He adds that drummer John Bonham's "many fills and shifts in rhythmic patterns" makes his contribution the most interesting of the four band members.[1] Writer Nigel Williamson compares the rhythm to "a chugging raunch that sounds like one of Dave Edmonds' rock'n'roll [sic] pastiches and, if it sounds retro, then that's all part of its attraction".[3] Martin Popoff calls it "a bright, poppy, and accessible short-snapper made almost self-deprecating by a modest boogie that eventually takes over the song".[4]

Live performances[edit]

The song was never performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts. However, bootleg recordings exist of the band performing the song during a soundcheck at the Chicago Stadium on 6 July 1973, which took place during Led Zeppelin's 1973 North American tour.[2]


Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Akkerman, Gregg (2014). Experiencing Led Zeppelin: A Listener's Companion. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 81, 85. ISBN 978-0810889163. 
  2. ^ a b c d Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
  3. ^ Williamson, Nigel (2007). The Rough Guide to Led Zeppelin. Rough Guides. p. 179. ISBN 978-1-84353-841-7. 
  4. ^ Popoff, Martin (2017). Led Zeppelin: All the Albums, All the Songs. Voyageur Press. p. 169. ISBN 978-0760352113. 

External links[edit]