|Song by Led Zeppelin|
|from the album Physical Graffiti|
|Released||24 February 1975|
The lyrics to the riff-heavy song pay homage to several blues songs; specifically "Drop Down Mama" by Sleepy John Estes, "Shake 'Em On Down" by Bukka White, and to a lesser extent "I Want Some of Your Pie" by Blind Boy Fuller.
Like several other songs on the album, the lyrics are full of sexual double entendres. In this case, "Custard Pie" refers to a woman's genitals and the song is rife with references to sex: "Your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice / When you cut it mama, save me a slice", as well as "chewin' a piece of your custard pie".
"Custard Pie" contains a wah-wah solo by guitarist Jimmy Page, which was played through an ARP synthesizer. It also features an electric clavinet played by John Paul Jones and a harmonica solo by vocalist Robert Plant. Bonham's drumming is prominent throughout the track.
Despite being rehearsed for Led Zeppelin's 1975 North American tour, this track was never completely played live at Led Zeppelin concerts. The band briefly performed a portion of the song as part of their acoustic set during a concert in Houston, Texas on 21 May 1977. The three surviving members of Led Zeppelin re-united with Jason Bonham sitting in on drums, at the latter's wedding reception in 1990 to play a 20-minute rendition of the song.
In later years, Robert Plant incorporated a chorus of the song on the end of the live version of his solo song, "Tall Cool One". Page also produced his own live version on his Outrider tour. Page and Plant finally performed the complete song together on occasion in 1996 while touring behind their No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded album. In 1999, Page again performed the song, this time whilst on his tour with the Black Crowes. A version of "Custard Pie" performed by Page and the Black Crowes can be found on the album Live at the Greek.
In a retrospective review of Physical Graffiti (Deluxe Edition), Jon Hadusek of Consequence of Sound called "Custard Pie" a "bouncy opener" that "kicks off side A with a raunchy innuendo, its closing blues harmonica solo trailing into "The Rover"." In another retrospective review of Physical Graffiti (Deluxe Edition), Brice Ezell of PopMatters called "Custard Pie" as one of Zeppelin's "best rock tunes".
- Larkin, Colin (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Seventies Music. Virgin Books. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-7535-0154-2.
Physical Graffiti, a double set, gave full rein to the quartet's diverse interests, with material ranging from compulsive hard rock ('Custard Pie' and 'Sick Again') to pseudo-mystical experimentation ('Kashmir').
- Linhardt, Alew (23 June 2004). "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Lewis, Dave (1994). The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
- Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream; The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1.
- Hadusek, Jon (19 February 2015). "Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (Reissue)". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- Ezell, Brice (27 February 2015). "Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Deluxe Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved 28 July 2017.