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Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Old 06-23-10, 09:23 PM
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Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Presence: Released March 1976



Personnel:
John Bonham drums, percussion
John Paul Jones 4- and 8-string bass guitars
Jimmy Page electric guitars, production
Robert Plant vocals, harmonica

Track listing:
Achilles Last Stand (Page, Plant)
For Your Life (Page, Plant)
Royal Orleans (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant)

Nobody's Fault But Mine (Page, Plant)
Candy Store Rock (Page, Plant)
Hots On for Nowhere (Page, Plant)
Tea for One (Page, Plant)
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Old 06-23-10, 09:36 PM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Zep's weakest album. The album starts off brilliantly with "Achilles Last Stand," easily one of their best tracks, but other than "Nobody's Fault But Mine," nothing else here is noteworthy. The band sounds tired and lacking focus.

Last edited by Supermallet; 06-23-10 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:06 PM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

It's definitely part of a transition, which more fully manifested itself in the next album. Nobody's Fault but Mine is actually the only track here I'm familiar with. It's good, but a bit repetitive.
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Old 06-23-10, 11:22 PM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

I actually really love "For Your Life"!
Another one of those songs that you'd only hear on the radio on special occasions like "Zep Weekend" or "Zeppelin A-Z". A nice slow rocker that would have fit-in on PG as well.

I always thought "Tea For One" sounded like a rehash of "Since" from LZ III.
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Old 06-24-10, 08:30 AM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

I picked this album up in college but I did not listen to it much until a few years ago. The only song I was familiar with was "Nobody's Fault But Mine" from the radio but I enjoy this album for the most part. Pretty straight forward.

"Achilles Last Stand" reminds me of the arena rock sound of the late '70s. "For Your Life" is probably my favorite song from this album. I really like the opening of "Tea for One" -- I kinda wish they would have developed the song around this riff.
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Old 06-24-10, 08:45 AM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Opens okay and then, poof, crash and burn. Nobody' Fault was popular but I find it kind of boring today.

I have not listened to Coda in many years but Presence and Coda were my least favorite. I am just not sure which one I like better
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Old 06-24-10, 08:52 AM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Originally Posted by wishbone View Post
I really like the opening of "Tea for One" -- I kinda wish they would have developed the song around this riff.
Exactly! It seems like it was a missed opportunity. They had a great idea, and then they fell back on old, tired territory they've already done a million times, and not even in an exciting way on this occasion. I love "Since I've Been Loving You", but "TFO" is like a bad or uninteresting remake of it.

Last edited by HUG-H; 06-24-10 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 06-24-10, 08:55 AM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Bonzo's drumming, imo IS very, very solid all the way through the album
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Old 06-24-10, 09:44 AM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

This album could just be "Nobody's Fault" with the rest of it being static, and I'd still like it - actually, it kinda is like that.
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Old 06-24-10, 10:40 AM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
That's true on EVERY Zep release, though.
Maybe the entire album should have been "Bonzo's Montreux"!
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Old 06-24-10, 12:01 PM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

The most crapped on Zeppelin release, but I like it. It's INFINITELY better than the total snooze/crapfest to be found in the album to follow.

Achilles Last Stand -- EPIC. Big powerful Zep opener. Love it. As great an album opener as anything on the first 5. Bonzo plays some sick drums here.

For Your Life -- nice vibe on this track. I like everything about the song, from Page's slide to Plant's assured vocals (even if he was confined to a wheelchair for the whole album). But it's only like, not love.

Royal Orleans -- funky number. Again, like not love. Bonzo's drumming shines here. Good song for background noise when buzzing brillo.

Nobody's Fault But Mine -- you don't like this song, you don't like Zeppelin. Period. Classic. Mad love here.

Candy Store Rock -- Lemmy said it best. Blecch. Not a fan.

Hots On For Nowhere -- echoes of Royal Orleans, but I love the catchy, singalong chorus. Not a classic, but likeable . JPJ's bass is so precise and driving, anyone who picks up a Fender P should master this track or don't even bother getting out of bed.

Tea For One -- weak closer. Page does some nice work here, but what a boring song. Zep has done this kind of slow blues better many times before.


So I really like PRESENCE. Two great songs, two bad songs, and 3 likeable ones. The weak material is pushed towards the end of the album, making Presence sort of top-heavy. And the likeable songs are just that: likeable, but not classics. But overall it's a GOOD album... compared to the First Five, it's clearly inferior, and it's a few notches below PG as well. Yet I'd wager many of those who write off PRESENCE as Zep's weakest album really haven't given it a deep listen.

My rankings:

TOP OF THE PACK: Houses of the Holy, III

SUSTAINED GREATNESS: II, IV, I

FLAWED WITH GREATNESS: Physical Graffiti

GOOD BUT NOT EPIC: Presence

BORED SHITLESS: In Through The Out Door, Coda
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Old 06-24-10, 12:01 PM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

I actually like this album quite a bit. When first released it didn't grab me, but now has a "fresh" sound since everything else has been played into the ground on radio. Not a classic but far from being crap. The beginning of the band's personal bad luck and decline. By now Page was becoming a heroin addict and Plant had just been in a bad car wreck. His arm, leg, or both were in a cast during recording.

Achilles Last Stand not a favorite of mine. Somewhat too loud and bombastic. Feels like a song they worked on over the years, some of the guitar parts were used in extended versions of songs played live as far back as '73.
For Your Life Best song on album
Royal Orleans one of my least favorite of their songs
Nobody's Fault But Mine Another redo of old blues song. Easily the one song to get airplay and become known
Candy Store Rock/Hots On For Nowhere just ok by LZ standards but still miles above what most other artists can come up with
Tea For One I really differ from everyone else on this. LZ type blues at it's best. The vocal and guitar have a haunting effect that adds to the "downer" feeling of the song. This is the blues after all. I think Page's lead on this song is some of the best he ever put down on record. Give this one another listen.
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Old 06-24-10, 02:54 PM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Achilles Last Stand - Bonzo does great work here. Otherwise, it's a bloated and lifeless mess.

For Your Life - Cool little blues jam.

Royal Orleans - Nice bit of funk.

Nobody's Fault But Mine - One of Zep's best tracks. I love the way this song builds. This might be Plant's best work, both on vocals and harmonica.

Candy Store Rock - This song irritates me.

Hots on for Nowhere - Cool little blues jam.

Tea For One - Great bluesy rock jam. Page is fantastic here.


I used the word "jam" a lot, and that's the problem with Presence. Some really good musicianship, but - other than Nobody's Fault - the songs just aren't memorable.
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Old 06-24-10, 04:54 PM
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Re: Led Zeppelin, Album by Album: Presence

Love the opening and closing tracks. Achilles Last Stand could be considered one of the top 5 songs they ever recorded, and Tea For One is a classic blues tune. However, the rest is average at best (I imagine you could say Nobody's Fault But Mine is somewhat above average). I always considered this album their transistion period from a great band whose every previous album was a near maserpiece, to their slide down the ladder.
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