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Presence CD


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Presence
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Audio CD, CD, August 16, 1994
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Led Zeppelin was the definitive heavy metal band. It wasn't just their crushingly loud interpretation of the blues -- it was how they incorporated mythology, mysticism, and a variety of other genres (most notably world music and British folk) -- into their sound. Led Zeppelin had mystique. They rarely gave interviews, since the music press detested the band. Consequently, the only ... Read more in Amazon's Led Zeppelin Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 16, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002JSJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,208 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Achilles Last Stand
2. For Your Life
3. Royal Orleans
4. Nobody's Fault But Mine
5. Candy Store Rock
6. Hots On For Nowhere
7. Tea Is For One

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What was that thing in the center of the dining room table? It's still a mystery, but this 1976 album fits comfortably into the canon, with Achilles' Last Stand; Nobody's Fault but Mine; For Your Life; Hots On for Nowhere , and more.

Amazon.com

Presence is one of Led Zeppelin's more overlooked albums, languishing in the monstrous shadow of its predecessor, Physical Graffiti. It's more noted in Zeppelin mythology for the circumstances in which it was recorded, in double-quick time with vocalist Robert Plant's leg in plaster after a car accident. The lack of time does show--much of the album feels like generic heavy rock, bigger on volume than variety. It's worth the price of the album, however, for the 10-minute-plus "Achilles Last Stand" (a crashing, galloping epic with John Bonham sounding like he's replaced his drumsticks with tree trunks) and "Nobody's Fault but Mine," a Blind Willie Johnson blues regenerated with a 3,000-watt boost by Jimmy Page. --David Stubbs

Customer Reviews

Presence is the most underrated album in the Led Zeppelin catalog.
P Magnum
It has great tracks such as Achille's Last Stand, Nobody's Fault But Mine and Candy Store Rock.
"ledzeppelin17"
There are four great songs, one good song, and two bad songs on this album.
T. Caporale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By "humdat" on March 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
When Robert Plant and his family sustained serious injuries in a car accident on the Greek island of Rhoads in August 1975, the future of Led Zeppelin was immediately thrown into question. To further complicate matters, the band was spending a year of non-residency outside of Britain due to said countrys tax laws. Unable to tour, and unable to live with their families, the band decided to record a new album, "Presence". Recorded and mixed in just 18 days in Munich, West Germany, the results are striking and easily Led Zeppelins most personal album.
The epic "Achilles' Last Stand" catches Zeppelin at their most powerful and desperate as Jimmy Page builds track upon track of harmonized guitars while the rest of the band thunder maniacally behind him and Plant. It is certainly a task to follow this piece, and sure enough, the other songs don't quite measure up to "Achilles'". The rest of the album is mid-tempo guitar rock inspired by Plants frame of mind post-accident. "For Your Life" is depressing song about drug abuse which contains another fine Page solo. "Royal Orleans" is a short, compact funk-rock piece which supposedly cronicles John Paul Jones' misadventures with a drag queen in New Orleans 2 years previous. "Nobodys Fault But Mine" is a pounding blues-rock song with the Jones-John Bonham rhythm section caught in fine form, making the stop-start riffs sound easy. Pages lead is again worth mentioning. "Candy Store Rock" is a throw-away old-time Elvis-esque rock-and-roll piece which finds Page doing his best Jimmy Burton/Scotty Moore impersonation.
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80 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Peter E. Hefford on July 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Presence was the last, and my least favourite, of the great Led Zeppelin albums, viz. I'm not including Outdoor (more like Outhouse!) or CODA.

Presence was always inaccessible to me for some intangible reason and I rarely played it. I had read interviews with Page years later where he was bemused that no one liked Presence, as he personally liked it.

Following the recent 30th anniversary of the release of Presence, there were a number of music magazine articles I read saying the usual deal about what an under rated & over looked album Presence was.

Being a big fan of Led Zeppelin (especially Page's guitar playing & production) and given they aren't making any new Zeppelin albums, I decided I should "study" Presence more closely.

After revisting it and living with it for a few weeks I realised that a number of the filler tracks were quite good and Tea for One was a hidden gem of blues/rock guitar playing - a kind of latter day Since I've Been Loving You. I also came to the conclusion that the tracks were badly sequenced on the album contributing to its inaccessibility.

My solution has been to notionally resequence Presence, as below, and I personally play the album in that order. It's become a completely different (new!) album to me and I have unlocked the sequence of its success!

"Side One"

4. Nobody's Fault But Mine

6. Hots On For Nowhere

7. Tea For One

3. Royal Orleans

"Side Two"

2. For Your Life

5. Candy Store Rock

1. Achilles Last Stand
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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jack Fitzgerald VINE VOICE on April 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It's hard to be objective with Presence when comparing it to the releases that came before it. How does one top "IV," "Houses of the Holy," and the sprawling "Physical Graffiti?" Also, this disk was recorded at a time when the band was suffering a bit from its lifestyle and Robert Plant was recovering from a serious auto accident.
What they do is take a back to basics approach, performing as a band with guitars, bass, drums and Plant's vocals. No acoustic guitars or keyboards, just hard rocking Led Zeppelin. While this is effective, there is a noticeable lack of the dynamics of earlier releases and the eclectic variety that made Led Zeppelin be able to pull off a hard rock tune with mandolins.
The two key tracks on Presence are "Achilles Last Stand" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine."
"Achilles" has a galloping triplet bassline, some of Bonham's best drumming, and layers of Page guitar lines. It's an epic cross of "Immigrant Song" and "Song Remains the Song."
"Nobody's Fault But Mine" begins with a classic Page guitar lick, drenched in effects and gradually building in volume, then mimicked by Plant's vocals. The bass/drum rhythms are tricky here, with lots of stop/start mechanics. Plant's performance is memorable, with such gems as "m-m-m-monkey on my back" or "no-no-no-no-no-nooooo...nobody's fault but mine" plus the return of the harmonica.
"For Your Life" is okay, but kind of a castoff from Physical Graffiti. "Royal Orleans" has some cool funk rhythms. "Candy Store Rock" was a single issue from this release, but I don't think it stands up against their other, more superior work.
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Forums

Topic From this Discussion
Definitive Zeppelin/Floyd albums?
Led Zeppelin- Led Zeppelin 2, Led Zeppelin 4, Houses of the Holy, and Physical Graffiti
Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals
My personal favorites are Physical Graffiti and Dark Side of the Moon
Led Zeppelin 4 has the most "radio" songs on it like Stairway to... Read More
Jul 9, 2009 by T. O'Brien |  See all 5 posts
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