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Led Zeppelin - Presence CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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3.37 | 599 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Zeppelin's Last Stand

That cover always troubled me as it did not look like a Led Zeppelin album, and in many ways it did not sound the same either. A family staring at a black obelisk; a mysrery object and perhaps it symbolised a change. The band were turning a corner and becoming more like an AOR band, albeit with a progressive flavour in the mixture. Most of this album is full of songs that only the diehard ZepHeads would know.

Things like 'For Your Life', 'Candy Store Rock', 'Hots On For Nowhere', 'Tea For One' and 'Royal Orleans' rarely see the light of day on compilations or in live concerts of the band. Having stated this of course the reason why is obvious; they are simply not very good songs. The magic was disappearing, and in fact so was the mystique that the band worked so hard to create in the early days. Perhaps they were becoming too popular. With the release of their movie the same year it was apparent that it was becoming increasingly difficult to continue the way they were.

There was still some magic left though. 'Achilles Last Stand' is one of the most amazing songs in the Led Zeppelin canon, feeling like symphonic prog and it is one of the longest at over 10 minutes in length. Page and Plant are at the top of their game on this. Plant in fact sounds as good as ever, and trades off brilliantly with Page who is a man possessed on guitar with choppy chord changes and blues riffs.

The other song worth 5 stars is the utterly mesmirising riff heavy 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' which I wished would go on longer. It has a massive blues riff and Plant echoes the riff with exquisite vocals. The lead break is awesome and the song is unforgettable once heard.

So we have an album with 2 moments of brilliance and a lot of straight forward groove rock. How do you rate it in this case? I can squeeze 3 stars out for the aforementioned excellent material. But this definitely was the end of greatness for this band.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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