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Led Zeppelin - Presence CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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3.37 | 604 ratings

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5 stars It's a reviewing cliche to pick a great band's least appreciated album and tout it as misunderstood genius. But the blow to my credibility as a reviewer is warranted in the case of "Presence", which features some of the geratest and most original music by Zeppelin, probably the greatest band of their time.

Jimmy Page's favourite of his own albums, "Presence" is more rough-sounding than "Houses of the Holy," and much better-recorded. The album opens with "Achilles' Last Stand," which is one of those ten-minute tunes that never seems long enough. Bonham's drumming is so locked in and so tight that the tune could be twice that length and still approachable.

"For Your Life" and "Royal Orleans" are good but not great, but "Nobody's Fault But Mine" is a return to the blues rock that made Zeppelin famous. The tune has a similar stop-start pattern to "Black Dog." "Candy Store Rock" features Plant's Elvis impersonation, as Zeppelin becomes the world's heaviest rockabilly band. "Hots on For Nowhere" is better, and "Tea For One" closes out the album with a heavy-as-hell slow blues that mines the same territory that "Since I've Been Loving You" did.

Overall, the album doesn't feature as many catchy songs as other Zeppelin albums, and there are admittedly a few cringe-worthy moments. But "Achilles," "Fault" and "Tea" make up for this, and should earn "Presence" a place on any music fan's shelves.

SamW | 5/5 |


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