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Yes, that's right; I think Presence is Amazing.


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You heard me.

I am not at all assuming I am the ONLY one who has deep respect for Presence (I KNOW that I am not), but over the years I have been astounded by the wide-spread hate for this record.

Yes, the album was recorded during a tense time in the band's history.

Yes, there was a complete lack of keyboards and acoustic guitar (aside from the fabled 'lost' acoustic dub)

And yes, it had less 'variety' than their previous albums.

(I may have missed a few points, but forgive me)

BUT SERIOUSLY? They intentionally wrote the album in a particular style (harder-hitting - aiming back towards their I / II days).

I seriously do not find the songs to be that unusual for Zeppelin. Tea for One (one of my favorite Zep tracks) for instance, is essentially the spiritual successor to SIBLY.

I think that the whole band is in amazing form (Page goes without saying, Bozo's power is unbridled, and we get to hear some of JPJ's most impressive bass playing.)

Some people say that Plant's vocals sound strained (he was in a wheel-chair, after all), but I think he sounds amazing - tinted with a new emotional power.

Anyways, I could go on, but I wanted to open this topic up so that ANYONE could share their opinions of the album (both positive & negative).

Despite the undeniably one-sided tone of my opinion, don't be afraid to voice your own.

Start Ramblin!

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OK ... I'll play along.

Presence has 4 of my all time favorite Zeppelin songs..

Achilles Last Stand,

For Your Life,

Nobody's Fault But Mine

and Tea For One.

ALS is epic. Jimmy Page and John Bonham are on fire....

For Your Life is in my top 10 Zeppelin tracks ... maybe even top 5... always loved it.

NFBM is one of the most unique bone crunching tracks the band has ever done.. the intro is again pure Page genius.

Tea For One is a beautiful blues.. Some days I prefer it to SIBLY

Not really a big fan Hot's on For Nowhere or Royal Orleans though ....good but not great songs.

and I like Candy Store Rock alot. ... (which has the Acoustic guitar track.)

I don't miss the Keyboards or the Acoustic guitar, but that is why some might consider Presence one dimmensional..

It's great to hear JPJ from start to finish as a pure ripping Bassist ... if that makes sense. He always is a ripping Bassist, but on Presence, he had his new Alembic 8 string and was obviously very inspired to stick to that ... and it is a very fresh sound from him.

Jimmy Page really stepped up on it with some very fresh unique ideas... ALS FYL and NFBM are all brilliant unique songs.

HOFN has maybe the strangest guitar solo Page ever recorded.. in a good way.

Presence might be overlooked / negleted by some because it is the follow up to Physical Graffiti.. which is the greatest double album of all time...

A great album overall and I think it is much more appreciated now then it was in 1976.

Edited by the chase
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"...wide-spread hate for this record."

That's a bit of an overstatement, isn't it? I appreciate your love for "Presence", JGaul, but while many may not prefer it as much as the earlier albums, I have never encountered out-and-out 'hatred' for "Presence".

In fact, among most of my muso friends and acquaintances, "Presence" is regarded as a hidden gem...an underrated piece of their oeuvre. One little quirk I have discovered over the years is that many of the younger fans like "Presence" more than the older ones. These are the kids who came to Led Zeppelin late in the game...either "Presence" was their first Zeppelin album or they didn't get into the band until the 80s.

For a lot of kids who were into metal in the 80s and discovered Led Zeppelin thru hearing or reading about them in Heavy Metal magazines like Kerrang! or Rip, "Presence" is the most metal-sounding of their albums. No acoustic fussiness and Jimmy's guitars have a nasty metallic serrated edge to them, with diamond-sharp tones on the solos that could cut glass.

Of course, it had the unenviable task of following "Physical Graffiti", a double-album behemoth that is the supreme hardrock musical achievement of all- time. Susan Whitall had a great line in a Creem article she wrote...she said that after "Physical Graffiti", hearing "Presence" was like giving a heroin addict methadone.

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Well, What's not to love about Presence ???? it's an amazing album and it has 3 of my top 5 tracks.

Achilles Last Stand, a 10 minutes Epic with that solo in the middle, and one of Jimmy's favorite tracks.

For Your Life, my all time favorite track, it's just So monstrous, that is sometimes creep me out.

Royal Orleans, It's just Energetic, and tells us a funny incident that happened to the band.

Nobody's fault but mine, which i don't really need to talk about.

Candy Store Rock, a new direction for them, and it's just fabulous.

Hots on for nowhere, one of their most underrated song, and it's packed with fantastic guitar, and the drumming in the second half always make me speechless.

Tea for one, Just Delicious.

Yes, Presence is Awesome.

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Presence is the LP that I always feel like I haven't quite heard it all, its abrasive at times- it is soothing at times. Seems like there is always more there than I have heard before.

Strider is on the mark and it seems to me that Presence occupies a space all to itself as it is free of formulae and genre.

<<FFWD>> to 1:10 unless you dig Plantational wanderings

<<guitar army>> is over emphased. Some tracks like Ten Years Gone has overdubbs on the overdubbs. ALS is simple. To FISHHEAD: Page used tele's & strats on Presence.

Stratosaurus

"Presence" is regarded as a hidden gem...an underrated piece of their oeuvre. One little quirk I have discovered over the years is that many of the younger fans like "Presence" more than the older ones. These are the kids who came to Led Zeppelin late in the game...either "Presence" was their first Zeppelin album or they didn't get into the band until the 80s.

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It took me a long long time to get into "Presence". I first heard it in it's entirety the weekend prior to it's release on the BBCs Fluff Freeman or Tommy Vance show. It did not grab me at all, I thought a bit one dimensional..no light and shade. Playing the tape recording I made did not help either. I did not buy it until 1980 even then if i stuck it on the turntable the only track I played was "Tea For One". It was when I finaly bought the CD about Three years ago and gave it another chance that it clicked with me. Now I see it as a truly great album.

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I was never a huge fan of Presence when I first heard it, which is interesting because I was a big fan of metal in the early 80's. Over time I have grown to fully embrace it as another chapter in the storied career of the greatest band ever. I really have grown to love "For Your Life" since the O2 show. I have always loved ALS, NFBM, Royal Orleans and HOFN. "Tea For One" always seemed to drag on too long for me. My father, who got me into Zeppelin first, enjoyed it when I would make him a tape to listen to. So once I sent him a Zeppelin blues tape that included "Tea For One" and he asked me where that song came from and how much he identified with the lyrics. So, I gave it more of a listen and now I find myself getting lost in the song every time I hear it - mainly thinking about him, now that he has passed away. The only song I still don't really dig is "Candy Store Rock". Just something about it has never worked for me.....but there is still time. :)

Presence is a fantastic effort by the band, during one of their most trying times - IMO.

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Presence is my favorite Zeppelin album, and then comes Houses of the Holy. I mean, everything you'd want to get guitar-wise is on this album!

The biggest thing on this album is the great amount of guitar work that Jimmy did in it, it's literally every little thing would make a difference:

On HOFN on the "Oh Oh Oh..." part, there's this guitar added and it layers the songs segment. HOFN is my favorite Led Zeppelin track.

But I do agree with JTM, first I heard the album it didn't really hook my ears, but ALS obviously stood out to me because of the Drum-Bass combo.

The first thing that comes to mind on this album is the amazing combination between a bass and the drums.

And about the Hots on for nowhere again, what I love about it , it's that the tracks keeps building up and reaches climax in the end!

Goes building from that funny little diddy in the beggining to what it will become one and a half minutes later, it's just way to good.

I'd have to say that my least favorite track from Presence is Nobody's Fault But Mine, but it has more to do with me hearing it just sooooo many times

that it's like listening to STH hahaha...

To me this is the most simple album Zeppelin put out. Nothing added but a little acoustic guitar in one song (wich can't even be heard,almost), yet it shows

how complex Zeppelin is, distiguished from any other rock band from that period. Always will be my favorite. It was the first LP I bought along with A night a the opera by Queen.

Edited by magerogue
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Tea For One peeved me off for a couple of years trying to figure out how he was getting the sounds

saw them in '95 and finally got my answers- brilliant

I went through a few record needles when I got that album. For me, the solo in Tea For One is Jimmys finest moment.

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Man, I am so glad to see so many Presence fans!

I know it seems odd, but I have come across TONS of people who, upon bringing up Presence (when talking Zep, of course), have said something along the lines of

"Wait... you actually like Presence?"

I can never believe it, but likewise I have met NO ONE (aside from these forums) who recognizes Presence's Brilliance!

Anyways, I am so GLAD!

Oh to laugh aloud, Dancing as we fought the crowd.

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It's an album that I have always liked, and learned to love over the years.

There is something about "Presence" that makes it the only album of Zeppelin's that is hard for me to describe, or even think about sometimes. It's a very different sounding album, and there's just something about it that I can't put my finger on.

With that said, I love the album. Songs like "Achilles Last Stand"..."For Your Life"..."Tea for One"...and "Candy Store Rock" always get me going when I hear them.

I can't forget about "Nobody's Fault but Mine" and "Hots on For Nowhere" as well. Great songs too.

I have never really been able to get into "Royal Orleans" as much, but it's not a terrible song by any means. Just my least favorite on the album.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I think that the album might suffer from the Physical Graffiti (my favorite Zep album) hangover. People didn't listen to it and enjoy the new direction they were taking. They were thinking "well, it's no Physical Graffiti. That's for sure" or something like that. I think the album has gained a lot of favor with fans over the years. And rightfully so in my opinion.

Edited by BlackDog71
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Man, I am so glad to see so many Presence fans!

I know it seems odd, but I have come across TONS of people who, upon bringing up Presence (when talking Zep, of course), have said something along the lines of

"Wait... you actually like Presence?"

I have come across the same thing. I usually don't understand the weird reception it gets, but I usually chalk it up to difference of opinion. Zeppelin has something to offer pretty much any music fan. That's what made them so special. What doesn't appeal to one, will probably appeal a lot to someone else.

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Jimmy Page said of Presence; Yes, yes. There are no keyboards on Presence for instance, but you have to understand that album was recorded after Robert had his motor accident. He had his leg in plaster and apparently it wasn't 100% so that it could heal properly. That's what I was told at the time anyway. So you could imagine, that was a bit hairy. I think it reflects in that album, there's a lot of tension there. I think that's quite a good album. Achilles Last Stand sounds amazing now, after you haven't heard it for a long time. That was one of the songs that when me were remastering, everyone was going, "My goodness gracious" (laughs)

RCD magazine Vol 1 No 2.

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