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NealR2000

Their worst cover art

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For me, without doubt, Presence.

I get the whole bit about the band having a "presence", and even the object thingy, but that photo of that well-scrubbed middle class family sitting around the table, staring at it, symbolizes a scene that's about as far from Led Zeppelin as one can get. I'm sure that in an age where cover art was a big deal, this turned a lot of people off. Yes, I know the band had that "let the music do the talking" thing, and all that no band name on Vol 4, but Vol 4's cover art was still very alluring and interesting. I know that there was that whole tennis racket thing where Thorgerson wanted to use that to portray a raquet/racket message for Presence. Thank God that was overruled as that would have been even worse.

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The sleeve design for Presence works just fine for me, it gives off a subtle and eerie, almost otherworldly, feel that sits perfectly with the album itself... it may have put some people off, but then again, some people are pretty superficial, a character trait that led to the image-focused rock/metal scene of the 1980's, something that the mighty Zep thankfully avoided.

The worst Zep cover is, by a considerable margin, the sleeve design for Coda... no-one will convince me THAT was the sleeve they intended all along, for a company so innovative and imaginative as Hipgnosis to have 'designed' - and I use that word loosely - a cover that was worse than anything a first-year art student drunk off his/her face could have come up with is baffling, only slightly less baffling than the fact LZ (or what was left of them by 1981-2) actually paid someone for something Jimmy Page in his heroin daze could have bettered on his own. I always got the impression they had a different design for Coda, but for whatever reason, it didn't work out and they had to come up with something - anything! - pretty quickly before it went to the presses... don't get me wrong, that album has some golden moments on it (more so if you include the 1990's expanded version), but that cover did it and them no favours whatsoever.

All that being said, I can't wait for the upcoming remastered version... the irony...

Edited by The Old Hermit

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Agreed ,Coda,but Zep 2 comes in second for me.Horrible brown background with garish pink band logo and then you open the gatefold and there's a green sparkling zeppelin.To me its a mish mash of ideas and colours after the powerful image of the first album.

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Honorable mentions.Later Days,Band in space suits?HTWWW bit skimpy on presentation but then i suppose it was meant to look like bootleg.

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How the West Was Won's art is simply horrid in every way - ugly, skimpy, just dreadful.

Fortunately the music is frickin' incredible.

Edited by tmtomh

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I wasn't to impressed by In Through The Outdoor.Got it home and found a Led Zeppelin album inside instead of my monthly porn mag.But seriously of the albums that were released when they were active all were great except Zep 2 was not so good.My first lp was 3 with its spinning wheel.I fiddled with it for hours,err,years.Lp covers were great in the late sixties though to the 70s.Went to crap in the eighties along with most of the music and then in a resurgence in the 90s with cds trying their best(like Tools efforts).

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How the west was won...

(most bootlegs have more exciting artwork than this).

On second thought I must admit that I always found the artwork for the first LP less than impressive. Like it was 'penned' by an uninspired schoolkid fool'n around with a Rotring and an old black and white photograph of the mighty hindenburg.

The latter day Hipgnosis work is also overrated. Somehow formulaic and interchangeable IMHO.

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I hadn't really considered the post-break-up collections. In fact, I didn't even consider Coda, which was clearly an after-thought without the usual artistic deliberations.

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http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/22687-presence-album-cover/

I recently covered this same idea, from the Presence cover.

As I've previously mentioned, what turns me off about Presence, is the way it may have affected sales and perception upon release. Many on here feel as if Presence didn't sell as well as previous albums, or ITTOD, because the music is too much like "Album music" but, Zep was always like that. I can't help but feel that not only in 76, but throughout the years, that Presence would have sold better, to the non die hards, had it been a darker cover. I agree that music shouldn't be affected by cover art, but covers of albums back in the day, have played a key role in helping to sell music and how songs were perceived upon first listen.

Edited by price.pittsburgh

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LZ III and Presence for me were always duds. The others all at least had something else going on that made them interesting, but neither of those two ever really stood out to me as anything all that great. :-\

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^ but LZIII had a rotating wheel. That's pretty great :)

I'd agree with LZII as well. Always baffled by the inside picture of the Zeppelin and the spotlights. And that colour brown....pretty mediocre

Presence was always quite intriguing for me as an album cover, and I'd love to get an obelisk.

Edited by mckjuana

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Album art in the vinyl era was very important. Particularly with the classic albums of that era that you could open up. It was quite a common thing to spend a long time looking all over it while the music played. It was the time when you didn't just listen to the music, you actually went inside it.

In my opinion, there were some bands that got more sales mileage than the music deserved because of fabulous album art. Yes comes to mind.

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Album art in the vinyl era was very important. Particularly with the classic albums of that era that you could open up. It was quite a common thing to spend a long time looking all over it while the music played. It was the time when you didn't just listen to the music, you actually went inside it.

In my opinion, there were some bands that got more sales mileage than the music deserved because of fabulous album art. Yes comes to mind.

Iron Maiden

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Iron Maiden in the 1980's thoroughly deserved every single album and ticket sale they got, they were tremendous across that decade, the 1990's and beyond however are an entirely different matter; I've always believed to my core that the follow-up to 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son could and indeed SHOULD have been something truly monumental upon release in late 1990 had the collective will been there to do so (Lord knows the ability certainly was) - nothing less than a heavy metal equivalent of Physical Graffiti - but instead they chose the easy option and became increasingly dull and stale and irrelevant as a result, sure they've undergone a commercial resurgence since Bruce Dickinson rejoined in 1999, but creatively, the albums still can't hold a candle to their 1980's heyday, not by a long shot... once creative momentum is lost, it's rarely if ever truly found again.

There's a lot to be said about quitting whilst still ahead, which always made me kinda glad the mighty Zep ended when they did, the circumstances may have been tragic but the result was not.

Oops, sorry I went off-topic and on a little tangent there, as you were everyone...

Edited by The Old Hermit

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Agreed ,Coda,but Zep 2 comes in second for me.Horrible brown background with garish pink band logo and then you open the gatefold and there's a green sparkling zeppelin.To me its a mish mash of ideas and colours after the powerful image of the first album.

Zep II is iconic.

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Eh, I'll go with Coda too, just so much suck with that bland cover.

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For me, without doubt, Presence.

I get the whole bit about the band having a "presence", and even the object thingy, but that photo of that well-scrubbed middle class family sitting around the table, staring at it, symbolizes a scene that's about as far from Led Zeppelin as one can get. I'm sure that in an age where cover art was a big deal, this turned a lot of people off. Yes, I know the band had that "let the music do the talking" thing, and all that no band name on Vol 4, but Vol 4's cover art was still very alluring and interesting. I know that there was that whole tennis racket thing where Thorgerson wanted to use that to portray a raquet/racket message for Presence. Thank God that was overruled as that would have been even worse.

How do you feel about the Presence artwork for the companion disc?! The original artwork is possibly their worst artwork IMO as well, but the companion artwork looks incredible! I love the colors. I love all the artwork for the companion discs, they all look perfect!

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