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Led Zeppelin takes one more step - backwards (Presence review)


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I've also scanned the original cover and article from Rolling Stone - right HERE

It really is pretty amazing to read that review by Dave Marsh. He definitely was and is a respected rock journalist, and his book on The Who is still generally considered one of the best (it ranks highly on my list of books to read). He seems to completely miss the whole point - again and again and again..... Notably the drumming gets on his nerves, and that's not just about Bonzo's incredibly and very unusually powerful drumming, but also about how the drums are recorded. But Jimmy Page as producer has since these days been praised especially for how he went about recording the drums, making sure not only that they could be heard properly, but also that they sounded really well. He would use more distance in miking the set so as to make sure the acoustics had ample room to breathe. Hah, Marsh apparently thinks the old cardboard box sound is better!

He also seems to think there is a lot of guitar tricks stuff on Presence. Well, he's wrong once again. This album however is where Jimmy developed his ideas about guitar orchestration in a really rounded way, - and to perfection on 'Achilles Last Stand'. Overdubs done in the space of a few hours!

Well, it's just interesting how people can sometimes develop their ear to have a good understanding of some artists' music - and they completely don't get some other artists offering, even to the point where you are led to ask yourself whether this person really knows anything at all. Led Zeppelin and The Who both had unbelievable rhythm sections - if quite different in style. But one would have thought that if somebody appreciates the totally wild approach of The Who they at least wouldn't be prejudiced against the Bonzo-Jonesy approach. Apparently that is (or was) a possibility.

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Cameron Crowe's article "The Durable Led Zeppelin" was an exlusive Page/Plant interview which made the cover of Rolling Stone's March 13th 1975 issue. He followed this up with

"Led Zeppelin Conquers States", a feature on their 1975 North American tour published

in the May 22nd 1975 issue.

In May 1976 an ad for the 'Presence' began to appear, and the album was reviewed

by Stephen Davis in the May 20th 1976 issue.

The following month, a Cameron Crowe expose on the object, "Secrets of the Object Revealed", was published in the June 3rd 1976 issue. He followed this with the feature "Zeppelin Rising...Slowly" in the August 12th 1976. Undoubtedly, the interview comments to which you refer appear in one of these two features.

With the exception of some sensationalist coverage of the brawl in Oakland (July 1977)

Rolling Stone magazine never produced another extensive Led Zeppelin feature during

the 1970s again.

Cameron Crowe of course remains an avid enthusiast of Led Zeppelin.

Thanks for the info. Although Marsh worked for R.S. I see that Stephen Davis wrote the review for Presence that appeared in the actual issue of R.S. I feel the need to set the record straight on one thing even though R.S. really doesn't deserve it. The Stephen Davis review was reasonable in my estimation----although I don't think he gave the band enough credit---he basically said that there were problems with inconsistency but that ALS and NFBM were standouts. Compared to the Marsh review, there was a much better attempt at fairness. But if you take all the R.S. reviews as a whole there were major problems. It shouldn't be true, but I really think the more "media savy" a band is, the better the reviews will be. I don't think that is the way things should be but this is not a perfect world. Case in point----The very media-- savy Rolling Stones---they have had the media kissing their asses for decades with both reviews and publicity. L.Z. usually tried to either ignore or tick off the media and I think the reviews reflected that.

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Absolutely. I mean, how could anybody on Gods green earth take that guy seriously after that review? Did Richard Cole give him a flick of the boot at a show prior to this?

Again, a complete disgrace.

I grew up in the city that this review was printed in. I don't recall anyone giving this twit (or his review) the time of day. We were far too busy enjoying Zep's music and hanging out at the Island. B)

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By Dave Marsh

The immediate follow-up,

"Houses of the Holy," was

a straight reprise of the

fourth album, without its

imagination.

You can't take anything he says seriously with comments like that.

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I remember reading that stupid review "back in the day". Just one more case of critics jumping on the Bash the Zeppelin bandwagon. I remember one critic saying something to the effect that "it sounds like Bonham forgot how to play drums". That's what happens when you step away from nice simple 4/4 time. Dave Marsh always hated progressive rock (which he tried, unsucessfully, to name "art rock"). I think drummers like Bonham, Bruford, Peart etc. were just to complicated for him!

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I've also scanned the original cover and article from Rolling Stone - right HERE

Well, it's just interesting how people can sometimes develop their ear to have a good understanding of some artists' music - and they completely don't get some other artists offering, even to the point where you are led to ask yourself whether this person really knows anything at all. Led Zeppelin and The Who both had unbelievable rhythm sections - if quite different in style. But one would have thought that if somebody appreciates the totally wild approach of The Who they at least wouldn't be prejudiced against the Bonzo-Jonesy approach. Apparently that is (or was) a possibility.

it's apparent to me that in these situations, personal politics are always envolved...

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What the fuck? Cut the line? Are they suggesting that they should've kicked Bonzo out..!?! What an idiot.

Also I laughed at this:

At their

best, as on this album's

'Nobody's Fault But Mine,'

Zeppelin are reminiscent of

the Yardbirds' empty excursions

into the outer

reaches of electric guitar

possibility, with the added

advantage of a good vocalist.

"With the added advantage of a good vocalist", lol Keith Relf wasn't good? Nice kicking him when he's down..

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By Dave Marsh

LED ZEPPELIN: "Presence"

(Swan Song SS 8416).

"Presence," Led Zeppelin's

seventh album, represents

another step backwards

from the promise of

the group's fourth and untitled

album. That album,

which contained the monumental

'Stairway to Heaven,'

and has sold somewhere

between 4 and 6

million copies (depending

upon who you ask), was

chock full of arresting melodies,

imaginative riffs

and, surprisingly, even

some emotional content, a

real first in heavy English

guitar rock.

But since then Led Zeppelin

has reneged on its

promise over and again.

The immediate follow-up,

"Houses of the Holy," was

a straight reprise of the

fourth album, without its

imagination. Last year's

"Physical Graffiti," a two record

set, was simply

deadening, too many songs

that went on too long and

too aimlessly. "Presence"

now seems like just another

factor in the formula.

The formula itself is not

altogether uninteresting.

Jimmy Page remains one

of the most interesting riffers

in the guitar game and

Robert Plant can occasionally

reach for some surprising

belting vocally. At their

best, as on this album's

'Nobody's Fault But Mine,'

Zeppelin are reminiscent of

the Yardbirds' empty excursions

into the outer

reaches of electric guitar

possibility, with the added

advantage of a good vocalist.

But Zeppelin has one insurmountable

flaw and it

mars this album as it has

every one they've made.

Drummer John Bonham is

something like clinically incompetent.

When he and

Page riff together, in their

a-rhythmic fashion, the results

can be effective, if

never truly riveting. When

Page steps away from him,

everything fails apart. Part

of the problem is the lifeless

way that Bonham's drums

are recorded, but a bigger

difficulty is that he just

can't keep time. They call

him Moby Dick, and. like

the great white whale, he's

dragging a potentially fantastic

vessel to the bottom

with him. Cut the line, I

say.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha <_<

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah :angry: hahahahahahahahahahaha

unbelievable!!! :unsure:

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ok NBC hated Star Trek in the 60's and killed it.Look at it now..

Whenever I watch any Sci-Fi on TV, It's amazing how much of it is not original. Presence was original just ahead of its time with critics. They wanted another PG just like what happened with II onto III. Maybe Bonham's drumming on the tracks were too much for the day to handle..!

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