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Personal Distaste with Presence.


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One of the best and most important albums in Zep's catalogue. The maturity of the composition and arrangement while still being grounded in blues roots shows just how fantastically these musicians evolved as individuals and as a single unit performing together.

The song order is perfect, especially with TF1 as the closer. To me, Zep ended with Presence and were quite a different band with the new direction in ITTOD (much due to JPJ's songwriting influences). The new direction was great, but very, very different.

If I could only pick a couple of albums to have on a desert island, Zep III and Presence would be high on the list.

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Presence is exactly what the word means. Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out if you have a personal distaste for this fabulous mid 1976 guitar rocking album. Here America, listen to this for your bicentennial year.

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When I first heard Presence back in 1976 it came as a huge disappointment compared to it's predecessor Physical Graffitti. 30 years on and it's still not a strong album but does have a few hot tracks such as Achilles Last Stand and Nobody's Fault But Mine.

No point in messing about with it's running order, after all Sergeant Pepper would never be the same if it didn't finish with "A day in the Life".

Well for what it's worth I totally agree with you. I never cared for the album when first released either and overall I still don't.

However I do think that Tea For One is truly one of Zeppelins' best underrated songs in their entire catelogue. So I guess all is not lost.

Regards;

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I wouldnt think its misguided to say Stairway to Heaven blows away anything on Presence. And so do several other songs. If there is an underated album by music fans that are into Zeppelin but not die hards like us, it Graffiti.Presence in my opinion, and I do like it and own it, is truly not in the same league as IV or Graffiti

I could not disagree with you more. The only difference between IV and Presence is IV is consistently great while Presence can only maintain that level for four songs.

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I wouldnt think its misguided to say Stairway to Heaven blows away anything on Presence. And so do several other songs. If there is an underated album by music fans that are into Zeppelin but not die hards like us, it Graffiti.Presence in my opinion, and I do like it and own it, is truly not in the same league as IV or Graffiti

Try this phrase on for size.

"In my humble opinion"

I listen to Presence far more often than STH.....but then again I've been listening for over 30 years.

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Actually i think -in the light was a big deal... and -the rover/houses of the holy had a heavy rock feel, but not metal...but a metal sound in the riff of -houses, but hey no big deal.

I was unclear, I apologize. In The Light (the song) was quite a big deal and I love it. What I meant was in light of Zeppelin's catalog Custard Pie is not a big deal.

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I personally love the order and would not change it around, and how were they supposed to know Achilles would be such a big hit, I'm not too fond of Royal Orleans and Hots For Nowhere though -_-

How were they supposed to know? That song has the most riffs I've ever heard in one sitting. And the most epic solo ever. The way it was made and how much love they put into it you can barely even say it wouldn't have some impact. The intro and outro alone deserve medals.

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  • 5 months later...

Many good albums are arranged like a baseball batting order, with the best at # 3, 4, 5, and the worst last. I never had a problem with the order of Presence, but do like dpat's suggestion the best. I find Tea for One a bit slow, even as a blues fan.

Edited by jimmie ray
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This thread does not surprise me.

I won Presence from a radio station when it came out, and I was addicted from the beginning.

I used to bring it to all our get-togethers/parties and wait out II and IV and then slip it on. And everyone was always "here we go again..."

It took literally 6 months before everyone in our neighborhood finally began to "feel" it.

Change the order?

blasphemy.

You open with the sledgehammer blow.

next you break it down.

then a little fun

before you come back with the second hammer.

Next you show a little complexity

have a little more fun

then wrap it up by letting everyone know that despite this drastic evolution, you still remember your roots, and how!

If you REALLY know the album, you'll recognize this description and it's accuracy.

someone mentioned "it's all start and stop" - like that's a BAD thing?

The incredible syncopation of Presence is it's enduring trademark.

Side by side with IV?

I'll take that bet, even though it's apples and oranges.

Maybe not in airplay, or mainstream recognition.

But in power, and solos? Any day.

Presence has some of the best solos Jimmy has ever created, and EVERY song has at least a good one. On IV, because Going to California and Battle of Evermore are more acoustical, they have essentially no solos at all. They make up for this with an overall timeless quality.

The solo on T41 is almost as good as SIBLY, and is a vastly underrated cut.

Just speaking in power and solos...

Stairway vs ALS - power and solo, advantage ALS

Levee vs NFBM it even matches up harmonica and guitar solos - power, slight advantage Levee, solos, advantage NFBM

Rock and Roll vs For Your Life - power, advantage RNR, solo tied.

MMH vs Candy Store Rock - power, advantage MMH, solo, advantage CSR

Black Dog vs Hots on For Nowhere - power and solo, advantage Black Dog - but that doesn't mean HOFN doesn't have a great solo, it does.

Four Sticks vs Royal Orleans - power, advantage Four Sticks, solo, advantage Royal Orleans

I sometimes don't think people have listened intently enough to the solos on Presence to appreciate how outstanding they really are.

As was mentioned earlier, Presence was so aptly named, because it unleashed an onslaught that aficionados of LZ's more laid-back, acoustical stylings weren't totally prepared for.

You may question my side by side ratings, but then I may question of how well you've really listened to Presence.

I freely admit to being a no-Coda snob, there are 8 true studio releases for me.

If I were stuck on the inevitable desert island, I choose Presence over IV 9 out of 10 times.

stats.gif representin'

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Presence is one of the coolest Zeppelin albums ever, iit's modern rock at it's best, still sounds fresh, not dated at all. The sound, mix, and production is their smoothest ever and Page's playing is among his best. Love his twang and attitude, as well as Jones break-through pioneering bass tone on Achilles. If you listen closely to Jones' bass on ALS, he's muting and chugging along with high-end clarity you never really hear from a bass, while simultaneously having incredibly deep, warm low end. He manages this HUGE tone without cluttering the mix or overpowering the other guys, all while playing incredibly tasty and clever bass lines that TOTALLY fit the music 100%, serving the song. That's Jones for 'ya, the best of the best. And blues guitar playing DOES NOT get any better than Tea For One, Page's playing cuts so DEEP into the soul, devoid of your typical blues cliche licks that most other "blues players" always play. And those classy, rocked-out riffs all over Hots On For Nowhere are to die for, still looking for a youtube video of this from the Page/Black Crowes 2000 tour when they played it, it sounded so fat at the Jones Beach show 6/29/00, the guitars were huge, fat, in full stereo, it was great.

Edited by Tea41
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Presence is their most stylistically consistent album in the entire catalog because it doesn't have any acoustic stuff in it. Of course, Zeppelin was better known for its ecclectic albums so that's probably why it isn't as well liked as others.

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The order of the songs on Presence makes no difference to me.I do like Tea For One as the finale though.It's a fitting end.

To me,there are no clunkers on this album.Each of these songs improve with age.

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Interesting how almost everyone delights in second guessing what the band should or should not have done.

Then again some people just don't get it and never will.

Just enjoy the ride.

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Presence is a great guy.

Can't argue with that! B)

And I have to echo IGG's sentiments regarding favorite albums. We are in fact not all wired the same. Tea For One might appeal to a guitarist. Achilles' perhaps more to a drummer. Certainly the Lemon Song has to score high on any bassist's list. One person's trash is another's treasure. And indeed life would be grey and dull if it weren't so. Personally, I have no favorite Zeppelin album. They are all equally striking depending on my mood. I'm grateful I don't have to be limited to just one. The first album suits a cozied up drizzly day for me. HOTH makes a great soundtrack to a BBQ by the pool. ITTOD works when I need something a bit different. They all have their place, and they're all priceless when the moment is right.

In my humble opinion. ;)

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Can't argue with that! B)

And I have to echo IGG's sentiments regarding favorite albums. We are in fact not all wired the same. Tea For One might appeal to a guitarist. Achilles' perhaps more to a drummer. Certainly the Lemon Song has to score high on any bassist's list. One person's trash is another's treasure. And indeed life would be grey and dull if it weren't so. Personally, I have no favorite Zeppelin album. They are all equally striking depending on my mood. I'm grateful I don't have to be limited to just one. The first album suits a cozied up drizzly day for me. HOTH makes a great soundtrack to a BBQ by the pool. ITTOD works when I need something a bit different. They all have their place, and they're all priceless when the moment is right.

In my humble opinion. ;)

That pretty well sums it up for me ! Every album has it's place in the skeem of my lifetime. And every once in a while, I find a good excuse to abuse the privilage :D

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Presence is one of the coolest Zeppelin albums ever, iit's modern rock at it's best, still sounds fresh, not dated at all. The sound, mix, and production is their smoothest ever and Page's playing is among his best. Love his twang and attitude, as well as Jones break-through pioneering bass tone on Achilles. If you listen closely to Jones' bass on ALS, he's muting and chugging along with high-end clarity you never really hear from a bass, while simultaneously having incredibly deep, warm low end. He manages this HUGE tone without cluttering the mix or overpowering the other guys, all while playing incredibly tasty and clever bass lines that TOTALLY fit the music 100%, serving the song. That's Jones for 'ya, the best of the best. And blues guitar playing DOES NOT get any better than Tea For One, Page's playing cuts so DEEP into the soul, devoid of your typical blues cliche licks that most other "blues players" always play. And those classy, rocked-out riffs all over Hots On For Nowhere are to die for, still looking for a youtube video of this from the Page/Black Crowes 2000 tour when they played it, it sounded so fat at the Jones Beach show 6/29/00, the guitars were huge, fat, in full stereo, it was great.

You nailed it.

Keeping in mind the album was recorded and mixed in something like seventeen days -Page doing his guitar overdubs in two!- that is a production coup and a half, especially for someone in Jimmy Page's condition at the time. I know the Stones couldn't believe it (compare the album they were coming in to work on, "Black And Blue", with "Presence" and there's no fucking contest as to which is the better, more timeless LP!)

IMO "Presence" is Page's peak not only as a guitarist but a producer as well (Jimmy tends to agree, judging from numerous comments he's made over the years.) Jonesy's 8-string bass (and what I'm pretty sure is his 5 string on "For Your Life")? Crushing. Plant's in good voice for a guy singing in a wheelchair and undoubtedly hopped up on all sorts of, er, painkillers. And Bonzo? Some of his most intricate work is on this album. Hearing the isolated drum tracks for "Ozone Baby" is one thing, but I'd love to hear "Achilles" or "Candy Store Rock" that way!

When Led Zeppelin made their first album in '68, they obviously felt they had something to prove, and it shows. By PG, they were getting pretty comfortable, I'd say. As terrible as it sounds, I think Plant's car-smash lit a fire under the band's collective ass in a way they hadn't felt since they first started. On "Presence" they seemed to pull out all the stops. They were playing as though their LIVES depended on it, not simply their careers (as in the case of the fourth album).

It's ALWAYS been my favorite Zeppelin album. These days, I seem to listen mainly to their live stuff, but "Presence" is still the Zep studio album I listen to on a regular basis. I probably have more experiences and memories over the years connected to this LP than any other. A big part of the soundtrack to my life, in other words. Bottom line: along with "Exile On Main Street" and "Revolver", my old vinyl copy of "Presence" is definitely going in the casket with me.

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After revisiting Presence recently, there's one thing bugging me, Robert's contribution to "For Your Life". I don't know, he kinda phoned it in, lyrically and vocally. Great instrumental track though.

Edited by badgeholder
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I don't think it is underrated ! shame they never did it live !! I think ?? and yes I wish i had written it myself too !!

Zeppelin never did Custard Pie live, but Page/Plant performed it live in Japan in 1996. I have an audience recording of the show, can't remember which city in Japan. I believe in the same show they also did Ten Years Gone and Tea For One. They did quite a bit of experimenting over in Japan as Zep did when they played there. Just remember those WLL medleys from 1971 and to a certain degree in 1972 also.

I love Presence and wouldn't change a thing. The only weak point being Royal Orleans. It isn't that strong of a song, but I still like it. Page performs my two favorite solos of his back-to-back on the album. Those being ALS and FYL. I'm sure everyone also noticed that there are probably no obvious use of keyboards if any at all on Presence.

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I love Presence and wouldn't change a thing. The only weak point being Royal Orleans. It isn't that strong of a song, but I still like it.

The only "problem" with Royal Orleans for me is the solo is too short, less than 20 seconds.

But it really rips for those 17 seconds! Plus the back story really lends to it's appeal.

I truly have no "worst" song on Presence.

But to take it on a tangent, maybe I could list the order of my preference for the songs on Presence.

I guess it would be

ALS

NFBM

FYL

T41

RO

HOFN

CSR

Yet I can't bring myself to call CSR the "worst" song on Presence.

It just comes in last on my order of preference.

talk about semantics :lolo:

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I love Presence and wouldn't change a thing. The only weak point being Royal Orleans. It isn't that strong of a song, but I still like it. Page performs my two favorite solos of his back-to-back on the album. Those being ALS and FYL. I'm sure everyone also noticed that there are probably no obvious use of keyboards if any at all on Presence.

Agree 100%. Presence is a back to basics, stripped down Rock and Roll album.

ALS is an astounding production marvel that confirms Jimmy's status in the genius hall of fame.

I love this album...it's my 2nd most played Zep album and i would not want to change a damned thing.

Going to listen to it right now. Cheers.

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