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Presence Original recording remastered
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WSM.UK are proud to announce the release of all the led zeppelin albums with "vinyl replica" packaging, featuring original album artwork, gatefolds where applicable, inner sleeves and in the case of Led Zeppelin III, a revolving wheel as featured on the original LP release. Previously only available as very pricey imports, these albums are now available at mid price.
Presence is one of Led Zeppelin's more overlooked albums, languishing in the monstrous shadow of its predecessor, Physical Graffiti. It's more noted in Zeppelin mythology for the circumstances in which it was recorded, in double-quick time with vocalist Robert Plant's leg in plaster after a car accident. The lack of time does show--much of the album feels like generic heavy rock, bigger on volume than variety. It's worth the price of the album, however, for the ten and a half minute long "Achilles Last Stand", a crashing, galloping epic with John Bonham sounding like he's eschewed drumsticks in favour of tree trunks--and "Nobody's Fault But Mine", a Blind Willie Johnson blues standard regenerated with a 3000-watt boost by Jimmy Page. Led Zeppelin's contribution to rock was primarily physical--raising its heat and density levels, heightening its sensual force. --David Stubbs
Top Customer Reviews
Recorded during a particularly difficult time for the band, and for Robert Plant especially, it is for this reason that Page in particular regards this album as a triumph against adversity. The production is deliberately hard and loud and is Zeppelin going back to basics. No keyboards or orchestras on the final track listing, just guitar, bass and drums played by musicians at the top of their game.
The new deluxe edition continues the good work done by Jimmy Page and John Davis, with the welcome return of the longer mix of 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' that appeared in 1990 and was then ditched for all subsequent re-issues which reverted the track back to it's original vinyl length. Note also a longer fade out on the monumental opener 'Achilles Last Stand'.
As for the bonus disc, it must be said that for an album with so little outtake material there is actually some essential stuff here. Zeppelin forums are already full of discussion about the alternate mix of 'Royal Orleans', containing as it does a bizarre vocal that appears to be John Bonham (Jimmy Page has said it's Plant but that can't be the case) and the mysterious '10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod (Pod).
This latter track is a huge surprise - A beautiful, piano-led instrumental that sounds like it belongs on the end credits of a movie (If it isn't used soon I'd be very surprised) it's worth the price of the deluxe edition alone.
The other alternate mixes are interesting but not radically different.Read more ›
I would urge listeners new to Zep (there must be some?) to check this album out. Considering what was going on musically at the time of its release (1976 - funk/disco and very early punk) this now stands the test of time. Try and approach the album without any of the preconceptions associated with this band (heavy metal? - never been sure what that means). To me this album has always sounded like what Led Zep would have become if we had not tragically lost Bonzo and the band had continued into the 1980s. Listen to some of the riffs on Nobodys Fault But Mine and you hear Nirvana with a blues guitar; very definitely a looking ahead album despite all the sorrow surrounding its release.
Fast forward 30 odd years and I've just purchased Presence again on CD this time. Either my musical tastes have broadened or the CD sounds far better than the vinyl ever did (no longer have the LP to compare)-I'm not sure. All I know is that I now love this album. There's rock, blues, rockabilly, funk. The key tracks for me are Achilles Last Stand, For your Life, Nobody's Fault but Mine and Tea for one. The other tracks are also excellent and as I listen more to this album they are definite growers. 'Tea for One' is a beautiful slow smouldering blues that perhaps owes more to Peter Green's 'Love to Burn' than the oft compared 'Since I've been loving you' from the third album. Jimmy Page's guitar work throughout is incredible. Listen to his solo in Achilles for example. And just listen to those drums. Bonham really was the best. All the band are on top form. Robert Plant recorded his vocals from a wheelchair following a near fatal accident in the summer of 1975. His singing does at times sound more subdued than usual but the vocals fit perfectly to the songs.
Although Presence doesn't quite reach the standard of Graffiti or indeed maybe some of the earlier albums, it is still a majestic album and certainly worth purchasing.Read more ›
As for me, I love 'Presence' for its stripped-down uniformity of approach. It is a hard rock album pure and simple and has to enjoyed on those terms or not at all. This is Led Zeppelin without the frills but with power and drive aplenty. Songs like 'For Your Life', 'Hots On For Nowhere' and 'Tea For One' see Robert Plant starting to write lyrics that move away from cut and paste blues cliches or Tolkien pastoralism and actually reflect his own views on things. Hence, the effectiveness of his work on the forlorn 'Tea for One',for instance.The result is a more mature and affecting approach to songwriting that it is a shame he didn't have more time to develop whilst in the band.
The problem with 'Presence' is really that by the by the Zep's high standards it is a little bit of an anti-climax. For any other band of this vintage, 'Presence' would be seen as a truly creditable effort, but lovers of the band (as I am) can't help but feel that the whole thing was rather rushed and too reliant on musical firepower rather then ideas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favourite Le Zeppelin album. Achilles Last Stand is, for me, their greatest track, so 5 stars every day of the week.Published 1 month ago by A. I. Parr
A beautifully produced set. Expensive, but a very nice souvenir of one of the best bands ever.Published 1 month ago by WhattheDickens!