Led Zeppelin
Presence


1.5
very poor

Review

by DistantDylann USER (18 Reviews)
July 8th, 2024 | 23 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Beginning of The End

This album is a horror show. It's one of the most boring experiences one can subject oneself to in their lifetime. Led Zeppelin was pretty much done at this point, but I'm glad they released In Through The Out Door since despite that one being bad, it is a major improvement over this disaster. Robert Plant was in an accident and was wheelchair-bound during the recording session, and it really hinders his singing ability leading his voice to be quite raspy (His vocals were already on a decline starting in 1973 due to constant touring, straining, and not taking proper care of his vocal chords, alongside having nodules, but his new style on stuff like Physical Graffiti and Houses of the Holy
still sounded quite good when done right) making it his worst performance on a studio release yet.

The songs are really not that good either and the album's closer drags on endlessly, but even the shorter ones are boring. There are only two songs that are essential listening and are among Led Zeppelin's absolute greatest, which will be the only ones that I recommend off of this.

For the first one, I turn your attention to "Achille's Last Stand" which is one of the most epic pieces of heavy metal to ever grace the planet, even despite Plant's laughably bad vocal performance, the rest of the band is on a creative spark, with Bonham's fierce drum attack being the main instrument until Jimmy Page cuts through with some insane playing, and the lyrics have to do with something to do with a tale of the greek gods or something. It's pretty cryptic and hard to tell. The other one is their cover of "Nobody's Fault But Mine". It is a cover of an old gospel song, but Zeppelin turns it into an all out hard rocker of goodness. This one is sure to wash the aftertaste of cookie cutter blandness you're subjected to between this and the aforementioned song.

Unfortunately, that's where my praises of this one end. "For Your Life" is a sorry attempt at blues, something that the once-mighty Zeppelin used to attack with a fist of fury, but here it is lifeless and lacks any soul, with rushed, barely thought-out lyrics and a simple boring riff that doesn't provide much of a challenge to play. Where is the unique time signature changes, dynamics in mood, and the other things that made the band special? "Royal Orleans" is the worst offender here however, being blatantly homophobic with the protagonist taking home a woman
for sexual reasons, and it turning out to be a man, with the protagonist of the song being repulsed. This song has aged like milk left out in the sun in that department but also suffers from another let-down of a vocal performance. John Paul Jones himself even expressed not feeling that happy about the song for its message, so clearly even the other bandmates knew something was wrong with this one.

"Candy Store Rock" never really seems to find itself and is unsure if it wants to be a pulsing heavy metal number or have a go at being classic rockabilly, making it an unfocused jagged mess. However, unlike most of the ear rot on this record, it is interesting. "Hots on for Nowhere" is a poor bubblegum pop imitation without development happening musically or anything dynamic, yet fascinating lyrically at least, being a jab at Plant's bandmates for his treatment of him during the time he was injured.

Lastly, "Tea For One" is just a step-by-step ripoff of the much better "Since I've Been Loving You" which reminds you of the time when this was actually a good band. This was the beginning of the end for these rock titans, and as a record it shows the once tight unit splitting at the seams of various issues that the band members had.

Track By Track:
Achille's Last Stand: ★★★★★ 🎖️
For Your Life: ★★
Royal Orleans: 💣
Nobody's Fault but Mine: ★★★★★
Candy Store Rock: ★★
Hots On For Nowhere: ★★
Tea For One: 💣



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3.6
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
DistantDylann
July 8th 2024


41 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Can't believe there's no other negative reviews here, it really is in need of one.

Titan
July 8th 2024


24966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tea For One is incredible wtf is wrong with you lol

rabidfish
July 8th 2024


8739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lmao stfu this album rocks

e210013
July 8th 2024


5308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This time I completely disagree with you Dylann. "Presence" is a very good album with one of the best tracks ever made by the band, "Achille's Last Stand", as you mentioned. It's true that "Presence" isn't a collective effort by all bands’ members but most an effort of two of them, Plant and Page, due to the car accident of Plant in Malibu. But, "Presence" is a guitar based album with three great tracks, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, “Tea For One” and the mentioned "Achille's Last Stand". The only weak points on the album are “Royal Orleans” and “Candy Store Rock”. The other two are two ok tracks.

bighubbabuddha
July 8th 2024


1036 Comments


If they had simply combined the best of Presence with the best of In Through The Out Door and got rid of the flops and bloat it would have made an excellent album and a fitting end to a legendary band. Instead we got two mid albums.

ArsMoriendi
July 8th 2024


41293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

For Your Life is amazing



Bad review

e210013
July 8th 2024


5308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's true that they are a bit less good than the other previous works. But, in part, that was due to very specific circumstances. As I mentioned on my previous comment, "Presence" was an album written only by Plant and Page while Plant convalesced in bed at the hospital in Malibu, without the presence of Jones and Bonham. In Through The Out Door” was only written by Plant and Jones because Page and Bonham often not appeared on time in the studio sessions with Page suffering from heroin problems and Bonham suffering from alcoholism problems. But, in my opinion, both are two very good albums, one is an oriented guitar album and the other is a keyboard oriented album.

ArsMoriendi
July 8th 2024


41293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I’ll be honest: this is my 3rd fave Zeppelin album



Their direction from Houses-Presence saw the band mature and take on longer form, more epic, songs



Only issues I have are Candy Store Rock and the lyrics of Royal Orleans (the music is still tiptop)



Achilles and For Your Life are all time greats, Nobody’s Fault and Tea for One rule, and Hots on for Nowhere is underrated for almost the exact same reason The Crunge is massively underrated, being a goofy stab at funk. Royal Orleans has terrible lyrics, but musically it’s a total jam

ArsMoriendi
July 8th 2024


41293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

For Your Life is so slept on, and I don’t know why. Is it because it’s slow, but still a rocker? Like it oozes sensuality and the solo is smooth as hell in the best way



I also don’t mind Plant’s voice on this album and find the comments of it being worse here kinda silly, like it sounds almost exactly the same with maybe a tiny bit more strain than usual? You’d think it was like a far leap with how critics talk about it

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2024


19023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Review could use some work, not because of the score but because of the formatting. That being said, props for at least recognizing Achilles Last Stand as the all-timer that it is

bighubbabuddha
July 8th 2024


1036 Comments


Hybrid Album:
1. Achille's Last Stand
2. For Your Life
3. In The Evening
4. Fool In The Rain
5. Nobody's Fault But Mine
6. Tea For One
7. All My Love

Would have been so much better than 2 albums

onionbubs
July 8th 2024


21501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

in through the out door is pretty cool. i like that album



i do not like this album but its probably better than their first two which are very lame

BMDrummer
July 8th 2024


15154 Comments


ngl this is my favorite zep some days

trickert
July 9th 2024


229 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, Royal Orleans is one of their weakest songs in the catalog. But Achilles and Tea are some of the greatest things they ever did, and Fault is pretty strong, too. The rest is just okay. But given their turmoil, it's amazing that it turned out as well as it did.



I'm also a fan of ITTOD, but like Presence, it has one super weak track--Hot Dog. Shoulda switched that out with Wearing and Tearing!

Butkuiss
July 9th 2024


7334 Comments


Dyllannn I’m begging you please no more zeppelin or Floyd reviews !!!!

LilLioness
July 9th 2024


3598 Comments


Rating their previous records 5s and then this one a 1.5 is definitely a choice. Even by your own track by track breakdown, this is a solid 2.5/3.

DominionMM1
July 11th 2024


21191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

candy store, hots on, and orleans are about as mid as zep got, but the other four tracks are legit as fuck.

facupm
July 12th 2024


11949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if you recognize Achilles as the awesome epic song it is, your rating is not understable tbh

DistantDylann
July 12th 2024


41 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@facupm One song doesn't make up for an album of terrible tracks.

facupm
July 12th 2024


11949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i disagree with your statement about the other tracks, but achilles on itself it´s a masterpiece that pulls up the whole album



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