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Led Zeppelin - Presence
Having a vocalist who had just suffered a car accident and was in the studio with his leg in plaster can't have helped matters. Spending a year out of the UK for tax reasons can't really have helped matters either - away from family and friends, getting on each other nerves? As it is, 'Presence' was recorded in a mere matter of weeks and sailed to number one on both sides of the atlantic based on the groups massive popularity alone. Presenting music fans with a mere seven songs after the double-album 'Physical Graffiti' seems a little measly, though. There's no two ways about it, 'Presence' isn't an album with any great structural cohesion behind it. Still, we do have at least one bona-fide all time Zeppelin classic here, the storming electrifying ten and a half minute long 'Achilles Last Stand'. Strong rhythm section work and a wired, anxious sounding Jimmy Page. In fact, the work Jimmy Page does on 'Achilles Last Stand' combined with the usual immense Zep rhythm section - gives off the feeling that Led Zeppelin, under better circumstances, could have used this song as a starting point to create an entire album around of similar quality. As it is, 'Achilles Last Stand' almost is the entire album. Elsewhere, we have a riff in search of a song with 'For Your Life', the admittedly entertaining likes of 'Royal Orleans' and 'Candy Store Rock'. These are decent supporting songs, but the suspicion remains, there simply isn't any great point or purpose to this 'Presence' album.

On the plus side, Jimmy Page is consistently impressive, the rhythm section are solid as you would expect. 'Hots On For Nowhere' sounds like a band sleep-walking. 'Tea For One' doesn't seem tight and running to nine minutes is rather over-long for the amount of musical and lyrical ideas it contains. One of the better pieces arrives with 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' - a song rising to a heavy section of loud drums and squealing guitar. Considering 'Presence' with the mighty 'Achilles Last Stand' combined with the likes of 'Nobodys Fault But Mine' or 'Candy Store Rock', it still remains a minor Zeppelin work, simply because there is so little else here that's particularly impressive or memorable. 

Achilles Last Stand / For Your Life / Royal Orleans / Nobodys Fault But Mine / Candy Store Rock / Hots On For Nowhere / Tea For One

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