Presence

by

Led Zeppelin

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About the album Presence by Led Zeppelin

album Presence by Led ZeppelinPresence is the seventh studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin, released by Swan Song Records on 31 March 1976. The album was written and recorded during a tumultuous time in the band's history, as Robert Plant was recuperating from serious injuries he had sustained in a recent car accident. The album received mixed reviews from critics, and is one of the lowest sellers in the band's catalogue. It was Led Zeppelin's second album to be composed of completely original material, after Houses of the Holy.This album was conceived after singer Robert Plant sustained serious injuries from a car accident on the Greek island of Rhodes on 5 August 1975, which forced the band to cancel a proposed world tour which was due to commence on 23 August 1975. At this point, Led Zeppelin were arguably at the height of their popularity. Plant recalled:I was lying there in some pain trying to get cockroaches off the bed and the guy next to me, this drunken soldier, started singing "The Ocean" from Houses of the Holy.The cover and inside sleeve of this album, created by Hipgnosis, features various images of people interacting with a black obelisk-shaped object. Inside the album sleeve, the item is referred to simply as "The Object". It was intended to represent the "force and presence" of Led Zeppelin. In the liner notes of the first Led Zeppelin boxed set, Jimmy Page explained:There was no working title for the album. The record-jacket designer said `When I think of the group, I always think of power and force. There's a definite presence there.' That was it. He wanted to call it `Obelisk'. To me, it was more important what was behind the obelisk. The cover is very tongue-in-cheek, to be quite honest. Sort of a joke on [the film] 2001. I think it's quite amusing.The background used in the cover photograph is of an artificial marina that was installed inside London's Earl's Court Arena for the annual Earl's Court Boat Show that was held in the winter of 1974–1975. This was the same venue where the band played a series of concerts a few months after the boat show, in May 1975.In 1977 the album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best album package.The album was released on 31 March 1976, having been delayed by the completion of the album sleeve. In Britain it attained one of the highest ever advance orders, shipping gold on the day of release. In America it peaked at #1 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart, leaping from #24 inside two weeks. In 1977 the album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best album package.The album's catalogue numbers were Swan Song SS 8416 in the U.S. and Swan Song SSK59402 in the UK, before being changed to 92439-2 for when the remastered version was released. However, this album has not been one of the band's biggest sellers, and it received somewhat lukewarm reviews upon its release.[7] In late 1976 the album was also somewhat overshadowed by the release of the band's movie and soundtrack The Song Remains the Same.According to Dave Lewis, "the direct-hard hitting nature of the seven recordings failed to connect with a fan base more accustomed to the diversity and experimental edge of their previous work. Indeed, Page later himself acknowledged that, because the album conveys a sense of urgency as a direct result of the troubled circumstances in which it was recorded, "it's not an easy album for a lot of people to access ... It's not an easy album for a lot of people to listen to."However, despite its initially subdued reception, Lewis considers that Presence has become a much underrated element of their catalogue. The basic drums-bass-guitars formula may lack the diversity of previous Zeppelin sets, but in terms of sheer energy, 'Presence' packs a considerable punch, and has emerged as one of their most potent performances ... This album is also a triumph for Jimmy Page. His production and dominant guitar style has an urgency and passion that reflects the troubled period that the group were going through at the time. 'Presence' is Led Zeppelin with their backs against the wall.

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