LED ZEPPELIN ‘PRESENCE’
Led Zeppelin burst open during their very first tour of the States, back in 1969. Virtually ignored by the serious critics, they have otherwise amassed one of rock’s largest followings, and continue to impress fans on an international scale. For the first time in their career, they have released two albums within a year: ‘Physical Graffiti’ and ‘Presence’.
Both bear striking affiliation with each other and offer similar approaches toward a new Zep sound. In the span of seven years, Led Zeppelin have gradually gravitated from heavy metal to heavy acoustic to heavy funk-rock. Somehow, pidgeon-holing the band doesn’t work well…shall I just say that Led Zeppelin is a slow progression?
Right from the start, the band bears down with incredible energy. ‘Achilles’ Last Stand’ – the stand-out song of the album, similar in impact to their earlier opuses (‘Stairway to Heaven’, ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’, ‘In the Light’) – flows forth from the churning rhythms of Jimmy Page and John Bonham. The tune builds within itself – stopping and starting with maximum effectiveness – capped with a stunning Page solo, urged on with an ascending bass run that picks up the intensity level even more…and Plant’s vocalizing maintains the pace of the band, crooning in that high-hard tenor and then soaring into-through his famous banshee-falsetto. A truly inspiring song, – enthusiastically performed. The rest of the album proceeds to display the syncopated – (aka ‘funk’) rock Led Zep are presently playing, with even customary nod towards the blues (‘Tea for One’), but even that sounds familar immediately.
Well Page, Plant, Jones, & Bonham have
struck again with a well-produced, well-performed, well-packaged ( yea! Hipgnosis) presence. Now, will we have to wait another year?
( P.S. – Best wishes for a continued recovery to Robert Plant & his family.)
Selected Cuts: ‘Achilles’ Last Stand’,
‘Nobody’s Fault but Mine’
RUSS BALLARD “WINNING”
Epic PE 34063