August 26

“What is your favorite (song/record/etc.) from (artist)?”

It’s a familiar ice breaker when people get together. But it’s such a hard question to answer!

It depends, right? I mean, depending on the mood, or time of day, or whatever… the answer can change. But sometimes an unwavering answer burbles up to the top.

It may be an obvious choice. Or it may be unorthodox, shunning convention… peers and critics be damned!

So, here is my full throated defense of my favorite Led Zeppelin record.

Presence from 1976.

I love this record! Don’t get me wrong, I love all the LZ records, but if there is one that I constantly find myself craving to listen to, it’s Presence.

First off, it’s a guitar record. Jimmy Page’s playing is fantastic! A cut above his other work. There is some kind of urgency to it… almost like a live in the studio kind of feel. This record shows Page asserting himself as the rightful leader of the world’s biggest band.

Second, it’s a straight-up rock record. There isn’t an acoustic guitar, keyboard or crap Tolkien reference in sight. This is LZ’s heaviest record, with three stripped down rockers fighting back against four howling, dark, anthems.

Third, Robert Plant’s vocals, a bit weak due to a post-accident convalescence and at least (as legend has it) partially confined to a wheelchair, manage to have a commanding… well, presence! He’s the Golden God of rock, he knows it, but he’s come perilously close to the edge. He wants to get on with it already!

Finally, it just sounds like the boys are having fun! Write a few songs, rehearse a bit and then play the shit out of the things… roll tape! It doesn’t feel over produced of over texturized like some of their stuff can be.

For Father’s Day this year, the cat ordered me the Super Deluxe Edition Box Set of this album.

The box includes the remastered album on CD, on 180-gram vinyl (plus companion), high-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit, Hard bound, 70 page picture book and a numbered print of the original album cover.

This thing is absolutely gorgeous and it just reinforces my opinion of this record.

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3 thoughts on “August 26

  1. Houses of the Holy is probably my favourite album of theirs, closely followed by LZIII. You’re right about Jimmy Page’s dominance on Presence. It’s amazing how these albums still stand so tall so many years on!

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