Presence was the last, and my least favourite, of the great Led Zeppelin albums, viz. I’m not including Outdoor (more like Outhouse!) or CODA.
Presence was always inaccessible to me for some intangible reason and I rarely played it. I had read interviews with Page years later where he was bemused that no one liked Presence, as he personally liked it.
Following the recent 30th anniversary of the release of Presence, there were a number of music magazine articles I read saying the usual deal about what an under rated & over looked album Presence was.
Being a big fan of Led Zeppelin (especially Page’s guitar playing & production) and given they aren’t making any new Zeppelin albums, I decided I should “study” Presence more closely.
After revisting it and living with it for a few weeks I realised that a number of the filler tracks were quite good and Tea for One was a hidden gem of blues/rock guitar playing – a kind of latter day Since I’ve Been Loving You. I also came to the conclusion that the tracks were badly sequenced on the album contributing to its inaccessibility.
My solution has been to notionally resequence Presence, as below, and I personally play the album in that order. It’s become a completely different (new!) album to me and I have unlocked the sequence of its success!
4. Nobody’s Fault But Mine
6. Hots On For Nowhere
7. Tea For One
3. Royal Orleans
2. For Your Life
5. Candy Store Rock
1. Achilles Last Stand