Released: March 31, 1976
Peak: 12 US, 11 UK, 16 CN, 21 AU
Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.3 UK, 6.5 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: classic rock/metal
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Songs written by Plage/Plant unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 44:24
3.245 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)
About the Album:
Led Zeppelin’s seventh studio album was the lowest-selling of the band’s career and is generally rated by critics as their worst album. All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it “the weakest album Zeppelin had yet recorded.” AMG Even then, it topped the charts in the U.S. and UK and sold more than six million worldwide. Then band were not able to tour in support of the album because of serious injuries Plant had suffered in a car accident in June 1975. WK It also affected the recording of the album – he sang his vocals in a wheelchair. WK
The album was intended as a return to the harder-rock sound of their debut, but with new complexities. This was their only album featuring no keyboards and, save for a rhythm track on “the ersatz rockabilly Candy Store Rock,” AMG featured no acoustic guitar. WK that rockabilly-inspired tune is one of the album’s lesser songs It “doesn’t muster up the loose, funky swagger of Hots on for Nowhere.” AMG On the flip side, “the terse, menacing For Your Life…is the best song on the album.” AMG
In some ways, the album retained some of the “grandiose scope” AMG of Physical Graffiti, the double album released before Presence. It had a couple of “more majestic epics than its predecessor, opening with the surging, ten-minute Achilles Last Stand and closing with the meandering, nearly ten-minute Tea for One.” AMG The latter was a slow blues number Plant wrote about the problems of being separated from family. WK
“The Crescent City love letter of Royal Orleans” AMG refers to the Royal Orleans Hotel of New Orleans. It was written about life on the road and references soul singer Barry White. WK
The album also features “the lumbering blues workout Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” AMG a song credited to Page and Plant which is actually a cover of a Blind Willie Johnson song called “It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” The blues number was recorded initially in 1928 and Nina Simone covered it in 1969. WK
Notes: A 2015 reissue included a bonus disc of alternate mixes.
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First posted 3/21/2008; last updated 8/18/2021.
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