Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page Gets Surprised When Fans Love This Album

Led Zeppelin has produced some of the most acclaimed classic rock albums ever, however, Jimmy Page gets surprised when fans say their favorite Led Zeppelin album is one the band made during a difficult time. He noted that some fans and critics aren’t even familiar with this album. Here’s a look at the record and what Page thinks of it.

Led Zeppelin sitting
Led Zeppelin | Chris Walter/WireImage

Robert Plant had a broken leg while working on this Led Zeppelin album

Read any list of the greatest albums ever and you are almost certain to spot a Led Zeppelin album like Led Zeppelin IV, Houses of the Holy, or Physical Graffiti. One of the group’s later albums, Presence, had a more mixed reception. In an interview with Loudersound, Mark Blake asked Page if Presence was his favorite Led Zeppelin album.

“I certainly really like it,” Page revealed. “It’s a bit of a muso’s album, though, isn’t it? So many times, I speak to people and they say that Presence is their favorite, and it always surprises me, because you’ve got to really listen to what’s going on.”

“Candy Store Rock”

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Afterward, Blake said the album was created under difficult circumstances. “No,” Page admitted. “Robert had had his accident [a car crash in Rhodes in August 1975], so his leg was in plaster in the studio. So that was a set of circumstances right there that wasn’t in script. So Presence was very reflective of what was going on – a lot of darkness and intensity. There’s some extraordinary stuff on there: from my point of view, ‘Achilles Last Stand,’ but also ‘Tea For One,’ where Robert is singing his heart out.”

Jimmy Page on why he thinks many people don’t remember Led Zeppelin’s ‘Presence’

So Presence has messy origins. Many great works of art are created despite adversity. So did Presence become a beloved fan-favorite album? Certainly, some fans consider it the band’s best work. However, Blake relayed an embarrassing anecdote where the band played a track from the album, “For Your Life,” during a gig in London and noticed some of the people in the audience were unfamiliar with it. “Some reviewer even wrote it was a new song,” Page said, looking appalled. “Mind you, perhaps that shows how popular Presence is in the grand scheme of things!”

“For Your Life”

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How the world responded to ‘Presence’

Perhaps Presence did not resonate for as long of a time as other Led Zeppelin albums. This raises an interesting question: Did Presence perform well commercially upon its initial release? The album peaked at the top of the Billboard 200.

For comparison, other classic Led Zeppelin albums like Mothership, the band’s self-titled album, and Led Zeppelin IV did not chart as highly. The fact that, by Page’s own admission, some people aren’t very familair with the album shows how initial success doesn’t guarantee longevity. Apparently, some fans aren’t very familiar with Presence, however, other fans really like it and Page is very fond of it.