The Led Zeppelin Album That Robert Plant Recorded In A Wheelchair
The bands usually go through a standard process when creating new albums, but some of the most iconic records are the products of interesting creation processes. Each band, of course, has its way of producing new material, and it is generally a challenging period for most as they need to concentrate on many details to top their previous works.
Led Zeppelin also went through an unusual songwriting and recording process while making their 1976 album, ‘Presence,’ since the band members struggled with personal issues. The album was created under challenging circumstances as the band members were not having the best time. Let’s see what Led Zeppelin experienced during this painful process and how they managed to come out of this crisis.
Robert Plant Was Involved In A Serious Car Accident
The legendary band Led Zeppelin’s members had reached the peak of their career in 1975, after releasing their sixth studio album, ‘Physical Graffiti.’ The album was both a commercial and critical success as it immediately topped the charts in the UK and the US. The band had constantly been touring, and everything seemed to be going well until Robert Plant’s tragic incident.
The tragic car accident happened while Plant and his family were vacationing on August 4, 1975, in Rhodes, Greece. They had taken a short break from the band’s busy tour schedule, and the singer decided to take his wife and children for a vacation. Some sources say that his wife was behind the wheel while others claim Plant was, so we don’t have accurate information on who was driving at the time of the accident.
Robert Plant and his wife, Maureen, were injured in the accident, but their children got away with just a few bruises. It took some time for the couple to recover fully. Plant broke his ankle and elbow, which took two years to heal, and he had to spend some time in a wheelchair. The incident seriously interrupted the band’s upcoming plans and caused several issues.
Robert Plant Recorded ‘Presence’ In A Wheelchair
Following the tragic accident, Led Zeppelin couldn’t finish the tour dates in support of ‘Physical Graffiti.’ They had to cancel the rest of the tour as Robert Plant was recovering slowly, which also halted the creation process of the band’s upcoming album, ‘Presence.’ They finally released it the following year after several delays. Still, the making process was certainly not easy.
Robert Plant was trying to heal from his severe injuries, but it didn’t stop the band from working on their new album. Plant and Jimmy Page came together and prepared some material to present to the rest of the band. Then, they went to Hollywood’s SIR Studio to rehearse these new pieces around October 1975.
As stated before, Plant was still recovering from the accident, and he performed his vocals in a wheelchair. Thus, Jimmy Page had a lot of responsibilities, including dubbing and mixing during the sessions. However, the band still managed to finish the album’s recording only in eighteen days, which marked their fastest recording since their debut album.
The recording process for ‘Presence’ was particularly difficult for Robert Plant since he struggled with both the psychological and physical impacts of the accident. The studio they recorded was in the basement of an old hotel, which caused the rocker to feel claustrophobic and lonely as he was separated from his wife and children. Maybe the album is rarely anybody’s favorite Led Zeppelin album, and it became their lowest-selling studio album. However, it is undoubtedly a special and intense one for them.
You can listen to the entire album through Spotify below.