“Presence” is the seventh studio album by Led Zeppelin, released by Swan Song Records on March 31, 1976.
The cover and inside sleeve of the album was created by Hipgnosis and features various images of people with a black obelisk-shaped object.
Inside the album sleeve, the item is referred to simply as “The Object” aka “The Obelisk“. It was intended to represent the “force and presence” of Led Zeppelin.
Jimmy Page explained:
“There was no working title for the album. The record-jacket designer said `When I think of the group, I always think of power and force. There’s a definite presence there.’ That was it. He wanted to call it `Obelisk’. To me, it was more important what was behind the obelisk. The cover is very tongue-in-cheek, to be quite honest. Sort of a joke on [the film] 2001 A Space Odyessy. I think it’s quite amusing.”
Led Zeppelin had real Objects produced for the photoshoots. Shortly thereafter, Alva Museum Graphics in New York was contracted to produce 1000 individually numbered 12″ tall black “Objects” for Swan Song to use in their promotion of the record. This is the only time “The Object” was ever released by Swan Song/Atlantic Records.
On each side at the base of “The Object” is the following:
LED ZEPPELIN, “THE OBJECT” © 1976 SWAN SONG INC, PRESENCE, _#_/1000.
Beware as there are many fakes available and on the market.