SS 8512 Pictures At Eleven
Produced by Robert Plant
Released on June 1982
UK CHART POSITION #2 . . . US CHART POSITION #5 and #97 (1983) and #121 (1984)
. . . GOLD RECORD (8/27/82), PLATINUM (12/17/90)
Find it at GEMM
SS 8512 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

A fter the long, hot journey in the Zeppelin, an oasis. Robert Plantís first solo album is rooted in the music of Zeppelin, of course, but thatís not to say heís tied to the past. Rather, he branches out, embracing a lighter, crisper studio sound that indulged in familiar exotica while shedding the heavy intensity of Ledís epic arrangements. Youíve seen the swagger of ďBurning Down One SideĒ and ďWorse Than DetroitĒ before, but unchained from his former band Plant could pass for Steven Tyler in a serious mood. Drummer Phil Collins keeps the beat on its toes, Cozy Powell is more a student of the Bonham school, and the core of Robbie Blunt, Paul Martinez and Jezz Woodroffe are as tight as any band Ozzy brought along for the ride. If youíre looking for a lost Zeppelin album, better to bark up Codaís tree. If youíre looking for Plantís genius in full flower, you really want Principles. Pictures At Eleven is simply a stake in the ground; a declaration that there would be life after Zeppelin, and it would look something like this (cue the moody ďLike Iíve Never Been GoneĒ). Whatís most impressive about Pictures is that Plant and Blunt come up with some awfully good material. Clearly, I hadnít given Plant a large enough share of Zeppelinís glory, and Pictures makes plain that much of what was best about that band (that indefinable groove, the heavy caravans of emotion driven through dark endless night) emanated from the singer. Iíd always seen him as something of a slightly more substantive Roger Daltrey, and I didnít count on Pictures At Eleven being so close to the genuine article. (Meanwhile, Jimmy Page, the grand architect, was noodling out inconsequential soundtracks.) Itís not the first time Iíve put my money on the wrong horse. It was, however, the first time that anyone from the legendary Led dared to get back in the saddle. To his eternal credit, Plant came in riding tall like we remembered.

SS 8512 back cover SS 8512 inner sleeve
SS 8512 back cover SS 8512 inner sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. BURNING DOWN ONE SIDE    (Robert Plant/Robbie Blunt/Jezz Woodroffe)    3:55
  2. MOONLIGHT IN SAMOSA    3:58
  3. PLEDGE PIN    4:01
  4. SLOW DANCER    7:43
  5. WORSE THAN DETROIT    5:55
  6. FAT LIP    (Robert Plant/Robbie Blunt/Jezz Woddroffe)    5:05
  7. LIVE I'VE NEVER BEEN GONE    5:56
  8. MYSTERY TITLE    5:16

    All songs written by Robert Plant/Robbie Blunt unless noted

CREDITS

ROBERT PLANT -- vocals, mixing, design
ROBBIE BLUNT -- guitars, mixing assistance
PHIL COLLINS -- drums
PAUL MARTINEZ -- bass
JEZZ WOODROFFE -- keyboards & synths, mixing assistance
Cozy Powell -- drums (4,7)
Raphael Ravenscroft -- sax (3)
Pat Moran -- engineer, mixing
Benji Lefevre -- mixing assistance
Michael Hoppen -- photography, design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/GER June 1982 Swan Song LP SSK 59418 inner sleeve
US June 1982 Swan Song LP/CS SS/CS 8512 inner sleeve
BRA 1982 Swan Song LP 20080  
CAN 1982 Swan Song LP XSS 8512  
JPN 1982 Swan Song LP P-11225  
ARG   Swan Song LP 3144  
YUG   Suzy LP ATL59418  
US 1986 Swan Song CD SS 8512  
UK/EUR   Swan Song CD 90340  

 

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