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Pictures At Eleven
[Click above for album images]



After the long, hot journey in the Zeppelin, an oasis. Robert Plant's first solo album is rooted in the music of Zeppelin, of course, but that's not to say he's 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 Led's epic arrangements. You've seen the swagger of Burning Down One Side and Worse Than Detroit 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 you're looking for a lost Zeppelin album, better to bark up Coda's tree. If you're looking for Plant's genius in full flower, you really want Principle. 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 Like I've Never Been Gone). What's most impressive about Pictures is that Plant and Blunt come up with some awfully good material. Clearly, I hadn't given Plant a large enough share of Zeppelin's 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. I'd always seen him as something of a slightly more substantive Roger Daltrey, and I didn't count on Pictures At Eleven being so close to the genuine article. (Meanwhile, Jimmy Page, the grand architect, was noodling out inconsequential soundtracks.) It's not the first time I've 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.

From: Connolly & Company
Statistics

Released:
Jun. 28, 1982 (US)
Jun. 28, 1982 (UK)
Mar. 20, 2007 (Remastered)

Chart Position:
#5 (US) #2 (UK)

Certified:
Gold: Aug. 27, 1982
Platinum: Dec. 17, 1990

Tracks

1. Burning Down One Side
2. Moonlight in Samosa
3. Pledge Pin
4. Slow Dancer
5. Worse Than Detroit
6. Fat Lip
7. Like I've Never Been Gone
8. Mystery Title

2007 REMASTER BONUS TRACKS
9. Far Post
10. Like I've Never Been Gone (Live at Houston, 1983)
Quick Fact

Led Zeppelin's final album Coda was delayed until November 1982 to be released so that Robert Plant's first solo album, Pictures At Eleven, could be released.
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