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Shaken 'n' Stirred
[Click above for album images]

If you'd told me in 1980 that Robert Plant would make a record like this, I'd have said you were nuts. Maybe it's Plant who's come unhinged; exorcising old demons with new sounds, indulging the hip groove in ecstatic fits... whatever's driving Plant on these sessions, Shaken 'N' Stirred is fascinating, even if it's like watching a staged train wreck some of the time. Plant has always placed sound over substance, but here he descends into nonsensical words that serve the rhythm, as titles like Hip To Loo, Kallalou Kallalou and Doo Doo A Do Do testify. The decoupage of effects and vocals is radical not just by Plant's standards; in embracing new music (something Plant wasn't expected to do), the singer overshoots the edge and finds himself in uncharted territory here. Ex-Little Feat drummer Ritchie Hayward plays a key part in Plant's experiment, adding unusual rhythms to the mix that keep listeners on their toes, stopping and starting according to some invisible whim. Shaken 'N' Stirred doesn't completely abandon Plant's trademark moody atmosphere, best exemplified in the single Little By Little (arguably the album's most conventional track). But the album didn't have a second strong single in it, as both Pink and Black and the delightful Too Loud failed to chart in the Top 100. This was Plant's most modern album to date, but it's questionable whether fans will appreciate the effort; surely there were some who were confused that Little By Little was the exception rather than the rule. Along with the subsequent single Tall Cool One, Shaken 'N' Stirred marks the height of Robert's flirtation with rap's rhythm-driven sensibilities and reliance on studio effects. As arty and adventurous an album as it is, it may take some time to get acclimated to this music, but the effort is worth it.

From: Connolly & Company

May 20, 1985 (US)
May 20, 1985 (UK)
Mar. 19, 2007 (Remastered)

Chart Position:
#20 (US) #19 (UK)

Gold: Jul. 18, 1985


1. Hip to Hoo
2. Kallalou Kallalou
3. Too Loud
4. Trouble Your Money
5. Pink and Black
6. Little by Little
7. Doo Doo a Do Do
8. Easily Lead
9. Sixes and Sevens

10. Little by Little (Remix)
Quick Fact

It is occasionally claimed that a demo version of Sixes And Sevens, from Plant's Shaken 'n' Stirred album, exists of Zeppelin experimenting with the tune. This is not the case, as it is taken from a tape of demos for the Plant album, of around thirty minutes duration, containing this and other songs from the album in demo form. The Zeppelin bootleg that is the source of this misunderstanding is called Round & Round and features the Chicago, July 6, 1973 soundcheck, widely mislabelled as the one from Minneapolis in 1975. What happened was that the company that made the cd took off a few of the songs that were played at the soundcheck, such as Hungry For Love and Reeling And Rockin, and put the demo of Sixes And Sevens on there, for reasons best known only to them. This same mistake was also made on the Uncensored bootleg, where the demo was said to have originated from a 1975 soundcheck, the soundcheck of which they were referring to was 1973 anyway. The song was not demoed until the early 1980s.

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