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Manic Nirvana
[Click above for album images]



Manic Nirvana is the closest Robert Plant has come to releasing product. If Tall Cool One left you feeling cold, then get ready for another chilly reception. Plant cheerleads his way through most of the record, supported by the same band from Now And Zen, pausing to reflect at welcome intervals and indulge his moodier muse. Other icons from the '70s were making similarly soulless music at this point (Aerosmith, Rolling Stones), but Plant had heretofore differentiated himself from that pack by pushing boundaries. The only thing being pushed here is the suggestion that Robert could be trans-Planted into the '90s by straddling modern studio rock, rap, and the moody spiritualism of Led Zeppelin. He’s no stranger to rhythmically driven music, but where Shaken 'N' Stirred seemed strange, Manic Nirvana feels mundane. Where earlier albums built off the Zeppelin foundation that Plant helped build, these songs seem to lean on old victories like a crutch. Hurting Kind is essentially a rewrite of Tall Cool One, Big Love borrows from D'yer Mak'er, and so Manic Nirvana adds little new to the discussion. The better moments come when Plant puts down the mystical pom-poms and engages his darker side, felt to best effect on the pained I Cried and Anniversary. On a different note, the playful Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night serves as a neat bookend to I Cried. Ultimately the heartless arrangements and lazy lyrical content win the day, drowning out the few good cuts on here. Among the breathtaking specimens and interesting hybrids in Plant’s garden, here is a relatively weak and flavorless yield, best left on the vine until you’ve had your fill of finer fruits like Fate of Nations and The Principle of Moments.

From: Connolly & Company
Statistics

Released:
Mar. 19, 1990 (US)
Mar. 19, 1990 (UK)
Mar. 20, 2007 (Remastered)

Chart Position:
#13 (US) #15 (UK)

Certified:
Gold: May 18, 1990

Tracks

1. Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes On You)
2. Big Love
3. S S S & Q
4. I Cried
5. She Said
6. Nirvana
7. Tie Dye On The Highway
8. Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night
9. Anniversary
10. Liars Dance
11. Watching You

2007 REMASTER BONUS TRACKS
12. Oompah (Watery Bint)
13. One Love
14. Don't Look Back
Quick Fact

S S S & Q (short for Soak, Shake, Splash and Quake) contains a James Brown sample at the 2:36 mark.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

October xx, 1968 - Led Zeppelin is recorded
October 19, 1968 - Final performance as the New Yardbirds
October 31, 1969 - Led Zeppelin II is released in the US
October 17, 1969 - Bonham is thrilled to play Carnegie Hall where Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa have performed
October 23, 1970 - Led Zeppelin III is released in the US
October xx, 1970 - The press lash out at the band over the Led Zeppelin III acoustic content
October xx, 1971 - Page and Plant venture around Thailand and India after the Japan tour
October 18, 1972 - Zeppelin rehearse at the Rainbow Theater for a UK tour
October xx, 1973 - Each member performs an individual film sequence for their concept film
October 31, 1974 - Swan Song hosts a party for the launch of its UK division
October xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin decide not to tour and concentrate on recording new material
October 20, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same premieres at New York’s Cinema One
October xx, 1977 - Jimmy starts assembling a Led Zeppelin live album from recordings as far back as 1969
October xx, 1978 - Jones and Bonham record with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios
October xx, 1978 - Rehearsals for In Through The Out Door in London
October xx, 1979 - All nine Led Zeppelin albums enter the Billboards Top 200 -- no other band has ever achieved this
October 10, 1980 - A private funeral is held for John Bonham at Rushock church in Worcestershire
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