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Pictures at Eleven

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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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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