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Shaken 'N' Stirred

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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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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