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Now and Zen

Now And Zen
[Click above for album images]



NOW AND ZEN

Kronomyth 4.0: ZEN I BEEN LOVING YOU. And there I sat, transfixed with horror, as the great ghost of Zeppelin was shuffled across the stage, the punchline to Robert Plant's latest rap record. That was my initial reaction to Tall Cool One, although like so many other things I've softened on it some over the years. In fact, I would tell you that Now And Zen is one of Plant's best. New band, new blood, and a batch of new songs written by Plant and Phil Johnstone that stand out over a career, including Heaven Knows, Ship of Fools and Dance On My Own. Even TCO is a lot of fun to hear nowadays, since it turned out to be a dalliance (like The Honeydrippers); Plant wasn't about to divorce himself from his rock icon status for the role of an aging rap star. Over the years, the former Zep frontman has released a handful of very good albums, usually separated by merely average albums. For example: Pictures at Eleven (pretty good), The Principle of Moments (very good), The Hondeydrippers (Plant takes a mulligan), Shaken 'N' Stirred (pretty bad), Now And Zen (very good), Manic Nirvana (not so good), Fate of Nations (very good), etc. Commercially, Now And Zen is Plant's most popular work and his only multi-platinum record. It featured then state-of-the-art production (as had Shaken 'N' Stirred before it), which initially turned me off but apparently endeared it to a lot of other listeners. In fact, I remember at the time thinking that Robert Plant had sold out. (Sold out to whom I'm not sure, since it's not like he labored in obscurity with Led Zeppelin.) Today, of course, Plant is on less shaky ground, his iconic status assured, and I hear Now And Zen as an effective contemporary album from a peerless artist. The brief reunion with Jimmy Page, the seeming sacrilege of Tall Cool One, both are overshadowed by Now And Zen's achievement as a new album of modern, relevant music for the masses once more. Of minor interest, consumers who bought the original CD received a “bonus” track: Walking Towards Paradise, which had earlier appeared as the B side to the Heaven Knows single. The Rhino 2007 reissue includes that track plus a trio of live songs.

From: Connolly & Company
Statistics

Released:
Feb. 29, 1988 (US)
Feb. 29, 1988 (UK)
Apr. 3, 2007 (Remastered)

Chart Position:
#6 (US) #10 (UK)

Certified:
Gold: Apr. 19, 1988
Platinum: May 9, 1988
Platinum 3x: Sept. 7, 2001

Tracks

1. Heaven Knows
2. Dance on My Own
3. Tall Cool One
4. The Way I Feel
5. Helen of Troy
6. Billy's Revenge
7. Ship of Fools
8. Why
9. White, Clean and Neat
10. Walking Towards Paradise


2007 REMASTER BONUS TRACKS
11. Billy's Revenge (live)
12. Ship of Fools (live)
13. Tall Cool One (live)
Quick Fact

In response to the Beastie Boys' unauthorised sampling of some Led Zeppelin songs on their 1986 album Licensed to Ill, Plant also used samples from Led Zeppelin songs Whole Lotta Love, The Ocean, Black Dog, and Custard Pie on Tall Cool One.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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November 21, 1968 - Robert becomes a father to a baby girl named Carmen Jane.
November 09, 1968 - Robert marries Maureen in London. Their reception is a performance at the Roundhouse in London
November xx, 1969 - Tempers flare over Atlantic in the UK wanting to release singles
November xx, 1969 - Recording for Led Zeppelin III begins at Olympic Studios in London
November xx, 1970 - Plans are in motion for a Yardbirds reunion
November 08, 1971 - Finally after much anticipation, Untitled is released
November xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy is mixed and completed
November 10, 1972 - Led Zeppelin sell out 120,000 tickets in one day
November xx, 1973 - Initial recordings for Physical Graffiti commences at Headley Grange
November 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finalize the purchase of Headley Grange to be their new corporate headquarters
November xx, 1974 - The band makes plans and rehearses for the tenth North American tour
November xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin records Presence in a mere 18 days
November xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin book into Ezyhire Studios to rehearse new material for an upcoming tour
November 04, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same movie premieres in Europe
November xx, 1977 - Jimmy dispells rumors of Led Zeppelin’s break up
November 06, 1978 - Led Zeppelin purchase and ship new gear to Polar Studios to begin work on a new album
November 10, 1979 - Led Zeppelin and their entire entourage attend an ABBA concert
November 07, 1980 - The band meets with Peter Grant to announce the retirement of Led Zeppelin
November 29, 1999 - The RIAA announced that Led Zeppelin were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums, a Diamond album being awarded for accredited sales of more than 10 million units in the US.
November 01, 2007 - An announcement was made that Jimmy Page had fractured his finger on his left hand after a fall in his garden and the reunion show would be postponed to December 10, 2007.
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