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Sixty Six To Timbuktu

Sixty Six To Timbuktu
[Click above for album images]

Featuring music that spans a time frame from Plant's pre-Zeppelin days through a live performance captured earlier this year, the aptly titled 35-track, double disc Sixty Six to Timbuktu serves as both a greatest hits-style career retrospective (disc one) as well as a rarities collection (disc two). In its former capacity, it stumbles only slightly by completely ignoring his debut Pictures at Eleven and inexplicably excluding the 1980's staple In the Mood. One could quibble that the set pays far too much attention to Plant's 1993 outing Fate of Nations, but the fact of the matter is that songs such as 29 Palms and Calling to You stand the test of time better than the cluttered arrangements of Tie Dye on the Highway, Tall Cool One, and Heaven Knows. Other gems include interpretations of Tim Buckley's Song to the Siren and Jesse Colin Young's Darkness, Darkness (both from last year's Dreamland), The Honeydrippers' rendition of Sea of Love (a vintage R&B tune popularized by Phil Phillips), and the lovely 1988 hit Ship of Fools, none of which try to force the music to be something that it isn't just for the sake of selling albums or experimenting with new technology.

As for the rarities portion of Sixty Six to Timbuktu, it collects everything from long forgotten, early singles and demos to b-sides, side projects, and movie soundtrack material. Although his cover of Charlie Rich's Philadelphia Baby is routine rockabilly and his partnership with Robin George on Red for Danger is virtually unlistenable, the bulk of the material is actually much better than the typical aggregation of odds and ends. Both Hey Joe and For What It's Worth, recorded as demos in 1967 with Band of Joy, are stuffed full of blazing psychedelic blues, powered by the bashing and crashing of John Bonham. Elsewhere, the ghost of Robert Johnson haunts the back roads of 21 Years; Plant's perfect moan lends a raw edginess that lifts the slow-burn of Operator as well as the thunderous Road to the Sun; Arthur Alexander's If It's Really Got to Be This Way, with its country twang and pedal steel bliss, sounds closer to the Rolling Stones than Led Zeppelin; and the world beats and organic grooves that fill his collaboration with Afro Celt Soundsystem (Life Begin Again) as well as a recent concert cut (Win My Train Fare Home) prove that even after all these years, Plant still has an awful lot to contribute to his legacy.

From: John Metzger for The Music Box, December 2003, Volume 10, #12

Nov. 4, 2003 (US)
Nov. 4, 2003(UK)

Chart Position:
-- (US) --(UK)



1. Tie Dye On The Highway
2. Upside Down
3. Promised Land
4. Tall Cool One
5. Dirt In A Hole
6. Calling To You
7. 29 Palms
8. If I Were A Carpenter
9. Sea Of Love
10. Darkness, Darkness
11. Big Log
12. Ship Of Fools
13. I Believe
14. Little By Little
15. Heaven Knows
16. Song To The Siren

1. You'd Better Run
2. Our Song
3. Hey Joe
4. For What It's Worth
5. Operator
6. Road To The Sun
7. Philadelphia Baby
8. Red For Danger
9. Let's Have A Party
10. Hey Jayne
11. Louie, Louie
12. Naked If I Want To
13. 21 Years
14. If It's Really Got To Be This Way
15. Rude World
16. Little Hands
17. Life Begin Again
18. Let The Boogie Woogie Roll
19. Win My Train Fare Home (live)
Quick Fact

The title describes the span of Robert Plant's career at the time that this compilation came out - from 1966 (w/ the single You'd Better Run) to Timbuktu (Win My Train Fare Home from January 8, 2003 in Essakane, Mali).

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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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