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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

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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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