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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

July xx, 1969 - The band play many festivals now on their third American tour
July xx, 1970 - Additional recording for Led Zeppelin III at London’s Island Studios
July 16, 1970 - Photographer Chris Welch films Led Zeppelin on his 8mm camera, some clips later used in the Whole Lotta Love promo video
July xx, 1971 - Untitled gets re-mixed in London
July 05, 1971 - A riot erupts mid-concert, forcing Led Zeppelin to stop after about 40 minutes
July xx, 1972 - After repeated bad press, Led Zeppelin hire their first publicity firm
July 20, 1973 - A last minute decision is made to film the remaining part of the tour
July xx, 1973 - Led Zeppelin is filmed over the three nights for their film that will emerge as The Song Remains The Same
July xx, 1974 - After viewing their 1973 filmed performance, it is apparent critical errors were made
July xx, 1974 - Mixing for Physical Graffiti at Olympic Studios
July 05, 1975 - The band meet in Montreux to discuss adding South America and Japan to the end of their North American tour
July xx, 1976 - Bonham and Page fly to Montreux, Switzerland to check out some new sound and drum effects
July 17, 1977 - The last ever performance of Moby Dick played at the Seattle Kingdome
July 24, 1977 - The band plays its last US date at the Oakland Coliseum
July xx, 1978 - Led Zeppelin are invited to perform at Maggie Bell’s Festival Hall show
July xx, 1979 - Led Zeppelin film their rehearsal at Bray Studios
July 04, 1979 - Led Zeppelin confirm a second date at Knebworth in August 1979
July 05, 1980 - Simon Kirke joins in on drums for an encore in Munich
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