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Manic Nirvana
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Manic Nirvana is the closest Robert Plant has come to releasing product. If Tall Cool One left you feeling cold, then get ready for another chilly reception. Plant cheerleads his way through most of the record, supported by the same band from Now And Zen, pausing to reflect at welcome intervals and indulge his moodier muse. Other icons from the '70s were making similarly soulless music at this point (Aerosmith, Rolling Stones), but Plant had heretofore differentiated himself from that pack by pushing boundaries. The only thing being pushed here is the suggestion that Robert could be trans-Planted into the '90s by straddling modern studio rock, rap, and the moody spiritualism of Led Zeppelin. He’s no stranger to rhythmically driven music, but where Shaken 'N' Stirred seemed strange, Manic Nirvana feels mundane. Where earlier albums built off the Zeppelin foundation that Plant helped build, these songs seem to lean on old victories like a crutch. Hurting Kind is essentially a rewrite of Tall Cool One, Big Love borrows from D'yer Mak'er, and so Manic Nirvana adds little new to the discussion. The better moments come when Plant puts down the mystical pom-poms and engages his darker side, felt to best effect on the pained I Cried and Anniversary. On a different note, the playful Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night serves as a neat bookend to I Cried. Ultimately the heartless arrangements and lazy lyrical content win the day, drowning out the few good cuts on here. Among the breathtaking specimens and interesting hybrids in Plant’s garden, here is a relatively weak and flavorless yield, best left on the vine until you’ve had your fill of finer fruits like Fate of Nations and The Principle of Moments.

From: Connolly & Company
Statistics

Released:
Mar. 19, 1990 (US)
Mar. 19, 1990 (UK)
Mar. 20, 2007 (Remastered)

Chart Position:
#13 (US) #15 (UK)

Certified:
Gold: May 18, 1990

Tracks

1. Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes On You)
2. Big Love
3. S S S & Q
4. I Cried
5. She Said
6. Nirvana
7. Tie Dye On The Highway
8. Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night
9. Anniversary
10. Liars Dance
11. Watching You

2007 REMASTER BONUS TRACKS
12. Oompah (Watery Bint)
13. One Love
14. Don't Look Back
Quick Fact

S S S & Q (short for Soak, Shake, Splash and Quake) contains a James Brown sample at the 2:36 mark.
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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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