Archive for Robert Plant

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Robert Plant- The Principle of Moments

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Principle_of_moments

Here is another example why I stopped trusting commercial radio or MTV for all of my music liaisons. In 1983, the two singles from Robert Plant’s “The Principle of Moments” album, “In the Mood” and “Big Log” got a lot of airplay on MTV. If I were to judge this album just on those two songs, I would have thought that Robert Plant had completely abandoned his roots and was making mellow out, commercial songs. I know that even then, Robert wasn’t comfortable when people like me said that his former band, Led Zeppelin, were one of the founding fathers of heavy metal but this album shows that he didn’t totally abandon his beginnings.

“The Principle of Moments” is a long way from the heavy metal sounding delights of Led Zeppelin “II” or “IV.” Nonetheless, it is still a good album with some rock delights for all. When I heard the introduction on the opening song, “Other Arms,” I found myself checking the credits on the album because I was sure that Robert had gotten Jimmy Page to play on it. Obviously, I was dreaming but saying that, Robert Blunt does a magnificent job on the six string all throughout the entire album. Does he site Jimmy as an influence? Don’t know but it might be worth checking out.

Maybe it’s me mellowing in my old age, (I’ll be halfway between 50 and 60 in three weeks), but listening to “In The Mood” again after all these years, I’ve decided it’s not as bad as I thought back then. In fact, there’s a pretty tidy guitar solo from Blunt which has me wondering how I missed something like that back in 1983. I’ll blame the weed. Another really good standout track is “Wreckless Love” which is possibly the hardest rock tune on the album. However, other songs like “Messin’ With the Mekon” and “Horizontal Departure” come fairly close. “Thru With the Two Step” is another interesting song on the album. It starts out like it’s going to be a mellow one, more in the style of Led Zeppelin’s later progressive years. Then it goes into a more hard blues sound with a killer guitar solo from Blunt. God, I have to check this guy out more.

The only stone left unturned is the vocals of Plant himself. They are as good as ever here. Sure, he doesn’t scream like he did back in the 1970s but he still shows he has a decent range.

Track Listing:

  1. Other Arms
  2. In the Mood
  3. Messin’ with the Meckon
  4. Wreckless Love
  5. Thru With the Two Step
  6. Horizontal Departure
  7. Stranger Here… Than Over There
  8. Big Log
Robert Plant

Robert Plant

Robert Plant- vocals

Robbie Blunt- guitars

Paul Martinez- bass

Jezz Woodroffe- keyboards

Phil Collins- drums on tracks, 1-3, 5,6, 8

Barriemore Barlow- drums on tracks 4 and 7

John David and Ray Martinez- backing vocals

Unlike “In the Mood,” my thoughts haven’t changed much on “Big Log.” Maybe it’s that image conjured up from the video of Robert Plant swimming in the pool. But don’t let that spoil your enjoyment of “The Principle of Moments” because it is a good album. Classic Robert Plant.

Next post: Jackson Browne- Lawyers in Love

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1982: Diamond Head- Borrowed Time

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Borrowed_Time_By_Diamond_Head

“Borrowed Time” by Diamond Head another album that passed me by in 1982 but then again, I had never heard of the band until a year later when I came to Britain and happened to see them at Donnington in 1983. While I thought they were okay, I still never got around to buying any of their albums. When I came to Britain to stay in 1986, it was only then I got to experience them because two of my new friends were heavily into them. In fact, one was nicknamed Diamond Head Andy because of his love for the band. Although the character based on him in “Rock and Roll Children” is called Diamond Head Martin. Even then, I can’t say that I really listened to them. That is why, like a good number of the albums of 1982, I am only listening “Borrowed Time” for the first time before making this post.

What is my impression of Diamond Head? Well listening to “Borrowed Time,” my first reaction is Led Zeppelin. It is very obvious that Diamond Head draw a major influence from the great Zep, not that I can blame them for that. Lead singer Sean Harris sounds quite a lot like Robert Plant on most of the tracks and guitarist Brian Tatler has a style very similar to Jimmy Page. The tracks which prove the point the most are “Borrowed Time” and “Don’t You Ever Leave Me.” However, there is a little of the Zeppelin influence in the other tracks too and that includes the closer, “Am I Evil” which any metalhead knows was covered by Metallica. But calling Diamond Head Led Zeppelin clones would be grossly unfair and inaccurate. Sure the Zep influence is definitely there but they aren’t clones. Take “Am I Evil” for an example. There is some good power metal riffs in that song that I can see why one of the most famous thrash bands in the world would cover it. The same can be said for “Lightning to the Nations.” That is another song where Diamond Head put their own stamp on it. Comparisons and contrasts aside, I found “Borrowed Time to be a great album to sit back and bang your head to and I have to give credit to Tatler as a guitarist, he can cook.

Track Listing:

  1. In the Heat of the Night
  2. To Heave from Hell
  3. Call Me
  4. Lightning to the Nations
  5. Borrowed Time
  6. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
  7. Am I Evil
Diamond Head

                         Diamond Head

Sean Harris- vocals

Brian Tatler- guitars

Colin Kimberly- bass

Duncan Scott- drums

My trip through 1982 has been full of pleasant surprises for me. Because so many albums passed me by that year due to my military commitments, (though I can’t use that excuse here), I have had the pleasurable experience of having to catch up on them. So far, every one of them has been a good experience but I have to say that Diamond Head’s “Borrowed Time” has been the best surprise thus far.

Next post: UFO- Mechanix

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Robert Plant- Pictures At 11

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2015 by 80smetalman

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What is probably the biggest misconception in the world about heavy metal founding fathers, Led Zeppelin, is that most people tend to remember them more for their hard rock/heavy metal sound from the early 1970s. Many supposed Led Zeppelin officianados forget that in the middle and latter part of that decade, they were moving away from the heavy sound for a more progressive sound. There were many reasons for this which I have already stated when I visited some Led Zeppelin albums in the past. Unfortunately, some of those same people had this same misconception when Robert Plant released his first solo album in 1982, “Pictures At 11.”

This album is definitely more Led Zeppelin in the late 70s and I think that Robert wanted to continue in this vein and he does a very good job in doing so. The opening track, “Burning Down One Side” is a sure fire reminder of the Zeppelin days from the opening riff. It definitely makes a statement for the rest of the album. However, Plant does seem to venture more into new territories as well. The slower second track “Moonlight in Samosa” bears testimony to this. Things go a bit more up tempo with “Slow Dancer” and it is the first track where I was tempted to begin comparing guitarist Robbie Blunt to Plant’s former band mate. Fortunately, I was able to resist temptation and make judgement on Blunt in his own right. My verdict: he can certainly play guitar as evidenced on not only “Slow Dancer” but “Worse Than Detroit” and “Fat Lip” and no, Sum 41 would not make a cover of that last song twenty years later, not even close. Sorry, forgive my weird sense of humour. However, those last two tracks are further evidence of Plant wanting to go forward into new areas. Then, almost as some anti- climax, the closing song, “Mystery Title” reminds me of two Led Zeppelin classics, “Trample Underfoot” and “When the Levee Breaks,” not that I’m complaining.

Track Listing:

1. Burning Down One Side

2. Midnight 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

Robert Plant

Robert Plant

Robert Plant- vocals

Robbie Blunt- guitar

Jezz Woodroffe- keyboards, synthesizers

Paul Martinez- bass

Phil Collins- drums, except tracks 4 & 7

Cozy Powell- drums on tracks 4 &7

Raphael Ravenscroft- saxophone on track 3

It was always great to see that Robert Plant had moved on after Led Zeppelin, as did Page and Jones. He managed to find some good musicians to help him on the album and got Collins and Powell to play drums which was an added bonus. “Pictures At 11” marked a triumphant return for Plant.

Next post: Steve Winwood- Talking Back to the Night

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Led Zepplin IV

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2011 by 80smetalman

Of all the people in my age group I have met over the years, I have only ever met one person who had never heard the famous song “Stairway to Heaven.” For forty years, that song has been a classic anthem with rockers both young and old. I mean who hasn’t been to at least one music shop where there’s a sign on the wall banning people from playing it on the guitar in the shop. “Stairway to Heaven” is definitely among the top classics. However, if Led Zepplin had been around in the 80s, it would have been classed as their token ballad or they might have been accused of selling out by some metalheads.

While “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the reasons why Led Zepplin IV is such a great album, it isn’t the only good song on it. There is an argument for all eight songs on the album to given the spotlight. I’ve seen both “Rock And Roll” and “Misty Mountain Hop” on juke boxes and my favourite has always been “Black Dog.” Five out of the eight songs appear on the “Mothership” album. Each and every song makes this album such a classic.

Track Listing:

1. Black Dog

2. Rock and Roll

3. The Battle of Evermore

4. Stairway to Heaven

5. Misty Mountain Hop

6. Four Sticks

7. Going to California

8. When the Levee Breaks

Robert Plant- vocals

Jimmy Page- guitar

John Paul Jones- bass

John Bonham- drums

I will not debate anyone who mentions the many other great albums which Led Zepplin put out in the 70s. “Physical Graffiti” and “Led Zepplin II” already come to mind. However, it is “Led Zepplin IV” that shows the true rock talents of Led Zepplin and why it is one of the greatest rock albums ever.

Next Post: Deep Purple, Machine Head

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle