Tag Archives: Robert Plant

Robert Plant: LIVE AT KNEBWORTH (1990)

Another RSD 2021 score from Montreal is this little ass kicker of a 4 song EP from Robert Plant recorded during the Knebworth concert from the summer of 1990 in England. Also featured at that show were Genesis, Pink Floyd, Status Quo amongst others.

For myself personally I love this era of Plant’s career from “Now and Zen(1988”) through “Manic Nirvana (1990)” to “Fate of Nations(1993)”.

What a killer three pack of albums from Robert and his band at the time.

“Hurting Kind” and “Liars Dance” are two songs that were featured on the current Plant album at the time “Manic Nirvana” whereas “Tall Cool One” was from the previous album “Now And Zen”.

Speaking of “Tall Cool One” love how the band shifts gears at the end and does a snippet of “Custard Pie”.

“Liar’s Dance” is easily in my all time Top 5 Plant solo songs. This live version is so friggin good. Guitarist Doug Boyle lays it down brilliantly on acoustic guitar while Plant delivers the goods vocally.

Such a killer track which proves the theory that you can kick ass in different ways than always running an electric six string though a Marshall stack.

The other show stealer is of course Plants old homeboy Jimmy Page showing up and along with Plant’s band they rip through “Wearing And Tearing”!

That’s right “Wearing And Tearing” the last track from the never talked about (except around here) album “Coda”(1982)!

Talk about digging in and pulling out a deep track!

Even though it’s only a short listen, what a brilliant four pack of tracks!

R.I.P Phil Johnstone.

SONIC WAVES….Led Zeppelin/Coda

1982’s Coda by Led Zeppelin is my first  Zep purchase! I was 13 when Zep packed it in December 1980 when John Bonham died and give them credit (Robert Plant/Jimmy Page/John Paul Jones)they walked away from a huge pay day …..

I missed the whole Zep deal but it was my buddy John Young(where are you?)  that I had first heard Zep! Hell he first gotten into Kiss, than Pink Floyd,Zeppelin he even dabbled a bit with Y&T (Black Tiger and Meanstreak) and aborted ship when Y&T commercialized there sound so John would always be moving onto some other musical act whereas I would study up on each group buying everything in site whether good or bad on each act and well JY wherever you are in this world! Thanks again man……

CODA is a bunch of left over songs from various recording sessions that were sitting in the vaults …..man for leftovers these are friggin classics!

WERE GONNA GROOVE- Yep we are! Listen to the beginning of this track,man Bonham lays it on thick right out of the gate and John Paul Jones drives a real cool snappy bass line and young boy Robert Plant nails done the vocals while Jimmy Page is flinging  quick bolts of riffs! This is my intro to Zep! Thank Ya much!

POOR TOM-Bonzo plays a real slick smooth drum fill! The jive of his drums carries this tune and heres Jimmy and John Paul Jones joining in and Plant delivers a real cool rock vocal! Love the harmonica I  this tune especially between breathes on the harp Plant quips “Keep Talkin!” Man this is a awesome tune!

I CANT QUIT YOU BABY- is the live track on here recorded at a sound check and man the drums sound big like cannons going off! (This is recorded from 1969!) Page riffs like a man making a deal with Satan! Plant tops it off with his vocals he sings rock style than shifts gears in the second verse while the band esp Page play lightning quick bolts of brillance! Man oh man! Zep is a powerful machine live. Bonzo Wowzers he is Zep!

WALTERS WALK-Page starts,Bonzo and John Pauly join ship and its a great track! Another all out Zep rocker and man what can you say about Plants vocals? There awesome! He knows his deal when to do the hey hey mamas and not when to do them! Fantastic singer man always has been always will be!

OZONE BABY-Love this tune! It gets right out of the gates quick with drums,bass guitar all in sync and boom were off! Plant throws down some real good vocals and like many a Zep tune Bonham smashes the crap out of his Ludwig drums and man this is powerful stuff! Crank the   Video and enter the Ozone known as Led Zeppelin!

DARLENE BABY-this could have been a huge hit but Zep rolled (no pun intended) a ton of rock hits but it’s crazy that they kept these tracks like Darlene sitting around collecting dust until Page decided to clean them off and release it. Darlene has a nice slower paced groove but let’s not kid ourselves here Bonzo drives the bus with his drums on this tune and its full steam ahead jaut not at 100 mph! Love how Zep have a ton of tempo changes but never come unglued!

BONZOs MONTREAUX-this is basically the full meal drum deal from John Bonham! It’s amazing that all of this material is from the late 60s to 1980 and the sound of the drums are huge! The sonics of Zep still sound current in the year 2015! Zep had a timeless quality and that is why Jimmy Page can keep remaster  remastered remastering the same studio albums over and over and people still purchase! That my friends is a quality no make that superior product!

WEARING AND TEARING-Zep rips out of the gate at breakneck speed and this song just drives ….fast! Page ramps up his playing while Jones and Bonzo are popping pistons  down in the engine room! Zep ends the album at a walloping pace! Man this is awesome material and it was leftovers? Like are you fucking kidding me?

(Bonus Track) HEY HEY,WHAT CAN I DO-Yup I’m breaking protocol here as I purchased  the deluxe 2015 reissue Coda and always whenever I do these reviews of these albums I don’t review the deluxe editions blah blah blah etc I just stick with what I had bought back in the day which was the original track listing!

Hey,Hey,What Can I Do man I just love this tune it fuses some real good lyrics with Plant putting aside his Arena Rock God vocals and throwing down a real chill vibe vocal whereas Page fills up the song with some cool electric/acoustic and mandolin playing while Jones and Bonham well they just stay in the zone man and they deliver one of my fav Zep tracks ever! SALUTE! Crank the video and see how Zep can rock the boat!(Ozone Baby) and also pull back the reigns with s slower paced tune that still rocks in a Zep kinda way(Hey,Hey,What Can I Do?)

IN CONCLUSION- I love this album and maybe by it being my first actual Zep Purchase maybe that has something to do with it! But all of these songs on Coda stand up on there own merit! Of course after I was hooked on Coda it was a delve back into there catalogue and what a catalogue it was! Some day I’m gonna have to review those albums as  there all classics!

SONIC WAVES ….Robert Plant/Now And Zen

Tall Cool One….. man….still love that song today and that silly Bobby Plant sampling his own stuff on Tall Cool One(he dips into his Led Zeppelin catalogue and steals from himself=GENIUS!!)

So Mr Plant for me anyways puts out a high tech sounding keyboard drivin record in good ol February of 1988! Up to that point I bought all of Roberts solo stuff even Shakin And Stirred which I never really got into! Since I was 13 when Zep broke up(1980) I guess I took it upon myself to forge a sonic trail with what Plant was currently doing solo wise since he was basically doing no Zep at all on his solo tours of course that changed with the Now And Zen Tour but regardless…..

Hey,Hey Mama…..

HEAVEN KNOWS-wowzers  Plant and company(Doug Boyle/Phil Johnstone/Chris Blackwell/Phil Scragg) shoot out of the gates with a high tech keyboard  (almost) over produced sound and were only 20 seconds in to Now And Zen! Plant man whadda say about this guys voice? It’s tailor made for everything Rock. Case in point….you want loud bombastic Zep Rock (Black Dog) or Reggae tinged chill rock(Dyer Maker) Big Band Swing Rock(anything Honeydrippers) Plant delivers and lookie who shows up to the Plant Partee…..Mr Jimmy Page and he plays some guitar on Heaven Knows! Crank up those 1988 Zep reunion rumours(we won’t talk about the 40th Anniversary Atlantic Records(1988) romp when Zep did get back together or the Live Aid (1985)thingy were Page was drooling all over his double necked Gibson guitar) Heaven Knows is a great start and man the sound is polished! For me being a hard ass towards all records sounding too slick I’m good with this!

DANCE ON MY OWN- track 2 and Roberts rocking and this song is a keeper as well. Like the rhythm aspect of it the drums courtesy of Mr Blackwell keep the Plant machine in check and keep the song ploughing forward into….

TALL COOL ONE- what a cool tune! Look Jimbo Page is on track 3 as well and this song has all the trimmings of a 80s rock track! Well produced,well played,well sung,backing vocals courtesy of some chics! Plus the guitar of Boyle and Page are tuned up tighter than the empty beer cans lodged againest each other behind my buddy Ruggs bar! Dig the keyboard playing in this tune and well Phil Johnstone played a huge part in  this record not only playing the keys but he co wrote most  of Now And Zen as well! Dee Ditty Dee Ditty Ditty Dee Dee Dee(that’s my shitty example of the keyboard in between the vocals..hahaha) Like I posted as well at the top of the page Robert swipes his own stuff and samples down some Zep at the end of the track! What a awesome move! Bravo! Even later on Plant sold his soul to the Coca Cola man and this song was used in Coke commercials! Some call it sellout perhaps me as well but it’s Plant …so let’s toss him a mulligan on this one ok?

THE WAY I FEEL- drums and bass launch this song and Boyle plays a real mean clean guitar not on this song but on this whole album. Plant as he does delivers a great vocal but when does he not deliver a great vocal right ?! This is a mid tempo high glossed up rocker if that makes sense!

HELEN OF TROY-this song is a great track! It does have all the trappings of 80s rock! Clean overproduced to certain extent but the song does flow and props must be given not only to Boyle on guitar but Chris Blackwell on the drums! He pushes the Plantship forward into high tech waters but he doesn’t stall in rough techno waters. He’s a great on this track and on this album! Helen Of Tbone is another mid tempoish number with some time changes proving its ok to …well Were Gonna Groove!

BILLYS REVENGE-think The Honeydrippers doing speed that’s what Billys Revenge sounds like to me! It’s a 50s rollicking good time shuffle groove with finger snaps and Blackwell and his drums drive this tune and Boyle gets a little edgy with his playing and dumps a heavier somewhat tone! Plant I guess at the time was still fun changing up styles and why not that Honeydrippers EP From 1984 sold tons!

SHIP OF FOOLS- I will say it right here that this is one of the best slow mover tunes I have ever heard! What a great song! Plant delivers the ultimate vocal. Boyle plays super laid back picking riffs and knows his place in the song structure! Plus I love the sound of the bass on this by Mr Scragg. What a well done splendid track! Cheers to Bobby on this one! Crazy …..Ship Of Fools……

WHY- Rob gets off the Ship Of Fools and asks Why? Why is 80s Plant embracing technology and when I listen to this track its almost a exact opposite sound that Rob and the Boys would give us all with there next release 1990s Manic Nirvana. That’s ok though and I guess as well he wants to,distance himself as far as away as possible from Zep except of course when he triggered the samples from Tall Cool One! Why is a good track Boyle plays with a real clean tone and these songs as well are pretty much do written with Phil Johnstone (keyboardist) hence the sound.

WHITE CLEAN AND NEAT- finger snapping and between The White Clean Sheets comes Rob and crew. Big time synth action drives it from behind with the guitars,bass and drums  moving the song forward! Rob knows that the Now And Zen party is ending so he calls back the ladies from Tall Cool One to handle some backing vocals! There’s even a spoken word verse  You Snake charmer you! Robert on this release makes it that no two songs sound alike in his solo era and for that you really have to hand it to Plant!

WALKING TOWARDS PARADISE-The ladies stick around for the final track and Robert Plant Sez the party ain’t  ending Til he says its ending. Good song to end the evenings proceedings!

IN CONCLUSION-Robert Plant delivers a very 80s sounding record to that when I listen to it today it’s sounds 80s! Ha! But guess what folks Plant cans the old farts that played on his Shaken And Stirred release and gets a bunch of young rocking dudes and heads into Music Frontiers Unknown and and delivers a solid Gem of a release! You have to hand it Robert for a couple of reasons! 1-being he carved out a pretty decent solo career by this point. 2-he changed it up sonically from release to release. Case in point his next album Manic Nirvana is the exact opposite album sonic wise than Now And Zen. 3- Ummm he sang in Led Zep! 4- like I said at the beginning. Plant samples his own back catalogue…..that’s Street Cred in my book!

Cool Lil Numbers…Robert Plant/Liars Dance

All righty friends usually in the Cool Lil Numbers section here at Arena Rock I’m throwing down Loud Rock tunes but today lets shift gears and talk about a great acoustic track from Robert Plants Manic Nirvana(1990) album titled Liars Dance!

I have said it before and I’ll say it again for me back in the day of buying things music I loved those songs crunched on the end of the record that are absolute Gems! Liars Dance is that and much more. Next to the Roberts ode to horn dogs tune (Big Love, track 2) this is my fav from Manic Nirvana.

Liars Dance is just Robert and his guitar player Doug Boyle and Boyle plays a real cool acoustic piece that clocks in under 2 minutes 40 seconds! (Studio Version,Live Version is a little longer)Crazy how catchy this tune  is in such a short order of time!

Bobby and Dougie don’t screw around and they take the Don’t Bore Us Get To The Chorus approach and it pays off in spades! Love how Boyle just cranks up the strumming halfway thru like a crazed man and just shifts right down into the catchy verse! Awesome stuff…

Dig the words I mean where else would you fine the line….

Trees cry-men bow/Kneel before the fatted cow/Lets take a little moo before we go/No we won’t be back again/Won’t be back again….

I posted the live clip and you can see how they pulled it off in that kind of setting….

Great Friggin Track….