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Now And Zen [Original recording remastered]

Robert Plant Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £6.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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When Robert Plant collected the 2009 Grammy for Album of the Year for Raising Sand, and a further five more for his work with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss, it confirmed what has been apparent, that Plant is one of the few musicians of his generation whose appetite for musical innovation remains keen.

His incredible new album Band Of Joy was recorded at Gillian Welch and David ... Read more in Amazon's Robert Plant Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Now And Zen + The Principle Of Moments + Fate Of Nations
Price For All Three: £18.56

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 April 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000HWZ5WY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,092 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Heaven Knows 4:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Dance On My Own 4:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Tall Cool One 4:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. The Way I Feel 5:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Helen Of Troy 5:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Billy's Revenge 3:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Ship Of Fools 5:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Why 4:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. White, Clean And Neat 5:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Walking Towards Paradise 4:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Billy's Revenge (Live Bootleg Recording, Los Angeles, CA, 1990) 5:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Ship Of Fools (Live Bootleg Recording, Amsterdam, Holland, 1993)10:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Tall Cool One (Live Bootleg Recording, Los Angeles, CA, 1990) 5:07£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Robert PLANT Now And Zen CD

BBC Review

Recorded after a three-year hiatus – and the winding-up of Plant's creative partnership with Midlands guitarist Robbie Blunt – Now & Zen signalled a new stage in the former Zeppelin marauder's musical journey. It also revved up what Plant called his "technobilly" side, and stands to this day as his most slickly (some might say over-) produced 80s album.

Influenced by everyone from Prince to Depeche Mode, Plant had already upped the synth-and-sequencer quota on 1985's Shaken 'n' Stirred, but the album stiffed and the singer sought fresh young blood to help him change course. After demoing material with Buggles' Bruce Woolley and writing with Eurythmics co-producer Robert Crash, Percy saddled up with session musos Phil Johnstone (keyboards) and Chris Blackwell (drums, no relation to the Island founder) and quickly formed a new unit around them.

While Jimmy Page trod water in hoary blues-rock outfit The Firm, Plant now took the more keyboard-swathed side of late Led Zeppelin to a late-80s extreme. Opener Heaven Knows – a track that didn't even bear the songwriting imprint of Plant himself – was Hounds of Love Kate Bush with testosterone, thanks in part to the guesting presence of Kirsty MacColl on backing vocals. Dance on My Own and Walking Towards Paradise were sequenced 80s dance-rock at its most overcooked and arid; The Way I Feel, all gloopy fretless bass and sub-Edge guitar atmospherics. White, Clean and Neat was a finger-popping essay about growing up on pristine 1950s pop culture, complete with name-checks for Debbie Reynolds and Johnnie Ray.

If Ship of Fools veered closer to the mood of Big Log – Doug Boyle's coiled guitar recalling Robbie Blunt's playing on that track – it was another guitarist who stole the limelight on Now & Zen. None other than Jimmy Page dropped by to fire off rockabilly licks on the pumping Tall Cool One, his contributions augmented by a barrage of sampled Zeppelin riffs (Whole Lotta Love, When the Levee Breaks, Black Dog, Custard Pie and The Ocean, the latter sampled by the Beastie Boys only a year earlier).

While Plant himself thought Now & Zen was "contemporary, young, virile music", diehard Zepheads like Creem's Chuck Eddy were less convinced. Though Eddy reluctantly came round to the album – characterising it as "sort of the animal you'd get if you crossed In Through The Out Door with [the Cars'] Panorama" – even he ultimately found it "emotionally restrained – too cold, too clever, too calculated... too 80s, I guess." That is a verdict many would stand by to this day.

--Barney Hoskyns

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "It's just recovery baby, just recovery" 27 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
...In which our hero grows his hair again and begins the journey back from the archives of oblivion. RP seemed to have spent the most of the 80's up to this point attempting to transform himself from 70's Rock God to 80's lounge-lizard-king. Thus we saw the surprising "Pictures at Eleven" turn into the interesting "Principle of Moments" to be followed by the frankly dumbfounding "Shaken 'n' Stirred." Remember the jump suits?! Remember the big fluffy sweaters?! :-o :-) Fortunately, RP seemed to snap out of it, hiring a new, younger band, buying a sampler, getting his old mate Jimmy Page to play a couple of solo's and dusted off some of the more well-known moments from his back catalogue. There are some good tracks on this album - "Heaven Knows" was a nice single, "Tall Cool One" was one of his best and most upbeat solo efforts up to that point and "Billy's Revenge" is still a great track, rooted in a 50's rockabilly groove. At the time, Now and Zen seemed to represent a new lease of life in a seemingly flagging career and I certainly enjoyed it (and the accompanying tour) immensely at the time. These days, it sounds a little dated, with (what sounds to me now) like a very 80's production feel to it. Most importantly, though, it represents a watershed moment in Plant's career and started a path that would lead to the magnificent "Fate of Nations" album a few years later.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminally Underrated 9 Aug 2008
By J. Coe
Format:Audio CD
As an interpretation of the 80's musical asthetic this album is a powerhouse. The sounds are clean and crisp (to excess obviously - this was 80's production), however too many people listening to the album, post it's release into an understanding musical landscape, completely miss this point and concept. If you can't look beyond production values alone then you shouldn't critique music, if this was the only basis for music's worth then many a classic song or album would be dismissed. The break up of standard song structure and use of emerging sounds is a highlight, giving the album depth and delvering more each listen. The lyrics reflect the time and an inability to relate is certainly not the artists responsibility. This album is a highlight in Plant's solo career and certainly carries no more 'dead weight' than Fate of Nations. Do yourself a favour and listen to this album in it's entirety on an audiophile quality system and revel in the creativeness of the soundscape and Plant's intoxicating wail - it never sounded better.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert is the "TALL COOL ONE!" 13 July 2007
Format:Audio CD
Despite the other reviews, I REALLY LIKED this CD when came out & the U.S. Tour that RP did that followed. His voice still sounded great at this point, plus the back-up Band he used on the Tour kicked it out behind him (although...unfortunately NO JIMMY PAGE!).

I still like this CD now, too---it's very listenable even if there's nothing 'ground-breaking' about it.

There's a couple of 'mellow' tunes on this collection, but I like the upbeat songs like "Tall Cool One" & "Dance on My Own". Even though it has that "80's glossy sound" to it, so what? If your'e a fan of Robert Plant, get the CD and enjoy the transition from Zeppelin to the 80's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great service. 18 Oct 2014
Format:Audio CD
Great album, Great price and it arrived very quickly in excellent condition for a second hand CD.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The peak of the solo years. 23 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This was a new band, new song-writing team and a new era for Robert. The sterility of previous albums is gone, and he almost sounds like he's having fun. Musically, it all sounds fresh and inspired and the experimentation is natural and not forced. He's also at ease with his past- LZ samples abound in 'Tall Cool One' and LZ songs now featured in the live sets. Great songs such as 'Ship of Fools' held their own beside 'Going to California', and Jimmy Page could now appear on Robert's solo albums (he's on 'Heaven Knows' and 'Tall Cool One') or join him onstage, as he often did at this time.
The bonus live tracks show a cooking live band with great imagination and spontaneity.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Now and Zen you wonder why bother! 10 Mar 2004
Format:Audio CD
I like Robert Plant, don't get me wrong, he has done some good stuff in his time - but this is not it!
I bought this album on vinyl in '88 (maybe '89) and my opinion hasn't changed.
This sounds like a poor attempt by a hope-to-be-star to create an awe-inspiring piece of work, and it fails miserably!
The only saving grace is "Ship Of Fools" - a diamond in a bowl of broken glass.
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