Top positive review
34 people found this helpful
Plant's voice still lightyears ahead
on 31 October 2002
I first listened to this on holiday in France. My brother had bought a copy on a day out in one of the cities in Provence.
We put it on the car stereo on the way home and listened to it from start to finish.
By the time we pulled up to our villa, both my father and I had vowed not to leave the country without our own copies.
This album is essentially a list of cover-versions, but don't be mislead. Each and every one of these tracks has been soaked in Plant's own styling and his voice drips rich textures over each track.
The opener, as I learnt from Mr Plant himself in concert at the Hammersmith Appolo, was written in 1939 by an old bluesman on death row in America and is as good a piece of simple blues done magnificently well as you could hope to hear outside of the mississippi delta.
Each and every song on this album would stand up on its own but there are two tracks that linger in my mind after listening.
Firstly, his version of Tim Buckley's "Song To The Siren" is so pitch-perfect to be truly moving and a song that both sinks you into a love-torn despair and lifts you with its sheer beauty at the same time. Just magnificent musicianship.
The second track is his version of "Hey Joe". Who else in their right minds would EVER even consider trying to out-do Jimi Hendrix?
The scary thing is he produces a version so dark, brooding and sinister whilst remaining totally controlled, that he pulls it off! This is a very different version to Hendrix' and as such it is not possible to say which is better. I simply say this is how I had always imagined that song should be. After all, the story is a dark one, so should the song be.
In conclusion, for anyone who likes Led Zeppelin, go have your faith reconfirmed. For those newer to the scene, go find the master at his best, setting the bar higher and higher for others to follow.
For purists, buy the CD, learn to appreciate the songs and then go see him play them live and marvel at how seamlessly they blend into his Zeppelin back catalogue.
Finally, a word to the doorman who took my ticket stub at the concert last night. I appologise for misleading you when you asked me if Robert Plant was from Def Leppard, I cheekily replied "no,ZZ Top". Too my amazement, he replied "oh yeah, that's right!" and ushered me on my way.
You musn't laugh, just buy the poor man a copy of this cd and he will never forget the answer.