The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 6 (CD)
I texted Mike – why the red cover? It’s remastered and expanded, says he. Cool. I owned this ages ago, this is a replacement copy. Recorded for MTV’s Unplugged series, it’s a stellar ramble through Zeppelin tunes. You know all of this already.
Added are The Rain Song (beautiful, with orchestra) and Wah Wah (a great African-feel tune). Yallah is renamed to The Truth Explodes. Missing from the original is Thank You.
The sound is spectacular. What a set!
For those who need the whole news, here’s the track lists of the two releases (from Wiki):
Initially, the album was released in the United States with the following tracks:
- “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” – 4:06
- “Thank You” – 5:47
- “No Quarter” (John Paul Jones/Page/Plant) – 3:45
- “Friends” – 4:37
- “Yallah” – 4:59
- “City Don’t Cry” – 6:08
- “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Jones/Page/Plant) – 7:29
- “The Battle of Evermore” – 6:41
- “Wonderful One” – 4:57
- “That’s the Way” – 5:35
- “Gallows Pole” (Traditional arr. Page/Plant) – 4:09
- “Four Sticks” – 4:52
- “Kashmir” (John Bonham/Page/Plant) – 12:27
- In international releases, “Wah Wah” was included before “That’s the Way”.
For the tenth anniversary, the album was re-released with a different cover and altered track listing. “Thank You” was cut, “City Don’t Cry” and “Wonderful One” appeared in substantially edited versions, and “The Rain Song” and “Wah Wah” were added. In addition, “Yallah” was retitled, and several other tracks had minor alterations to their running times. The new running order was as follows:
- “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” – 3:57
- “No Quarter” (Jones/Page/Plant) – 3:47
- “Friends” – 4:35
- “The Truth Explodes” (formerly known as “Yallah”) (Page/Plant) – 4:42
- “The Rain Song” – 7:29
- “City Don’t Cry” [Edit] – 3:15
- “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Jones/Page/Plant) – 7:28
- “The Battle of Evermore” – 6:40
- “Wonderful One” [Edit] – 3:23
- “Wah Wah” – 5:24
- “That’s the Way” – 5:37
- “Gallows Pole” (Traditional arr. Page/Plant) – 4:17
- “Four Sticks” – 4:57
- “Kashmir” (Bonham/Page/Plant) – 12:36
“Gallows Pole” and “Wonderful One” were released as singles.
Since it’s winter, I thought I’d remind you of those beautiful summer days when you can be off standing at the bottom of your garden…
The album cover belies the contents. Here, he looks like the Golden God, and the cover promises great rock and majesty within. And is it there? Well…
No. Not really. Not in the way I expected, which was big guitars and drums and that wailing good time that only Plant’s voice can incite.
What we get, instead, is a collection of tightly/thinly-produced cheesy 80s rock songs (in 1990!). Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Clearly that was what they were going for, with this one.
We all know Hurting Kind (I’ve Got My Eyes On You). It typifies that sound I’m hearing. Big Love is slinky fun. Actually the intro sounds like Alannah Myles’ Rock This Joint’s riff. Was this around the time they were banging? Coincidence?
S S S & Q (a dumb title) is 80s rock. I Cried is one I liked, it has a cool build. She Said is more cheesy 80s. Nirvana is an OK tune but those guitars… Also, I hear a faster Negative Creep in that brief intro – was this lifted? An homage? They’re both from around the same time. Weird.
Tie Dye The Highway is a cool, mid-tempo groove. This is better. Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night is one I didn’t like until 1:55, when it becomes OK. But it’s still too long, overall. Anniversary is the second tune in a row wasting too much time bulding, but here the pay-off is alright. I liked the guitar.
Liars Dance is an album highlight, an acoustic blues/vocal thing that immediately drew my ear. Yes! And lastly it’s Watching You, an interesting, pounding thing with middle eastern vocal accents.
In sum? That voices saves a lot of the meh music here. I think the riffs were strong but they got buried and lost in the overall sound. I won’t need to play most of this very often.
And you may wonder at me thinking Plant lifted things from other bands. Why should he have to, he’s ROBERT PLANT! But let’s be serious here, folks, how close were Led Zeppelin to their influences? One wonders.
Paul Rees’ book about Plant is one the best rock bios I’ve read, ever. It’s smart, fast-paced yet all-encompassing. It’s apologetic when it needs to be, and shines a bright light unflinchingly.
I don’t envy Rees the task of writing this book. Plant is his own animal, of immeasurable stature and so immersed in his love of music, how does one even begin? The story of Led Zeppelin has been told so many times, it’s almost boring (though the music never is). And his career since then has been so varied and (largely) successful that it almost beggars belief. Where this book really succeeds, though, is in its mission to give a clear-eyed look at the man himself. Fascinating, restless, playful, total horndog, often difficult, more often looking forward.He seems to have lived a charmed life, but in the aftermath of Zeppelin’s demise, it was only his willigness to take chances, move on, that saved him. It gives equal time to the Good Times, Bad Times (you know he’s had his share) and the mundane too.
I really find no fault with this book. One nit-picky thing is that the dates in the last chapters seem off. It’s claimed he spent Christmas 2013 some place, meanwhile I was reading this book over the Christmas 2013 holiday… I’m sure they meant 2012. Again, a small point and does not detract at all from the story itself. And what is that story? It’s the tale we know well, brought up to date. Plant seems more humble than self-serving, the gentleman imp who has more money and fame with which to cope than any individual could hope to survive, yet he still hits up the local pub in his small town and supports his football team after 60 years.A decent bloke, and one of the biggest stars in rock and roll history. The reader is left to find their own faults with the man, his choices, his relationships. But ultimately it’s an uplifting experience, an ending carved in hope and never knowing what the future brings next.