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Robert Plant

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Robert Plant Pictures At Eleven album cover
3.53 | 114 ratings | 7 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Burning Down One Side (3:55)
2. Moonlight In Samosa (3:58)
3. Pledge Pin (4:01)
4. Slow Dancer (7:43)
5. Worse Than Detroit (5:55)
6. Fat Lip (5:05)
7. Like I've Never Been Gone (5:56)
8. Mystery Title (5:16)

Total time 41:49

Bonus Tracks on 2007 remaster:
9. Far Post (4:42)
10. Like I've Never Been Gone (Live at Houston, 1983) (7:31)

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Plant / vocals, production & mixing

- Robbie Blunt / guitar
- Jezz Woodroffe / keyboards, synths
- Paul Martinez / bass
- Phil Collins / drums (1-3,5,6,8-10)
- Cozy Powell / drums (4,7)
- Raphael Ravenscroft / saxophone (3)
- Bob Mayo / ? (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Robert Plant with Michael Hoppen (photo)

LP Swan Song ‎- SS 8512 (1982, US)

CD Swan Song ‎- SS 8512-2 (1985, US/Europe)
CD Rhino Records ‎- R2 74158 (2007, US/UK) Remastered by Bill Inglot & Dan Hersch (1-8) and Raj Das (9,10), two bonus tracks

Thanks to Snow Dog (Data Standards) for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ROBERT PLANT Pictures At Eleven ratings distribution

(114 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ROBERT PLANT Pictures At Eleven reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Back.....with a little help from my friends.

Two years after the tragic events that led to the end of an era Robert Plant relaunched himself as a solo performer, bringing together a variety of musicians culminating in the release of "Pictures at Eleven", in many ways a change of direction for the Led Zeppelin front man though still retaining his characteristic sound and creative and technical innovation.

The album included contributions from Phil Collins and Cozy Powell on drums, Plant also brought in Robbie Blunt on guitar, Jezz Woodroffe on keyboards and Paul Martinez on bass , with some excellent sax playing by Raphael Ravenscroft on "Pledge Pin".

Released on Zeppelin's Swan Song label on 28th June 1982 , "Pictures at Eleven" did well and received good reviews, Zeppelin fans warmed to the album, especially with the inclusion of the Zepplinesque epic "Slow Dancer" and stomping "Burning Down One Side", which introduced us to the characteristic guitar playing of Robbie Blunt. Other songs on the album show Plant moving away from his past, especially on the quirky song "Fat Lip", and with a penchant towards Southern Rock on "Mystery Title", a Jazzy edge on "Pledge Pin", romantic ballads with "Moonlight in Samosa" and "Like I've Never Been Gone".

A song not included in the album "Far Post" was included on the twelve inch single release of "Burning Down One Side".

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars No news here

The late 70s and early 80s were a creative descent for Jimmy and Robert and they would really never get anywhere near their past glories. The last bit of excitement was the powerful "Presence" album from '76. From there Page and Bonham's substance abuse got worse and at the end of the decade Zeppelin released the atrocious "In Through the Out Door." After Bonzo checked out Robert moved into his solo career and Jimmy would eventually join The Firm, another completely forgettable and aptly named project. While Robert would go on and do some better stuff, his debut for the most part feels liked a quickly thrown-together batch of faceless hard rock.

Actually this album is a bit of an improvement over the horrendous "Out Door" but it's still a fairly lackluster affair. The best tracks are the more laid-back, moody "Moonlight in Samosa" and the creeping, grooving "Slow Dancer" with its heavy bluesy guitar. These songs have some nice melodies and Blunt is a pretty solid guitarist. But after a rhythm section like Bonham and Jones, this band really sounds like a studio band. There's no exciting chemistry for the most part. Plant is also a problem, as he begins the progression into his old-guy croak. You can hear the constricting, nasal quality creeping in, the range starting to fall, all made worse by his ridiculous oversinging of this material?.these tracks just ain't that dramatic, Robert, chill out. The material here is mostly pretty mediocre stuff. Plant was a great frontman, but that assumes a great band behind him. As the main attraction, without a truly interesting cast of characters, his prancing and baby-babys gets old pretty quick for me. Having witnessed 80s concerts by Plant (and The Firm), I can say the live shows were also far less interesting events than they should have been.

Almost all of the above criticisms would be addressed on the easily better 2nd album. While "Pics at 11" has a few fun moments, it is truly a for-fans title which pales in comparison to his Zeppelin work. And even in the early 80s as a period, contemporaries like The Who were aging more gracefully than this and with better songs with the superior Face Dances.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Brilliant solo effort to reinforce Plant's prescence in the music world without LZ. OK, this is probably the most like sounding LZ release but that can be expected given it was his first album since the band called it a day. He has an excellent cast of back up musicians, Phil Collins, Cozy Powell, Robbie Blunt to name a few and this is one of RP's strengths throughout his career, was his ability to evolve and morph with the times, reinvent himself with the best of the rest musicianship involvment :-)

A bit like hearing a small version of Physical Grafitti, this has some excellent numbers especially the opener " Burning Down One Side"....has a title for a song ever demanded more analysis? The unlimited energy laden " Pledge Pin", every motor bike enthusiasts worst nightmare, you cannot go slowly listening to this. The best song on the album is the last song on the vinyl side one..." Slow Dancer". Need we say more about LZ slow tunes? RP has this one in the bag! I really love the flippant and easy " Fat Lip" with great hooks and beat and the climatic " Like I've Never Been Gone" demonstrate that RP held the flag high moving into the 80's and ensured utmost respect for future projects to come. A worthy four stars. Excellent debut.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's not prog but it's an excellent album...

I was quite surprised that Robert Plant is now featured here because I have no clue on which angle its albums can be considered as prog album. Let the experts decide and let me comment this album. This is a very good album and in fact the best that Plant has ever made as solo albums. After this album, I could not enjoy the music anymore because it's quite boring, actually. It's because I was born with prog blood so that I could stay long with this kind of straight forward music.

The Phil Collins and Cozy Powell factors made the album sound really good from opening to end of the album. It flows really nice. The opening track " Burning Down One Side" is a nice rocker with dynamic drumming. "Moonlight in Samosa" is a memorable ballad with very nice melody and excellent acoustic guitar work. "Pledge Pin" is excellent. "Slow Dancer" reminds me to Kashmir as it has east nuance. "Worse than Detroit" is one of my favorites. "Like I've Never Been Gone" is a nice ballad and the concluding track "Mystery Title" is quite attractive.

I have to be honest that this is an excellent rock album even though the prog component is very very minimum. But's it's really enjoyable. Plant has never made album like this after that.

Peace on eartyh and mercy mild - GW

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is the first and i'm sure the last review i'll do using a cassette as my means of listening.There are several recordings on this site that I used to own in the eighties on cassette that have disappeared over time. I'm talking about recordings that I consider 2 and 3 star affairs so there's no way i'm re-buying them just so I can review them, and it's not fair to review them by memory, especially my memory. I thought this was one of those cassettes that was long gone until I found my old cassette case I used to carry in my car buried in the garage the other day, and lo and behold there was about 15 cassettes in it including this one. I remember the disappointment I felt when i first listened to this back in the early eighties, I guess I was hoping for classic ZEPPELIN and this was far from being that. Mind you I felt the same way about "In Through The Out Door" when it was released (another long gone cassette I won't be re-buying). At least Robert enlisted a couple of great drummers in Phil Collins and Cosey Powell to help him out on this his first solo record.

"Burning Down One Side" is catchy, a real toe tapper and one I remember well. "Moonlight In Samosa" is laid back with vocals and acoustic guitar leading the way.

"Pledge Pin" is a definite highlight for me with that prominant bass and catchy sound. And the sax later on to the end sounds great. "Slow Dancer" is heavier with guitar and passionate vocals. It does settles back to a lighter sound as these contrasts continue. This sounds like a track that could have been on "In Through The Out Door".

"Worse Than Detroit" but not worse than this song. Awful. "Fat Lip" is another highlight. It's a pleasant listen that reminds me of the 80's for some reason. It makes me feel good.

"Like I've Never been Gone" has these ballad-like lyrics but the music is better than that. A guitar solo comes in late. "Mystery Title" is not very good at all.

This is actually better than I remember, and I know I did get some enjoyment out of this back in the day.

Review by J-Man
3 stars After John Bonham's tragic death in 1980 that marked the end of Led Zeppelin as a creative unit, each of the surviving members went on to pursue solo careers. Lead vocalist Robert Plant was the first to release an album outside of Led Zeppelin with his 1982 debut Pictures at Eleven - an album that would go on to be a huge commercial success, and also receive largely positive critical reception. It's a solid release that sounds more Zeppelinesque than Plant's future offerings, but I don't think it was until his sophomore observation, The Principle of Moments, that he would truly hit his stride.

The style of production and use of synthesizers indicate that Pictures at Eleven was released in the eighties', but the album has a lot of stylistic similarities to Led Zeppelin's music. Tracks like "Slow Dancer" and "Worse Than Detroit" could've been straight off of Physical Graffiti, and while this certainly isn't a bad thing, the music here rarely exceeds the 'average' mark. The melodies simply aren't strong enough to make this an excellent purchase in my book; although it's competent in every regard, Pictures at Eleven is an average rock album that could probably be ignored by most readers. Apart from the excellent drumming courtesy of Phil Collins and Cozy Powell, this is a totally safe album that doesn't do much that's particularly noteworthy.

Pictures at Eleven is a well-made and professional sounding product across the board, but it just doesn't move me in the same way that Led Zeppelin's best material does. Although Robert Plant demonstrated his potential as a solo artist here, I think most of that potential is untapped. A decent record for sure that fans of Led Zeppelin will want to investigate, but nothing to write home about as far as I'm concerned.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I'm always amazed this album isn't rated higher. It's almost a lost classic waiting to be re-discovered. It's one of the best albums from 1982, it's Plant's first and best album, and sounds more like classic Zeppelin than CODA or IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR did. Most of these songs got all kinds of a ... (read more)

Report this review (#729319) | Posted by jude111 | Sunday, April 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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