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THE PRINCIPLE OF MOMENTS

Robert Plant

Crossover Prog


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Robert Plant The Principle of Moments album cover
3.54 | 68 ratings | 6 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Other Arms 4.20
2. In The Mood 5.19
3. Messin'With The Mekon 4.40
4. Wreckless Love 5.18
5. Thru' With The Two Step 5.33
6. Horizontal Departure 4.19
7. Stranger Here...Than Over There 4.18
8. Big Log 5.03

2007 Remaster Bonus Tracks

9. In The Mood (live) 7.35
10.Thru' With The Two Step (live) 11.11
11. Lively Up Yourself (live) 3.04
12. Turnaround 4.55
13. Far Post 4.42

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Robert Plant - Vocals
Robbie Blunt - Guitars
Paul Martinez - Bass
Jezz Woodroffe - Keyboards
Phil Collins - Drums
Barriemore Barlow - Drums
John David - Backing vocals
Ray Martinez - Backing vocals
Bob Mayo - Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals

Releases information

Vinyl 1983
2007 Remaster Bonus Tracks

Thanks to Snow Dog (Data Standards) for the addition
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ROBERT PLANT The Principle of Moments ratings distribution


3.54
(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
12%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (32%)
32%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

ROBERT PLANT The Principle of Moments reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Top of the Pops beckons!

Released on Plant's newly formed "Esparanza" label on 11th July 1983, "The Principle of Moments" included some surprises and varied material which moved Plant even further forward into the eighties.

With virtually the same line up from the previous album and tour and with the inclusion of Phil Collins and Barriemore Barlow from Jethro Tull drumming on two songs, Plant's ambitions went even further, the romantic ballad "Big Log" was released as a single, was his first worldwide hit and opened up Plant's music to a much wider audience than he could ever imagine.

"Plant's lyrics were often influenced by the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. Big Log is a mythical, extended metaphor for a lost love: "My love is in league with the freeway... My love is the miles and the waiting." A Big Log is common lingo of tractor trailer drivers. It is the book in which their road hours are logged, therefore the connection between the road and love and the countless hours we all log on" from Songfacts.com

The opening track, the rocker "Other Arms" compounds the new style of the songs on the previous album, and the shuffling "In The Mood", though "Messing With the Mekon" (the Mekon being the fictional adversary of Dan Dare in Eagle Comic) is a stomping stop-start affair which came over very well on the live tour using lighting to good effect on the synthesiser phrases, followed by the complicated vitriolic "Wreckless Love".

The soft romantic ballad "Through With the Two Step" showcases some sumptuous synthesizers from Jezz Woodroffe, "Horizontal Departure" contains some great drumming from Phil Collins, though "Stranger Here...Than Over There" is an even more abstract excursion into mixed time signatures.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Now, I only have a few of Robert Plant's solo albums, but this is easily the best of them, and the only one I own where he demonstrates his prog credentials. He does have Phil Collins the drummer on board, as well as Jethro Tull's Barriemore Barlow.

Other Arms has a nice syncopated break section. In The Mood, one of the hits from the album, it airy prog throughout. And Messin' With The Mekon, has a Led Zep- like intro, and a reggae styled verse that vaguely brings back D'Yer Maker. Wreckless love has a slight Arabian feel, Thru' With The Two Step is a light keyboard & vocal piece. Stranger Here... Than Over There, has a bit of a prog arrangement as well. And Big Log, the other hit single, despite having a guitar line that reminds me of The Turtles' Happy Together is a nice tune.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Much improved 2nd effort

"The Principle of Moments" is where Robert Plant truly becomes a solo artist, shedding the Zeppelin corpse, and crafting a far more interesting batch of songs than the uneven "Pictures at Eleven." Whereas Pics/11 found him over-singing terribly to predictable hard-rock with far less instrumental gravitas than Zeppelin, Plant steps off of that impossible treadmill and begins anew here. The sound has shifted to a lighter and completely fresh approach, with little of the macho hard rock stuff. Plant's voice relaxes noticeably as he moves into slower and more introspective sounding material. The 80s synths and programmed drumming are more noticeable but do not detract as much as you might expect, because the material fits. And the quality of the songs is the biggest improvement factor; there are some truly lovely and poignant songs here.

"Big Log" has this windswept desert highway feel, a certain loneliness and longing, Plant singing with a sensitivity he always possessed but used only occasionally. "Thru with the Two-Step" is another one which is very emotional and laid back. Robbie Blunt is back with superb guitar work, and again, because the time and care was taken at the songwriting stage, it feels so much fuller. It's not all weepy though, "Other Arms" rocks out and "In the Mood" shows Plant could knock off pure pop ear candy with the best of 'em. Check out the cool bass lines and the stylish backing vocals. This is Robert Plant's finest collection of songs in my opinion, and while not exactly essential, established him for the long solo career to follow. 3 ½ stars.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Three stars for the Plant's sophomore release, Principle Of Moments. He kind of enters into more mainstream territory and there is that 80's vibe, especially with the backing vocals on the opener " Lay Down Your Arms". Robbie Blunt's guitar work as usual is stellar and Phil Collin's and Barriemore Barlow's drum contributions on the album. " In The Mood" has a nice laid back intro before kicking into a neat groove as Plant reiterates his mood to get into the music." Messin With The Mekon" is more LZ influenced sound but plays out nicely to some great accoustic feel guitar. There are few other tracks which are pleasant enough but a bit too AOR mainstream for my liking, as in " Thru With The Two Step" even with the great guitar solo. The highlight is the infamous " Big Log", IMO very Zeppelin sounding, regardless of it's commercial appeal. Hard on the heels of Pictures At Eleven, this one just did not hold up quite so well overall. Still good and enjoyable listening.
Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
3 stars This man's voice is so much a part of the sound of LED ZEPPELIN that even when he changes styles and uses other musicians, the end result could pass for a Led Zep album. In fact, "The Principle of Moments" suggest where the group might have gone after "In through the Out Door" had they stayed intact. Sure, Page would have blazed about a bit more than the clearly competent Robbie Blunt, but the band sound was mellowing out and this is nothing if not a chill record.

The economical and concise rhythm guitar work and the production both seem borrowed from THE POLICE, even if the style rarely intersects, as on the excellent "Horizontal Departure". The best song was the first single, the ominous "Big Log" that proves Plant more than capable of writing a melody without a hook. "Messing with the Mekon" includes some 80s synths that are masterfully integrated into one of its best sequences, while "Wreckless Love" segues from a straightforward new wave song to middle eastern dance without batting an eye.

For every winner, there is an equal and opposing bit of flller, well, except nothing as bad as "Big Log" is good. "In the Mood" just never goes anywhere, in spite of its transparent intention to showcase Plant's versatility, while "Thru with the Two Step" is a limp ballad in which the period keyboards really show their age, and worse, at a mercilessly languid pace. "Stranger Here" is too reliant on Plant's voice as there really isn't anything else going on, apart from a few tiresome pitch bends.

For a solo album from such an accomplished band member and vocalist, this album has its share of fine moments, and is a recommended but far from essential force in 1980s prog.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Robert Anthony Plant had come a long way from his childhood in the West Midlands and plans of being an accountant. Once he hit 16 and the Midlands blues scene, there was no looking back. Crawling Kingsnakes, Band of Joy, Hobbstweedle, and a little act called Led Zeppelin were just the beginning for Plant, evidently. Not even rock deism and unbridled success would stop this skinny, generally quiet kid from Halesowen from making music. Nor a severely shattered foot, the tragic death of a child, the irreplaceable loss of his close friend John Bonham, Zeppelin's retirement, divorce, repeated accusations of musical poaching, and an unclear future for an icon whose persona was rapidly going out of style. There was also any older singer's biggest challenge: a marked change in range and tone.

But 'Percy' Plant (a nickname he doesn't care for) knew what being a rock singer meant. He knew what it was to work your heart out on a record only to have it panned; The years of touring questionable venues and ill-kept accommodations; Having to perform sick or with a shot voice; Unreceptive and brutish audiences; Thievery; Broken dreams. He is a true survivor, and he turned that ethic of survival into one of the greatest careers in rock history. And he's still going, as resolute and inspired as he's ever been.

The Principle of Moments was a mint example of Plant's new direction. Released in the summer of 1983, Robert kept the primary band from the debut (the good though less developed Pictures at Eleven) but pushed at the walls of the sound they'd cultivated, ending up with a unique and romantic departure from his hard bluesing days with Jimmy Page that showed restraint and subtle artistry. The elegant Spain-infused guitars of Robbie Blunt, Phil Collins' & Barriemore Barlow's percussives, bassist Paul Martinez's foundry, and Jezz Woodroffe's synth washes provided Plant a platform that was different enough from his past to be significant, and yet compatible with his newly-explored lower registers to work. One of moods, colors, temperatures, and emotions. 'Other Arms' pumps out the intro with Plant's pleas for reconciliation and Blunt's ringing scalene breaks, but 'In the Mood' seals the deal, a gently seductive, honey-smooth piece, the paradiddles between Plant and band giving us one of the best love songs that year. Really lovely, and a triumph of pop stylings. 'Messin With the Mekon' teases with odd rhythms, 'Wreckless Love' does the same with Eastern chords, dovetailing for the deeply felt lyrics of 'Thru With the Two Step' as a rock 'n roll king pays a fond adieu to the craziness of bigtime show business, climaxed by an utterly soaring slow cry from Robbie Blunt. 'Stranger Here..' reflects influence of 80s artists as the Police, and the disc caps with a cut thats reputation precedes it, the sublime 'Big Log', a humid, often hypnotic ride down a night road with a lyric that dances effortlessly between car-driving symbolism and sexual suggestion.

Perhaps too soft a pill to swallow for some of Plant's old fans but his hardcore supporters knew they heard something special. Robert Plant had become something more interesting than 'progressive'-- he was digressive, and he continues to be. Sensual, delicate but strong, clean but complicated, The Principle of Moments is one of the quiet treasures of the early '80s, and is an album that gets better as both it, and the listener, ages.

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