Header

NOW AND ZEN

Robert Plant

Crossover Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Robert Plant Now And Zen album cover
3.02 | 47 ratings | 4 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


Write a review
Buy ROBERT PLANT Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Heaven Knows (4:06)
2. Dance On My Own (4:30)
3. Tall Cool One (4:40)
4. The Way I Feel (5:40)
5. Helen Of Troy (5:06)
6. Billy's Revenge (3:34)
7. Ship Of Fools (5:01)
8. Why (4:14)
9. White, Clean And Neat (5:28)
10. Walking Towards Paradise (4:40)

Total Time 46:57


2007 CD Remaster Bonus Tracks:
11. Billy's Revenge (live) (6:00)
12. Ship Of Fools (live) (10:35)
13. Tall Cool One (live) (5:07)

Lyrics

Search ROBERT PLANT Now And Zen lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search ROBERT PLANT Now And Zen tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Plant / vocals
- Phil Johnstone / keyboards
- Jimmy Page / guitar solos
- Doug Boyle / guitar
- Phil Scragg / bass
- Chris Blackwell / drums, percussion
- Marie Pierre / backing vocals
- Toni Halliday / backing vocals
- Kirsty MacColl / backing vocals

Releases information

LP (1988)

CD (2007, remastered, with 3 bonus tracks)

Thanks to Snow Dog (Data Standards) for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
Edit this entry

ROBERT PLANT MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

Buy ROBERT PLANT Now And Zen Music


lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roarlullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar
Nonesuch 2014
Audio CD$6.88
$5.99 (used)
Band of JoyBand of Joy
Rounder 2010
Audio CD$5.99
$4.30 (used)
Mighty RearrangerMighty Rearranger
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$4.51
$9.53 (used)
Principle of MomentsPrinciple of Moments
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$3.85
$3.84 (used)
The Honeydrippers, Vol. 1The Honeydrippers, Vol. 1
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$3.77
$3.48 (used)
Now & ZenNow & Zen
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$3.04
$2.77 (used)
Pictures At ElevenPictures At Eleven
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$4.24
$4.36 (used)
Nine Lives (Box Set)Nine Lives (Box Set)
Rhino 2006
Audio CD$66.97
$45.88 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Encomium CD - A Tribute To Led Zeppelin sampler - Robert Plant Tori Amos - Rare! US $3.99 Buy It Now 29m 53s
LED ZEPPELIN SIGNED & MOUNTED PHOTO JIMMY PAGE ROBERT PLANT JONES BONHAM W156 US $10.42 Buy It Now 33m 40s
ROBERT PLANT USA 1990 PR0MO CD Single HURTING KIND US $5.60 Buy It Now 50m 25s
ROBERT PLANT USA 1990 PR0MO only CD PROFILED NEW US $11.22 Buy It Now 51m 33s
Bonnaroo Music Festival The Sweeet Sounds Vol. 8 2CD Robert Plant Allman Bros US $10.99 Buy It Now 58m
led zeppelin ROBERT PLANT NOW AND ZEN excellent+ 1988 VINYL LP US $16.05 [0 bids]
1h 3m
ROBERT PLANT of LED ZEPELIN - TIN PAN VALLEY 2-TRACK U.S. PROMO DJ CD CS27 # US $12.99 Buy It Now 1h 3m
ROBERT PLANT of LED ZEPELIN - DARKNESS DARKNESS 4-TRACK U.S. PROMO DJ CD CS27 # US $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 3m
ROBERT PLANT of LED ZEPELIN - LAST TIME I SAW HER 2-TRACK U.S. PROMO DJ CD CS27# US $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 3m
Robert Plant Little By Little Es Paranza 90485 US $9.00 Buy It Now 1h 6m
ROBERT PLANT 45 RPM 7" VINYL RECORD - EARLY IN THE MORNING/DISTURBING BEHAVIOR US $1.99 [0 bids]
US $3.49 Buy It Now
1h 10m
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant - No Quarter - Audio Cassette - PLAY TESTED US $7.95 Buy It Now 1h 15m
ROBERT PLANT- Shaken n Stirred CD (1985 USA NON-Remastered) Led Zeppelin US $9.62 [0 bids]
1h 30m
Robert Plant Burning Down One Side/Moonlight 45 RPM 1982 Swan Song Records VG+ US $7.00 Buy It Now 1h 31m
ROBERT PLANT-Shine It All Around- 2 x CD Set-CD 1 & CD 2-Rare US $4.01 [0 bids]
1h 33m
Robert Plant - Manic Nirvana (CD 1990) USA Red Digipak Edition US $11.22 Buy It Now 1h 44m
Robert Plant ?Shaken 'N' Stirred 1985 Es Paranza Records 7 90265-1-E VG /VG US $2.99 Buy It Now 1h 47m
LED ZEPPELIN MOTHERSHIP PHOTO & MOUNTED CD ROBERT PLANT JIMMY PAGE NOT SIGNED E2 US $12.83 Buy It Now 1h 49m
Robert Plant - Lullaby and The Ceaseless Roar (CD 2014) RELEASED 8TH SEPTEMBER US $15.97 Buy It Now 1h 50m
LED ZEPPLIN BLACK DOG 7" JAPAN VINYL SIGNED (PRINTED) BY JIMMY PAGE ROBERT PLANT US $39.99 Buy It Now 1h 54m
45RPM Robert Plant "Big Log/Far Post" 7-99844 0901E US $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 55m
45RPM Robert Plant "Burning Down One Side" 19429 0901E US $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 55m
45RPM Robert Plant "Heaven Knows" Aranza 7-99373 0901E US $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 55m
ROBERT PLANT SHIP OF FOOLS HEAVEN KNOWS 45rpm 7" SINGLES BUNDLE PICTURE SLEEVES US $6.95 [0 bids]
US $9.50 Buy It Now
2h 11m
ROBERT PLANT " THE HURTING KIND " SHAPED PICTURE DISC PLUS INSERT AS NEW US $14.43 [1 bids]
2h 19m
Robert Plant Strange Sensat...-Soundstage DVD NEW US $15.10 Buy It Now 2h 25m
CD "Wayne's World 2" soundtrack Aerosmith + Robert Plant ++ on Reprise 1993 US $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 42m
Led Zeppelin Robert Plant Jimmy Page UK Cuttings Clippings Articles Set US $2.41 [0 bids]
2h 49m
ROBERT PLANT the principle of moments 79-0101-1 german 1983 LP PS EX/EX + inner US $14.43 Buy It Now 2h 58m
ROBERT PLANT (OF LED ZEPPELIN) big log B9848T uk wea 12" PS EX/EX US $14.43 Buy It Now 3h 7m
ROBERT PLANT (OF LED ZEPPELIN) hurting kind A8985T near mint disc 12" PS EX/EX US $14.45 Buy It Now 3h 8m
ROBERT PLANT (OF LED ZEPPELIN) the principle of moments 79-0141-1 LP PS VG+/EX US $14.43 Buy It Now 3h 9m
ROBERT PLANT now and zen WX 149 german warner 1988 LP PS VG+/EX with inner sleev US $16.04 Buy It Now 3h 11m
MOJO MAG May 2005 T Rex Robert Plant Lou Reed Dinosaur J CD Southern Soul Comp US $3.19 [0 bids]
3h 39m
Robert Plant / Big Log 45 rpm Promo US $3.99 Buy It Now 3h 54m
LED ZEPPELIN Atlantic SD 8216 Vinyl LP 1st album Debut VG+ 1969 ROBERT PLANT US $34.99 [0 bids]
3h 56m
Rock 45 Robert Plant - In The Mood / Horizontal Departure On Staranza US $5.00 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Rock 45 Robert Plant - In The Mood / Horizontal Departure On Saranza US $5.00 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Rock 45 Robert Plant - Burning Down One Side / Moonlight In Samosa On Swan Song US $5.00 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Robert Plant Alison Krauss Raising Sand 2LP Set MINT US $40.11 Buy It Now 4h 4m
Limited Edition Robert Plant Jimmy Page Signed Display AUTOGRAPH LED ZEPPELIN US $4.80 [1 bids]
4h 10m
1982 UK Orig ROBERT PLANT LP "MYSTERY DANCER" US $6.40 [0 bids]
4h 25m
Brand New Robert Plant Led Zeppelin Stunning 2 Sided Picture Disc Vinyl LP Mint US $19.26 Buy It Now 4h 30m
Shaken 'N Stirred by Robert Plant (CD, Es Paranza) 1985 - Western Germany US $13.00 [0 bids]
4h 35m
Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) - The Principle Of Moments US $9.52 Buy It Now 4h 37m
Band Of Joy [Digipack] Robert Plant Audio CD US $25.44 Buy It Now 4h 42m
ROBERT PLANT: Shaken 'n' Stirred (rock & pop vinyl LP) US $15.00 Buy It Now 4h 45m
Manic Nirvana by Robert Plant *New CD* US $6.33 Buy It Now 4h 48m
Dreamland Robert Plant Audio CD US $14.01 Buy It Now 4h 48m
Fate of Nations by Robert Plant (CD, Jun-1993, Atlantic (Label)) US $4.99 Buy It Now 5h 3m
Robert Plant 45 "Little By Little / Trouble Your Money" US $3.49 Buy It Now 5h 4m
ROBERT PLANT - Ship of Fools, Billy's Revenge 7" US $2.49 [0 bids]
5h 6m
Robert Plant Pictures at Eleven 12" vinyl LP & Little by " EP rock Led Zeppelin US $6.99 Buy It Now 5h 50m
? Robert Plant - Shaken 'n' Stirred (Led Zeppelin) US $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 53m
? Robert Plant - Pictures at Eleven (Led Zeppelin) US $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 53m
JIMMY PAGE & ROBERT PLANT, PETER GABRIEL & SOPHIE B. HAWKINS, LOT OF 3 CASSETTES US $1.49 [0 bids]
5h 55m
? Robert Plant - Now and Zen (Led Zeppelin) US $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 57m
? Robert Plant - Principal of Moments (Led Zeppelin) US $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 57m
? Honey Drippers - Volume One (Robert Plant of Led Zep) US $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 57m
Manic Nirvana by Robert Plant (CD, Mar-1990, Es Paranza) No Artwork US $2.96 Buy It Now 6h 12m
Robert Plant- Shaken'N Stirred- Cassette SEALED US $7.79 Buy It Now 6h 20m
Robert Plant Manic Nirvana CD 1990 Original US $4.99 Buy It Now 6h 23m
UP Close Jimmy Page Robert Plant #9449 Part 3 only Led Zeppelin RADIO SHOW 1994 US $6.99 Buy It Now 6h 24m
Robert Plant/Shaken 'N Stirred+ Now and Zen Cassettes US $1.99 [0 bids]
6h 25m
Rainbow, Robert plant,Van halen (lot of 5) US $15.00 [0 bids]
6h 26m
ROBERT PLANT -- Import 45 -- Burning down one side / Moonlight is Samora Led Zep US $5.00 Buy It Now 6h 58m
ROBERT PLANT - LITTLE BY LITTLE -1985 VINYL Ep./ Exc/ Led Zepplin / Pop Rock AOR US $3.99 Buy It Now 7h 27m
"LITTLE BY LITTLE" ROBERT PLANT EP NEAR MINT FAST SHIPPING US $3.12 Buy It Now 7h 27m
ROBERT PLANT// PICTURES AT ELEVEN // 1982 SS8512// SWAN SONG INC. US $12.00 Buy It Now 7h 36m
HONEY DRIPPERS LED ZEPPELIN ROBERT PLANT Japan 1984 NM 7"45 SEA OF LOVE US $24.99 Buy It Now 8h
ROBERT PLANT song to the siren 1-TRK PROMO CD ACETATE rare US $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 5m
LED ZEPPELIN III W/ INNER Classic Robert Plant Classic Rock RECORD LP US $35.70 Buy It Now 8h 5m
ROBERT PLANT a conversation USA PROMO CD RARE trt 44:15 US $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 7m
Sealed ROBERT PLANT Shaken 'n' Stirred 1985 ESPARANZA LP Columbia Record Club US $9.99 [0 bids]
8h 19m
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant A Songwriting Legacy Promo Led Zeppelin CD US $10.00 [0 bids]
8h 26m
Hurting Kind [EP] by Robert Plant (CD, Apr-1990, Es Paranza) Rare US $2.99 [0 bids]
US $6.00 Buy It Now
8h 30m
Jimmy Page Robert Plant Gallows Pole Australian Import cd in case w/ Slipcover US $33.99 Buy It Now 8h 40m
ROBERT PLANT : FATE OF NATIONS , ( WARNER MUSIC , CANADA ) US $4.25 Buy It Now 8h 40m
THE HONEY DRIPPERS - VOL. 1 (ROBERT PLANT) IN SHRINK! NM VINYL - SEA OF LOVE SKR US $6.99 [0 bids]
8h 42m
Fate of Nations - Robert Plant (CD 1993) US $3.99 Buy It Now 8h 46m
Robert Plant Now And Zen Cassette Tape US $1.89 Buy It Now 8h 58m
ROBERT PLANT (Led Zeppelin) Fate Of Nations 1993 Solo CD 29 Palms US $2.49 [0 bids]
9h
Robert Plant Principles of Movements LP Vinyl Record 1983 US $11.99 Buy It Now 9h 9m
LOT OF 2 LP'S THE HONEYDRIPPERS AND ROBERT PLANT US $12.00 Buy It Now 9h 14m
Hurting kind (i've got my eyes on you ) by Robert Plant (Single CD, Es Paranza US $0.99 [0 bids]
9h 30m
ROBERT PLANT Little by Little SEALED LP Led Zeppelin small cut-out notch US $18.00 Buy It Now 9h 33m
ROBERT PLANT "NOW AND ZEN" 1988 CD NM (9+1 Bonus Track) US $6.95 [0 bids]
9h 57m
Manic Nirvana by Robert Plant (CD, Mar-1990, Es Paranza) US $0.99 [1 bids]
10h 17m
Robert Plant lullaby and The Ceaseless Roar Tour 2014 AJ2 Tee T - Shirt S M L XL US $9.98 [0 bids]
US $12.99 Buy It Now
10h 18m
Robert Plant lullaby and The Ceaseless Roar Tour 2014 AJ1 Tee T - Shirt S M L XL US $9.98 [0 bids]
US $12.99 Buy It Now
10h 18m
Robert Plant lullaby and The Ceaseless Roar Tour 2014 AJ3 Tee T - Shirt S M L XL US $9.98 [0 bids]
US $12.99 Buy It Now
10h 18m
ROBERT PLANT THE ENCHANTER 12" Unkle Mix MINT!!! Led Zeppelin Strange Sensations US $22.99 [0 bids]
10h 25m
PAGE & PLANT - NO QUARTER: JIMMY PAGE & ROBERT PLANT UNLEDDED [UK BONUS - NEW CD US $9.91 Buy It Now 10h 28m
ROBERT PLANT-Little By Little-THE HONEYDRIPPERS-tape-UK US $5.99 Buy It Now 10h 38m
Led Zeppelin ROBERT PLANT Hurting Kind PROMO CD single SEALED USA 1990 PRCD3186 US $19.99 Buy It Now 10h 54m
ROBERT PLANT Off The Record promo 2 LP promo radio show 1983 music + interviews US $11.99 [0 bids]
10h 57m
ROBERT PLANT - MANIC NIRVANA - BONUS TRACKS NEW CD US $16.00 Buy It Now 11h 7m
Led Zeppelin"Physical Graffiti"2x LP EX Shrink Orig OOP Robert Plant Jimmy Page US $64.99 Buy It Now 11h 14m
ROBERT PLANT SOUNDSTAGE DVD ALL REGIONS NTSC NEW US $13.10 Buy It Now 11h 34m
Jimmy Page Robert Plant Unledded Clear Cassette Over 200 Fair priced listings US $1.95 [0 bids]
US $2.95 Buy It Now
11h 38m

More places to buy ROBERT PLANT music online Buy ROBERT PLANT & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for ROBERT PLANT DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

ROBERT PLANT Now And Zen ratings distribution


3.02
(47 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
7%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (30%)
30%
Collectors/fans only (28%)
28%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

ROBERT PLANT Now And Zen 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 Tall Cool One.

After the "shock of the new" in 1985, Plant's 1988 release on 29th Feb. "Now And Zen" seemed to indicate a return to "form" for many, Plant had reconciled his past and even felt confident enough to reform his group and call in his old mate Jimmy Page to play on the new album. New contributors included Phil Johnstone on keyboards, Doug Boyle guitar, Phil Scragg bass, Chris Blackwell on drum, David Barratt keyboards, Kirsty MacColl and Toni Halliday on backing vocals.

The album was sumptuously illustrated with Plant's deep interest in exotic Eastern symbolism to the fore, and even a special boxed 12 inch single release of "Heaven Knows", a song which retained Plant's most lyrical humour, even to challenge Ian Gillan, in the line "you were pumping iron while I was pumping irony". The box set included a set of similarly symbolic photos, and the production by Tim Palmer was as equally polished and melodic, producing one of Plant's best sounding albums to date, though he feels his songs were "lost in the technology of the time".

"Now and Zen" contained mostly traditional radio-friendly rock songs though some had a twist, especially on the sparkling "Dance on my Own", "White Clean and Neat", "Tall Cool One", with Plant having a lot of fun with Elvis style vocals and some sampled JP Zeppelin riffs mixed in, and the majestic "The Way I Feel". "Billy's Revenge" is pure Rockabilly, though the album contains mostly straightforward songs Plant's mystical lyrics are to the fore on the ballad "Ship of Fools", and mythical song subject "Helen of Troy".

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to mystic fred (BETA) | Report this review (#304999) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
2 stars I don't understand this Crossover Prog sub-genre. Oh well, the less said the better. This was the only Robert Plant album I ever had. Not sure why I got it to begin with. I guess I just liked "Tall Cool One" and "Heaven Knows". Both songs feature Jimmy Page. I guess Plant and Page were more friendly with each other after Live Aid. "Tall Cool One" is interesting because it samples Zeppelin songs("Black Dog", "Custard Pie" and "The Ocean" for sure, maybe others). This was all a direct response to the popularity of the Beastie Boys. On their first album they sampled "When The Levee Breaks" and "Custard Pie". The Beasties turned the drumbeat at the beginning of "Levee" into a classic hip-hop break, used by many(and not just hiphoppers) ever since.

"Heaven Knows" was always my favourite song here. One of Plant's better solo songs, IMO. Another song I forgot how much I liked was "Why". It's very poppy and '80s sounding, but it's a catchy tune. I really like the hook in that song where it goes: "and he knows...she don't know, she don't know, she don't know". Good stuff. I'm confused by the song "Helen Of Troy". John Cale has a writing credit on it. He also had a song and album with the same title. I'm not completely sure if the song here has anything to do with his. Either way, Cale's song is better. Cale also has a song called "Ship Of Fools", but the song here with the same title has nothing to do with his. It's one of Plant's better ballads.

This album might appeal to Zeppelin fans, but the production and songwriting is very late 1980s. Alright if you're into that kind of thing. I can't see your average progger liking this. Can't give this more than 2 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#306096) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 22, 2010

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Again Robert Plant is surrounded by great musicians, Jimmy Page, Kirsty MacColl and Doug Boyle to name a few, yet this for this reviewer was the low point of Robert Plant's studio output. The album seems to be top heavy with Phil Johnstone's keyboard and synth sounds. Well it was still 1988 after all. " Heaven Knows" a decent enough tune but it never really changes gear and an unusual opener for an album." Dance On My Own" makes me cringe to be honest and has not dated too well." Tall Cool One" is far too poppy for my liking also, yet Plant redeems himself on the excellent " The Way I Feel", the LZ formula ensuring immediate success and definitely the high point of Now & Zen. " Ship Of Fools" is great laid back track with excellent guitar work and drum fills. " Why" is truly awful but " White , Clean & Neat" has a great rock feel to it until the chorus and synths come in....Plant at least keeps the song alive with his superb vocal work. " Walking Towards Paradise" sounds very much like the UK band Outfield, but again is mediocre at best.

Unfortunately this is only recommended for collectors, Robert Plant had much much more to offer in the 90/00's, still the diehards will enjoy no doubt.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#349554) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 10, 2010

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The 80s and its constant corrupting companion, the MTV virus, was a difficult decade to navigate for all proggers no matter what one's particular category of choice is within the genre. The invigorating 'anything goes' spirit that fed and nurtured progressive rock throughout the 70s had been suppressed and subjugated by the onslaught of the sight over sound movement to the point where if a band or artist couldn't come up with a clever or sexy three-minute video to promote their music they were cast aside like yesterday's newspaper. While there were exceptions to the new and restrictive rule they were few and far between. For the most part the revered icons of prog were compelled to compromise or become totally irrelevant (not to mention insolvent). Robert Plant was but one of the industry giants that had to grapple with that dilemma. Somehow he had to attempt to retain his integrity and let his artistry continue to evolve freely while appeasing the younger generation who didn't give a crap that he and his bandmates in Led Zeppelin had set the planet on fire with their adventurous melding of blues, rock and exotic world beat sensibilities. To them he was just another grizzled, long-haired dude that their parents dug and their general attitude towards Robert (and every veteran in the biz) was one of 'Are you going to have some half naked chicks running around licking lollipops in your video or not? Otherwise, what's the point?' While some of you may think that's a gross over-exaggeration the proggers who lived and struggled through those dark times will back me up. It was a depressingly ugly scene to witness.

However, Mr. Plant was one of the more successful of the sixties/seventies survivors who was able to continue to pursue a career without completely capitulating to the new way of doing things, thereby shafting their loyal fans who'd made them stars. He did so by maintaining a lofty standard and being as true to himself as he could notwithstanding the circumstances he found himself in. After John Bonham's untimely death in 1980 Led Zeppelin had lost its locomotive and there was no replacing it, forcing the remaining three to find their own way going forward. Robert's solo efforts, while nowhere near as earth-shaking as what his former group had produced with regularity, were well-received so he was able to keep himself afloat while so many of his peers disappeared beneath the New Waves that saturated the industry. By the time he released 'Now and Zen,' his fourth CD, he'd established himself as a worthy banner-bearer of the analog era who, along with the likes of Bowie, Genesis and Rush had managed to straddle the fence enough to remain relevant. For that alone he deserves our admiration and gratitude.

The album starts spectacularly with 'Heaven Knows,' an energetic song that sports a very strong rhythm track and production values that dutifully reflect the state-of-the-art technology that characterized and dominated that period. It's a great tune and the full chorale on the chorus is extremely dynamic. It doesn't hurt that his reliable pal Jimmy Page drops in to contribute some blistering guitar work that serves as the deal-sealer. 'Dance on my Own' follows and it projects a decent hard funk vibe but the trendy 'glittering' keyboard effects tend to date the number wretchedly, lessening its overall impact and odds for longevity. However, Doug Boyle's deft guitar playing takes it up a noteworthy notch. 'Tall Cool One' is next and it's a driving rocker augmented by Mr. Page's magic fingers and ornamented with a wild assortment of digitized samples culled from various Led Zeppelin classics. While it wasn't a Top 40 hit, it garnered a ton of FM radio exposure and that no doubt increased album sales accordingly. It definitely possesses a deceptively simple structure but the hot electricity it emits makes it quite memorable and the ending montage is an undisputed trip. Chris Blackwell's aggressive drums propel 'The Way I Feel' respectably and I detect a slight Peter Gabriel feel in its undercurrent as well as a noticeable Police presence surfacing in Boyle's guitar style that I find intriguing. 'Helen of Troy' doesn't measure up, though. It's representative of the late 80s techno-funk craze that I never could adapt to because it was so dreadfully bereft of any semblance of soul. Despite its pristine clarity it fails to dignify itself. Its only saving grace is Plant's emotional vocal performance.

'Billy's Revenge' is a treat. A curious arrangement of harmonies during the intro leads to a proggy 6/4 verse pattern that piques my interest. It's impossible to pigeonhole this cut but it does own a kind of a raucous rockabilly aura that I enjoy. 'Ship of Fools' is another highlight of the proceedings. Robert's subtle singing enhances this rock ballad superbly and the light synthesized string section score gives it a haunting, dreamlike atmosphere. 'Why' follows and the tune itself might be passable but it's hard to tell due to the tinny New Wave-ish incidentals that clutter up the scenery unnecessarily. This is an example of what I wrote about earlier. It's understandable that Plant wanted to please the kiddos with up-to-date sounds, gadgets and gimmicks but it dooms the number to being a relic that couldn't stand the test of time. He recoups, though, with 'White, Clean and Neat.' It's a combination of a wide array of elements that grant the song an inviting mien while Robert's inimitable voice distinguishes it as his own unique creation. By far it is the most exploratory and progressive cut on the record. Unfortunately, he opts to go out with a thud. While Texan songwriter Jerry Lynn Williams composed excellent material for Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan, 'Walking Towards Paradise' isn't one of his better tunes. It fails to enhance on any level. Not only that but Plant's cover suffers from the inclusion of too much of that frivolous decade's studio trickery that detracts from any potential the number might have held initially.

'Now and Zen' hit the shelves on February 29, 1988 and steadily climbed the charts to the #6 position, further confirming that Robert still wielded a certain amount of clout. In comparison to the other inane schlock that was being foisted upon the public's collective ears in that woebegone era this was an oasis of sanity. As I've indicated in many other reviews of albums that were manufactured in the 80s, anything that even hinted that it had a hue of prog inside its shiny disc was to be cherished as extraordinary because, for all practical extents and purposes, prog was as dead as Mussolini. Thanks to people like Mr. Plant, the pilot light was never extinguished. 3.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#1181870) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 01, 2014

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of ROBERT PLANT "Now And Zen"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.51 seconds