Monday, June 7, 2010

Robert Plant - Now and Zen

Webster's Dictionary defines zen as...ugh, never mind.

Tonight's installment is "Now and Zen" by Mr. Robert Plant. Officially one of the most BORING records I have ever heard.

Side One:
Heaven Knows
Dance on My Own
Tall Cool One
The Way I Feel

Side Two:
Helen of Troy
Billy's Revenge
Ship of Fools
White, Clean and Neat

I have to say, I've always liked "Tall Cool One". I feel that the song is the one redeeming quality of this album. But, is it due to the fact that it samples Zeppelin? It's a cool 80's rock tune. Everything else is...meah. (That's the best description I can find.) I'm sure somebody out there thinks this is genius, but for me, I just don't feel it, ya know?

But, I did find another receipt gem in the album:

Purchased in March of 1988, by young John.

In 1988, this was me:

I didn't know who Zeppelin was. Or Robert Plant. I was too busy watching Woody Woodpecker and Kids Incorporated, coloring, and pretending I was a singer/actress to my stuffed animals. :-P

One and 1/2 stars.


Where did you buy this record and when?

So, obviously we know you bought this in 1988. Where at? "Looks like Sound-a-Rama in downtown Rahway. If not there, at the mall somewhere."

Do you own it in any other format?

"I have a few songs on that 2-cd Robert Plant comp/best of."

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"I don't really like it anymore. 'Tall Cool One' is interesting, but it sounds totally 80's. It's just kind of boring.
I saw him on that tour in July of '88. Cheap Trick opened. My sister's friend made us late and we only saw the very end of Cheap Trick. I really don't remember a lot of the songs Robert Plant played, it was kind of dull. I remember 'Communication Breakdown' was the encore and everybody got excited 'cause they thought it was Jimmy Page that was there, but it was just a member of Plant's band wearing a long coat."

Favorite Track?

"Tall Cool One....that's about it."

How many stars out of five?

"Three...and that's being nice."


  1. wow. i remember when the single for this came out, the one with the "custard pie" sample ("tall cool one" -?). i remember being midly interested that he'd included the zep riff (i don't think i knew what "sampling" was back then), but thinking the track sunded like everything else he'd done since "in through the out door" - plastic, synthy, and un-fucking-interesting. even thinking about the album takes me back to my high school days, when some of all-time heroes (paul mccartney, neil young, plant, etc etc) were putting out the worst shit of their careers. those were some dark fuckin days. i do remember that right around the time that album came out (summer 1988, i think?) i was just beginning to get into jimi hendrix, had just purchased my first miles davis and mingus albums, was taping "the lost lennon tapes" off the radio every sunday morning, and was beside myself with disbelieving joy that "forever changes" had come out on CD. i also remember - right around that time - drinking an entire bum jug of red gallo wine in about 30 minutes and barfing copiously all over myself, i was immoblized for 24 hours and watched "robinson crusoe on mars" TBS the next day.

  2. People were going nuts when that came out because of the Zep sample song, thinking he was rocking again after his previous boring solo stuff (and Honeydrippers). Sorry you had to listen to the whole thing Heidi, I doubt I would make it through.

    Anyone remember the follow-up, Manic Nirvana? I'm sure there was at least one hit single/video off that one, but maybe not.

  3. I guess we all bought this when it came out because it was the closest thing to any kind of Zeppelin reunion there could be. Imagine our collective disappointment. Now it sounds incredibly dated with all the 80s technology this album is drowning in.

  4. I just started collecting cd's to mimic my very old and beaten (some) LP collection. Most of the LP's I have are from late 60's and early 70's; mostly rock and hippe music.


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