From the Vault...


Jimmy Page & Robert Plant
"Walking Into Clarksdale"

© Atlantic Records

Year of Release: 1998

track listing
  • Shining In The Light
  • When The World
    Was Young
  • Upon A Golden Horse
  • Blue Train
  • Please Read The Letter
  • Most High
  • Heart In Your Hand
  • Walking Into Clarksdale
  • Burning Up
  • When I Was A Child
  • House Of Love
  • Sons Of Freedom

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    Jimmy Page & Robert Plant
    "Walking Into Clarksdale"

    This is NOT a Led Zeppelin album.

    Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have had interesting solo careers, especially Page. Page teamed up with Paul Rodgers in The Firm, also with David Coverdale (Coverdale/Page), and most recently playing Led Zeppelin tunes with The Black Crowes. Plant has had numerous solo albums, and in fact, his latest solo effort has just been released for this year, 2002. Both Page and Plant have reunited in the Led Zeppelin stage, yet their 1998 release, Walking Into Clarksdale when judging as a whole, is no way compared to the standard Led Zeppelin we are so used to.

    Is this a bad sign? Not really, you can say that Page and Plant were reflecting on the current trends in music, with Alternative Rock, Grunge, and the standard Hard Rock. Walking Into Clarsdale is not really Alternative, definitely not Grunge, and Hard Rock has has been a hard label to describe, yet it really isn't that style on this album either. Instead, we look at it as if Led Zeppelin would adjust to the times, and try to blend with the latest trends in music.

    There are some tunes here that could qualify for the Alternative Rock sound, yet we probably will never categorize Page/Plant/Zeppelin as Alternative; they will always be classified as Hard Rock or Classic Rock. Yet, we look at a song such as "When The World Was Young," as it has a somewhat Pearl Jam sound.

    And there are some songs that Led Zeppelin could be updating their style, to that of today's standards: The opening track, "Shining In The Light" has a more later Zeppelin sound (possibly from their last album, In Through The Outdoor). Great Zeppelin-related sound orchestration is heard on "Upon A Golden Horse" -- just like the great sound we heard on Houses of the Holy.

    With these songs in mind, we could see the possible direction of Led Zeppelin adjusting to today's music: Songs such as "Most High" and "Blue Train" could easily fit as Robert Plant solo songs, yet the music arrangements by Jimmy Page stands out, almost identifying these songs as possible new Zeppelin material.

    Yet "Please Read The Letter" is a whole different sound, compared to the standard Zeppelin style. It does fit the 1990s music, however, yet it's different in sound to any Zeppelin or even Page/Plant solo material.

    Now for the most impressive tunes: "Heart In Your Hand" is laid back and simple; this song can easily grow on you for repeated listening. The title track is just as impressive -- this style is definitely what Led Zeppelin would be sounding like, if they still remained together today. We can say the same for "Buring Up," yet it's not as impressive as the title track, we could see this style of Rock as the "updated Led Zeppelin," perhaps.

    Sadly, there are some tunes that are just not as enjoyable: "When I Was A Child" sounds so different with its off-guitar, and it just gets boring. "House Of Love" sounds too Alternative, and quite frankly, just doesn't match the star-quality of what Led Zeppelin was famous for. And the last song, "Sons Of Freedom" is just the same as "House Of Love," and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, being the last song on the album.

    Walking Into Clarksdale is an album of all-new material by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (from 1998). We can see them attempting to adjust to the new styles of Rock music today, yet after listening to this album, the "back to the basics" style sound of Led Zeppelin is the best; and still remains the same, their 1970s hard rock sound will always be their best work, and being one of Rock's greatest bands.

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    Previous Review: #798
    Ricky Martin--A Medio Vivir
    Next Review: #800
    Sonny & Cher--The Best Of Sonny And Cher: The Beat Goes On