Pictures at Eleven
Released: June 28, 1982
Peak: 5 US, 2 UK, 13 CN, 6 AU
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.06 UK
Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 42:12
3.164 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)
About the Album:
Robert Plant’s first solo album would never match the expectations of Led Zeppelin fans, but it was a platinum seller that hit the top 5 in the U.S. and UK. Overall, though, “Plant is able to escape most of his past and still sound motivated…He courses a new direction without changing or disguising his distinct vocal style.” AMG
Plant recorded the album with “old Midlands pal/guitarist Robbie Blunt and ‘name’ drummers Phil Collins and Cozy Powell.” Q Blunt “comes to life on Worse Than Detroit…and…Collins…and…Powell give Plant enough of a solid background to lean his sultry yet surging rock voice against.” AMG “Plant channels his energy quite effectively through songs like Pledge Pin and Moonlight in Samosa.” AMG
The album would find “its mark with the twisty funk-rock of Burning Down One Side and Slow Dancer.” Q On the latter, “Powell was said to have implored ‘Planty’ to just let rip like he used to in the old days.” Q
Critics were generally lukewarm, saying things like it “was a cautious sounding record.” Q Rolling Stone’s Kurt Loder said, “there’s nothing new going on in these grooves.” WK The Village Voice’s Robert Christgau “was impressed by Plant’s ability to recreate Led Zeppelin’s aural sensibilities with duller musicians and catchier undertones, but ultimately found the music somewhat insignificant.” WK
It was the only Robert Plant solo album released on Swan Song, the label formed by Led Zeppelin, before they ceased to be. WK The title is a reference to a phrase following stories of interest which be shown later during the station’s news program at 11pm. WK
Notes: A 2007 reissue added “Far Post” and a live version of “Like I’ve Never Been Gone” as bonus tracks.
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First posted 9/27/2010; last updated 8/20/2021.