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Pictures at Eleven

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Pictures at Eleven
PEalbum1982.jpg
Type Studio album
Artist Robert Plant
Release Date 28 June 1982
Recorded July - October 1981 at
Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, Wales.
Mixed at Rockfield Studios.
Genre Hard rock, rock
Language English
Length 41 minutes 49 seconds
Label Swan Song Records
Catalogue Swan Song SS 8512 (US)
Swan Song SS K 59418 (UK)
Producer Robert Plant
Engineer Pat Moran

Pictures at Eleven is an album by former Led Zeppelin singer-songwriter Robert Plant, released in 1982 via the record label Swan Song Records. It was Plant's first solo album, after the break-up of Led Zeppelin in December 1980. It was also his last album for Swan Song Records, before establishing his own label Es Paranza.

Overview

1982 Swan Song Records magazine advertisement for Pictures at Eleven.

In the spring of 1981, Plant began performing with a Rhythm and blues pick-up band known as the Honeydrippers, which included his friend from Bronco Robbie Blunt. Soon Plant and guitarist Blunt established a songwriting partnership, and later brought in Paul Martinez on bass guitar and Jezz Woodroffe on keyboards.[1] To complete the line-up for recording, they added experienced drummer Cozy Powell, although he was eventually replaced by Genesis and session man Phil Collins initially as 'guest' drummer (Collins eventually chose to stay on for another album).[2] Guitarist Andy Sylvester of the Honeydrippers also appeared at early rehearsal sessions but left before final recording commenced. Jason Bonham was also reported to have performed on a number of demos for the album at Plant's home studio. Collins hadn't met Plant prior to recording in Wales, but he did see Led Zeppelin's first UK gig at the Marquee club when they were still gigging as the New Yardbirds. Collins had to learn the drum parts quickly. His drum kit was set up in the table tennis room, rather than the studio as the band thought it would give them a better live sound.[3] In a conscious decision Plant decided to produce his first solo album himself, and turned down an offer to record at Headley Grange, opting for a fresh start at Rockfield studios located near Monmouth in the rural Wye Valley. He stayed at the studio's Old Mill House residence during the recording process. 'Like I've Never Been Gone' and the 'Kashimr' sounding 'Slow Dancer' were the first two songs recorded, 'Pledge Pin' the last. The album features six rock songs and two ballads. 'Like I've Never Been Gone' is a dedication to Plant's friend John Bonham. Plant reputedly took a taped copy to Jimmy Page for his approval.[4]

Pictures at Eleven was released on 25 June 1982, and rose quickly towards the top of the album charts. As well as producing, Plant initially acted as his own manager, although Peter Grant helped him to set up his initial record deal with Atlantic Records, Plant wanted to cut his ties with the past and to Grant's personal disappointment brought in Phil Carson and Bill Curbishley instead.[5] In a further break from the past, Plant appeared on music television programmes to perform on and promote the album.[6] Plant recalled of the sessions:

I mean at the age of 32, when your career is finished, anything that came after that was a bonus really. After all that wild stuff and momentum in Zeppelin, this place [Rockfield] was an absolute dream because it was pastoral, funny and had a fantastic musical history.[7]

Plant liked the area so much he briefly relocated to Monmouth.

Track list

Album information

1982 Track listing:

  • Side One:
  1. 'Burning Down One Side' (Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt, Jezz Woodroffe) – 3:55
  2. 'Moonlight in Samosa' (Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt) – 3:58
  3. 'Pledge Pin' (Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt) – 4:01
  4. 'Slow Dancer' (Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt) – 7:43
  • Side Two:
  1. 'Worse Than Detroit' (Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt) - 5:55
  2. 'Fat Lip' (Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt, Jezz Woodroffe) – 5:05
  3. 'Like I've Never Been Gone' (Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt) – 5:56
  4. 'Mystery Title' (Robert Plant, Robbie Blunt) – 5:16

Chart positions

Album

Chart (1982) Peak Position
UK Albums Chart[8] 2
New Zealand RIANZ Top 40 Albums Chart[9] 16
US Billboard Rock Albums Chart[10] 1
US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart[11] 5
Norwegian Albums Chart[12] 17
Canadian RPM Top 50 Chart[13] 1
Swedish Albums Chart[14] 32
Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart[15] 6

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1982 'Slow Dancer' US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart[16] 19
1982 'Burning Down One Side' US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart[17] 3
1982 'Pledge Pin' US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart[18] 11
1982 'Worse Than Detroit' US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart[19] 10
1982 'Burning Down One Side' US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart[20] 64
1982 'Burning Down One Side' UK Singles Chart[21] 73
1982 'Pledge Pin' US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart[22] 74

Certifications

Album

Country Sales Certification
United States (RIAA) 500,000+ Gold[23]

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Robert Plant - vocals, producer, mixing, artwork
    • Robbie Blunt – guitar, mixing assistant
    • Jezz Woodroffe - keyboards, synthesizer. mixing assistant
    • Paul Martinez - bass guitar
    • Phil Collins - drums, percussion
  • Additional musicians:
    • Cozy Powell - drums ('Slow Dancer', and 'Like I've Never Been Gone')
    • Raphael Ravenscroft - saxophone ('Pledge Pin')
  • Production:
    • Pat Moran - engineer, mixing
    • Bill Inglot - mastering
    • Dan Hersch - remastering
    • Benji Lefevre - mixing assistant
    • Michael Hoppen - artwork, photography
    • Bill Curbishley - management (Trinifold)
    • Nicola Powell - other

Notes

  1. Robinson, Lisa. "Plant to Release Solo 'Pictures at Eleven'", The Evening Independent, 4 June 1982, p. 10B. Retrieved on 9 March 2010.
  2. Lewis, Dave (2003). Led Zeppelin: The 'Tight but Loose' Files: Celebration II. London: Omnibus Press, 86. ISBN 1-84449-056-4. 
  3. Collins, Jeff (2007). Rock legends at Rockfield. Cardiff: University of Wales, 110. ISBN 978-0-7083-2097-6. 
  4. Welch, Chris (1985). Power & Glory: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant. London: Zomba, 72. ISBN 978-0-946391-74-5. 
  5. Welch, Chris (2002). Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin, 228. ISBN 0-7119-9195-2. 
  6. Daniels, Neil (2008). Robert Plant: Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page & the Solo Years, 91. ISBN 978-0-9552822-7-0. 
  7. Zep singer returns to solo roots, BBC News, 20 May 2006. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  8. Top 100 Albums - 10 July 1982. chartstats.com. Retrieved on 9 March 2010.
  9. Top 40 Albums - 18 July 1982. charts.org.nz. Retrieved on 9 March 2010.
  10. (24 July 1982) "Rock Albums and Top Tracks" (in English) (Magazine). Billboard 94 (29): 27. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  11. (14 August 1982) "Top LP's and Tapes" (in English) (Magazine). Billboard 94 (32): 67. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  12. Top 40 Albums - 10 August 1982. norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved on 9 March 2010.
  13. RPM Albums Chart - 14 August 1982. RPM. Retrieved on 9 March 2010.
  14. Top 60 Albums - 17 August 1982. swedishcharts.com. Retrieved on 9 March 2010.
  15. Top 50 Albums - 21 August 1982. Kent Music Report. Retrieved on 9 March 2010. 
  16. (31 July 1982) "Rock Albums and Top Tracks" (in English) (Magazine). Billboard 94 (30): 24. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  17. (14 August 1982) "Rock Albums and Top Tracks" (in English) (Magazine). Billboard 94 (32): 33. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  18. (14 August 1982) "Rock Albums and Top Tracks" (in English) (Magazine). Billboard 94 (32): 33. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  19. (25 September 1982) "Rock Albums and Top Tracks" (in English) (Magazine). Billboard 94 (38): 32. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  20. (2 October 1982) "Hot 100" (in English) (Magazine). Billboard 94 (39): 37. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  21. Top 100 Singles - 9 October 1982. chartstats.com. Retrieved on 9 March 2010.
  22. (27 November 1982) "Hot 100" (in English) (Magazine). Billboard 94 (47): 72. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  23. RIAA.org Pictures at Eleven - 17 December 1990. RIAA. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.