I was obsessed with Led Zeppelin from 8th grade through 10th grade, still enjoyed it afterwards, and developed an appreciation for singer Robert Plant’s solo material. Now and Zen made a big mainstream impact in 1988, and I loved Manic Nirvana in 1990, not so long before a band named Nirvana brought the hair metal era to a close.
1985’s Shaken ‘n’ Stirred was known as the bargain bin album that carried within it the somewhat eerie radio track “Little by Little.” I admit that I hated this album when I first heard it in mid-9th grade . . . and by somewhere around the end of 9th grade I absolutely adored it. It was dense, it was weird, time signatures and song structures were unpredictable, but once my brain unlocked this little package of oddness, it was one of my all-time favorites.
Robert Plant’s solo material has been a worthwhile thing all on its own and I was a fan (even seeing him in concert in fall 1990), so how did I avoid hearing his debut album Pictures at Eleven for all these years? All I know is that I can’t get enough of the opening track: