Thursday, December 23, 2004

Led Zeppelin members all working on solo albums

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

As announced in October, Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation will have a new album out in the new year. The title of the record to be released in or around March 2005 will be Another Tribe, according to an interview for Mojo magazine summarized by Siarl Davies for Tight But Loose [Update: This working title was subsequently changed to Mighty ReArranger].

Plant's eighth solo effort since the breakup of Led Zeppelin has been described as "a mixture of Delta blues and North African stuff, with a nice fireside lute-driven ballad too." These are the influences Plant spoke of in liner notes he wrote in August 2003 for Sixty Six to Timbuktu, a career-spanning double album.

The singer from the British Midlands expounded on his admiration for a lifetime of influences, stating: "I heard the voices of the high Atlas and pre-Saharan Morocco, the sound from the last juke-joints of south-side Chicago and the buzz of after-hours backstreet Bombay, performances so beautiful, remote and contrasting that I was never to recover."

In that message, Plant also stated that more creative output was on the way. "With abundant new material developing rapidly and connections in Morocco and West Africa moving at a pace unimagined back in '71, the future is ahead - bright ahead," he wrote. For that, he credits his diverse and powerful band, currently made up of Justin Adams and Liam "Skin" Tyson on guitars, Clive Deamer on drums, John Baggott on keyboards, and Billy Fuller on bass. "The musicians make this thing work," said Plant.

Also as recently announced, Robert Plant is not the only ex-member of Led Zeppelin hoping to release a new album in the new year. Both Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are said to be working on separate recording projects. A brief clip of a new Jones opus can be heard in the Flash intro to his Web site,, where a Nov. 7 posting updates his progress.

"I have now started to write and record for the new album," he said. "I'm sort of doing both things at the same time, a new approach that I am hoping will make for a more organic process." After detailing a mandolin festival he'd taken time out to attend and participate in, Jones concluded his message: "So, all of my instruments have been restrung, no small matter, and I am writing / playing / practising / listening / singing / recording / walking, anything and everything necessary to get the music flowing!"

Meanwhile, sources say Page's project will pit the guitarist alongside several guest musicians with a different guitar for every song.

So, my dear friends, if everything goes as planned, there will be three new albums from the ex-members of Led Zeppelin in 2005. [Update: Only Plant delivered a solo album in 2005.] Many years have passed since the days that group walked this earth, and their music has evolved with that time. It would be impossible for them at this stage to try to recreate their earlier moments. However, as Robert Plant would attest, it is great fun to look back at it.