Monday, August 16, 2010

Angel Dance (Band of Joy song of the week, No. 8 of 12)

"Angel Dance," the first single from Robert Plant's album Band of Joy, was released July 27. It is currently No. 21 on the Triple A radio airplay chart as compiled by Mediabase, on the rise from No. 30 last week. Even more impressive is that during both weeks, it was Triple A radio's No. 1 most added song. Still more impressive is the number of times the song has been played using the "Hear It Now" section of The amount is reported to be not only the most ever but also triple the No. 2 track.

Not bad, especially considering "Angel Dance" is a 20-year-old song. The product of composers David Hidalgo and Louie PĂ©rez of Los Lobos, "Angel Dance" first appeared on that band's 1990 album The Neighborhood.

Both guys were happy to star with Plant in the video for this song, shot this June in a Chicago neighborhood.

"'Angel Dance' is very confident and proud," says Plant. "With a lyric like that coming from Los Lobos, it's a major way of opening the door to this particular stage of my very odd left-and-right career." And what does he mean by this particular stage? "The [original] Band of Joy represented an attempt to create, diversify and celebrate the great dynamics of the music scene of the 1960s. I just wanted to bring it back into now, you know, to this point in my career. ... I wanted to bring my personality with other people's songs, kick the door open a little bit -- or edge it open with my hips. I sing the way I sing, and to attack those songs, I can only do 'em Plant-like."

Might I add that I've been listening to the new Los Lobos album, Tin Can Trust, which has been out since Aug. 3. The disc is really good. Their cover of "West L.A. Fadeaway" has made me dig out my copy of the Grateful Dead's In the Dark to hear the original again. The rest of the songs are all brand new. They have some catchy songs like "On Main Street" and "The Lady and the Rose," but it seems their best work was on the Spanish-language "Yo Canto." There's also a story about the gloriously run-down recording studio they used, and you almost can't tell it wasn't a state-of-the-art facility -- until you start hearing phantom doors creaking between lines of lyric, and cymbal crashes seemingly vanishing into thin air (listen for that toward the end of the Dead tune).


  1. Wow. I started a small music review website and am headed to the Band of Joy show in Boston this month. I was researching each of these songs on Plant's album individually and came across your article here. You've done all of the research for me! Thank you ! This is exactly the type of information that I think is so important when understanding an album. You are a great writer to appreciate the deep history in each piece of music and also introduce the reader to other music as well. Rock on, write on, (and Ramble On), I always say !


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