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Live Releases :: Robert Plant :: SoundStage [2006]

Oct. 24, 2006 (US) Nov. 6, 2006 (UK)

66 mins. (US) 81 mins. (UK)
[More Info]

• No Quarter
• Shine It All Around
• Black Dog
• Freedom Fries
• Four Sticks
• Tin Pan Alley
• Gallows Pole
• The Enchanter
• Whole Lotta Love
• 10. Hey Joe
• 11. Girl from the North Country
Soundstage: Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation [2006]

On October 24, Rounder Records/ZoŽ Vision (Universal in UK and Rest of the World) will release the first-ever music DVD from the legendary Robert Plant. Produced by Soundstage and directed by Joe Thomas, Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation were featured in concert recently on PBS television and is a must-see for new and old fans of one of rockís most celebrated figures.

Few recording artists achieve the type of legacy that Robert Plant has enjoyed, from his early career fronting hard rock juggernaut Led Zeppelin to his critically acclaimed solo works. Plant's musical ventures range from gritty blues to edgy metal, delicate acousticballadry, lush soundscapes infused with electronic elements, glowing pop, and roots music from around the world.

"The spirit of rock'n'roll is live performance," asserts Plant. "Studio recordings can be captivating, and live albums can capture some of the synergy in a concert, but there is really nothing like being in the moment when the music is connecting you to the people-it's truly a communion."

Celebrating the magic of live musical performance was the impetus behind the landmark PBS series, Soundstage. The program initially ran for 11 years (from 1974 through 1985) and featured some of the most prestigious names in popular music, including Bob Dylan, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Arlo Guthrie, Jose Feliciano, and the Temptations, to name but a few. Taped before small studio audiences, these intimate performances offered home viewers a unique concert experience and fresh perspective on the performers and their craft. The program was recently resurrected and has been captivating a new generation of music fans with one-hour live sets by a diversity ofartists.

So it is fitting that Robert Plant's first-ever DVD release is his Soundstage performance which was filmed at the Soundstage Studios in Chicago on September 16, 2005, with his band, Strange Sensation. The quintet features Clive Deamer (drums) from Portishead and Roni Size projects; John Baggott (keyboards) of Portishead and Massive Attack; Billy Fuller (bass) from Bristol band Fuzz Against Junk; ambient guitarist Skin, formerly of Brit Pop phenomenon Cast; and Justin Adams (late of Sinead O'Connor, Jah Wobble, and the Wayward Shakes) playing gimbri, darbouka, and guitar.

Clocking in at 66 minutes total, the program was captured live in high-definition and mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound. The set ran the gamut from reinvented Led Zeppelin classics to some striking selections from Plant's solo career. No Quarter is infused with rich world music flavors; Black Dog is fueled by a deeper, funkier groove, and an inspired version of Four Sticks is dedicated to the late, great Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 marked the end of the band.

Material from 2005's twice Grammy-nominated Mighty Rearranger, Plant's first album of all new material in more than ten years and a collection described by Rolling Stone magazine as an infusion of "exotic melodies and blues thunder" includes Freedom Fries, a roots rocker with a political twist. The concert closes with a bang-an extended rendering of Zeppelinís orgasmic opus, Whole Lotta Love which loses none of its vim despite a more subdued arrangement and low-key setting. Bonus tracks include a rendition of Hey Joe, the William Roberts classic popularized by guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix and featured onPlant's twice Grammy-nominated 2002 album Dreamland and a cover of Bob Dylanís Girl from the North Country.

"It's quite something to watch successive generations of music fans discover and appreciate your work," Plant observes. "It's kind of like rediscovering the world through a child's eyes. You find fresh nuances in the music and the songs continue to grow with a life of their own. As I've explored the rich musical traditions of North Africa and the Middle East, elements of those musics have worked their way into some of the most unlikely songs-and that kind of constant reinvention keeps your creativity piqued."

Great music has the power to continue captivating people over time. This DVD is a modest testament to the timelessness of Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant.
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