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Now & Zen

74 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 1988
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$12.99
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Editorial Reviews

The Expanded & Remastered version of Robert Plant's album, Now And Zen, finds Plant charting new musical territory. Marking his first collaboration with keyboardist Phil Johnstone, the album's classic tracks include "Heaven Knows," "Ship Of Fools," and the smash hit "Tall Cool One." Three bonus rarities include live versions of "Tall Cool One," "Billy's Revenge," and "Ship Of Fools."

1. Heaven Knows
2. Dance On My Own
3. Tall Cool One
4. The Way I Feel
5. Helen Of Troy
6. Billy's Revenge
7. Ship Of Fools
8. Why
9. White, Clean And Neat
10. Walking Towards Paradise
11. Billy's Revenge
12. Ship Of Fools
13. Tall Cool One

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 3, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000HWZ5WY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,390 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Clare Alison Durina on April 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
First of all, if you buy a Robert Plant recording and expect it to sound like Led Zepplin, you will be seriously disappointed. Of course, that is exactly the point. Robert Plant wanted to be Robert Plant and not an imitation of his former band. After all, Led Zepplin consists of the creative energy of four individuals, not just one (even if he is the voice)! That having been said you may not know what to expect, that may be good or bad for you.

As for me, I particularly like Robert Plant's solo career. It is different. First of there are synthesizers, not overly domineering like on "Carouselambra" but definetely prominent. Second, the guitar playing is well more subdued and "lite" if you will, but at the same time extremely original, beautiful, and tasteful.

Now and Zen combines these two major elements to make a pleasent record. If you liked "Tall Cool One" don't be misled, the rest of the record does not sound like this song. Many of the songs are pretty atmospheric, with washes of melodic and haunting synths, and marked with tasteful licks of guitar throughout. On this cd are to be found beautiful laments (i.e. "Ship of Fools"), haunting dreamscapes, and even a few upbeat numbers. Yet, the songs on this record are consistently melodic and they pull you in with beautiful melodies.

If you are in the mood for some melodic music, yet not to hard, then you may enjoy this record. I am definitely biased and would like you to take a chance on it, yet what you hear may suprise you.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sal Nudo VINE VOICE on June 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album was made in 1988, and you can't help but notice how polished it sounds. Still, Robert Plant's vocals are great, and his breezy attitude comes across nicely on many songs. There's sort of a lightweight, airy sound to this album, and that's not meant in a negative way. Whereas Led Zeppelin had the ever-chugging, in-your-face riffs, everything much denser, "Now and Zen" is unabashedly pop; the only real rocker is the commercialized "Tall Cool One," and even that song is pristine-sounding compared to most of Zeppelin's output. "Dance on My Own" is a top-notch tune, with Plant declaring his independent mindset to the world. Other standouts are the reflective "Way I Feel" and the truly majestic ballad, "Ship of Fools," which used to get frequent and deserved radio airplay. The mystic and quiet ending of that song is one of the better moments on this album. "White, Clean and Neat" is also worth mentioning; between the chugging riff and well-sung backing vocals, playful keyboards sneak in, along with voices that give the song a unique feel. "Now and Zen" is properly closed out by the good "Walking Towards Paradise," a "bonus" track made for CD.

All in all, "Now and Zen" lacks raging guitars, pounding drums and contains a fair amount of vocal restraint from Robert Plant, something he's not always known for. Whatever you think about Led Zepp and Robert Plant, these songs have the potential to grab you. It's a catchy, well-produced, likable album, with songs that display Plant's ability to move on and astutely grow with dignity. This album surely doesn't match up to the mightier Plant album from 1990, Manic Nirvana, but it is still a good buy.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rich Latta on January 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This was a big album for Robert Plant. I remember when it came out. It wasn't popular at my high school, but there was a crowd of cool kids into music who dug it. It's interesting to note that Jimmy Page (guitarist for Led Zeppelin, Plant's former band for the uninitiated) did the solos for "Heaven Knows" and "Tall Cool One" (including Led Zep-era samples of Page and Plant on the latter). Also, not only does great musician Kirsty MacCall sing back-up, but so does future Curve mastermind Toni Halliday.

The Breakdown:

"Heaven Knows" - I remember how modern this sounded when it first came out. It still sounds great to me. *****

"Dance On My Own" - is a cool, fun song about sexual frustration and what to do about it when you're alone. *****

"Tall Cool One" - I find cheesy, tacky and weak. A big hit. *

"The Way I Feel" - The best on the album . . . you just gotta feel it. *****

"Helen of Troy" - rocks out. Then there's the dreamy choral passage with the words, "The world is waiting here for you/ Don't you feel it anymore?" *****

"Billy's Revenge" - Rocks with old-school strut and features male back-up singers who cover many bases including doo-wop. ****

"Ship of Fools" - excellent guitar from Doug Boyle (as usual) not to mention a typically captivating vocal from Plant. A huge hit, deservedly so. *****

"Why" - is a wimpy synth overdose. **

"White Clean and Neat" - interesting and pretty unique song with more old-school flavor (we're talkin' 50's) including sampled voices and other effects. ****

"Walking Towards Paradise" - a bonus track, more 80's synth shenanigans. Best left off the album, it still could've fit in somewhere but should not occupy the place that belongs to "White Clean and Neat." ***
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bil on February 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Although I was into this album when it came out, it stll sounds good in 2005. Tall Cool One is a great rocker, Ship of Fools a classic. I think plant is in bloom here (somebody had to say it).
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