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Band Of Joy

4.2 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2010 solo album from the music legend and former Led Zeppelin vocalist, his first album since 2007's six time Grammy Award winning Raising Sand. Band Of Joy was recorded in Nashville with a stellar cast of musicians. The album was co-produced by Plant and Nashville legend and guitarist Buddy Miller. As well as Miller, the Band of Joy is made up of multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, who provides the mandolin, guitar, accordion, pedal, lap steel and banjo lines, country singer-songwriter Patty Griffin who adds the main vocal foils to Plant's lead parts, while Byron House plays bass and percussion comes from Marco Giovino. This is a Roots Rock record similar to Raising Sand.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Angel Dance
  2. House of Cards
  3. Central Two O Nine
  4. Silver Rider
  5. You Can't Buy My Love
  6. Falling in Love Again
  7. The Only Sound That Matters
  8. Monkey
  9. Get Along Home Cindy
  10. Harms Swift Way
  11. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
  12. Even This Shall Pass Away

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B003NWS5AO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,673 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Mitchell on September 20, 2010
Format: Audio CD
OK, I'll get this out up front: I think this is Robert Plant's single best offering. Ever. There, I said it - and I can feel the psychic outpourings from a gazillion Zep fans already.

Of course Plant produced wondrous things in 'that other band'. I'm sure I could select any number of permutations of single Zeppelin, or even post-Zeppelin, tracks and put them together in a compilation that I rate higher than I do this. But, no previous, non-compilation, offering satisfies me in quite the way Band of Joy does. Perhaps that simply reflects the 30 plus years I've put on post the untimely demise of what to me was the unparalleled rock band. As one other reviewer has said: there was Zeppelin and then there was everyone else.

So what makes Band of Joy so pleasurable for me? It's a long list. For starters and in no particular order:

Track selection: I like the way Plant has delved into the archives and brought to us a selection of tunes that range from foot-stomping to dark and brooding. I can't fault it. He's introduced me to stuff I would not otherwise have heard and that means that I will probably go back to the source for some of it to hear how they have been reinterpreted. So, he's honouring us as listeners and those who have laid the way before him.

Plant's voice: Of course his has always been one of the great distinctive rock voices. At 62 though we can't expect the wail of the Immigrant Song. On this album his voice ranges from playful to introspective and at all times he sounds completely in control of it. He does give us the occasional peek back to signature notes from his career but this is a wonderfully assured mature voice. He seems an artist who has absolutely nothing left to prove and is revelling in the artistic freedom that gives him.
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Format: Audio CD
"Band of Joy" is a beautiful, sprawling album of covers that seems obsessed with finding the spiritual origins in the original material. Oh, and the album is truly excellent. "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down," is whipped into a low burning fervor with mandolin and a melodic choir. Where I expected it to go, foot stomping and handclapping, Plant avoids it, turning the song into something bittersweet and almost hopeless.

Plant's versions of Low's "Silver Rider" and "Monkey" finds something that the original material doesn't have, Patti Griffin. Her vocals on these songs seem almost unhinged and otherworldly, the polar opposite to Krauss' ethereal vocals on "Raising Sand." Griffin gives both of these songs a raw grit that the originals didn't dig into. She slides in and out on some of these songs like a gentle breeze, barely noticeable. And on others, she's jostling Plant, giving him an expected run for his money ... I mean, it is Patty Griffin after all.

There are a few faster numbers here such as "Angel Dance," and they are well worth listening to. But the disc belongs to the more slower, contemplative songs. "The Only Sound That Matters" seems to sums up the album as a whole, there is an obsession with sound, from the harmony to melody, everything seems as if it were designed to be where it is, not an easy feat for an album full of covers. On "The Only Sound that Matters," Plant's voice is so alive and present that he transfers the lyrics into something spiritual, almost mystical.

Buddy Miller as co-producer should be given just as much credit as T-Bone Burnet (one listen to "Cindy I'll Marry You One Day," should make that evident). "Band of Joy" is not as pristine as "Raising Sand." It's grittier, messier, more joyous - and well worth the purchase.
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Format: Audio CD
With so many "legacy" performers clogging the AARP superhighway, I suspect that as of this writing, there are three clear pathways to mature rock success.

First, you can recreate the sounds, attitudes and poses that made your black light poster a must have forty years gone. This turn back the clock approach is generally considered the most effective and lucrative but, admit it, lives a little too close to the intersection of boring and catatonic.

Second, you can take your crows feet for a spin in the Great American Songbook and hope that the aging crones in the front row never notice that the equipment you were packing in the time of Nixon is now more memory than Mastodon.

Or, finally, you can challenge yourself to discover new sounds and push new boundaries - letting the music transport your audience and heavy metal roots far beyond the sturm and drung of the critics and naysayers - showing some genuine mettle instead.

Robert Plant doesn't need me to tell him how glad I am that he selected door number three. His new record, Band of Joy, is a charming and austere roots music walkabout that continues his fascination with acoustic blues that has never waned since his arrival on the Hindenburg in 1969. His voice is well, his voice, unmistakable as it is powerful. The songs - pulled from a portfolio of lesser known rock and blues chestnuts allow Plant to wander a little over the top at times but in most cases joyously explore their power in between the lines with the subtlety of an artist rather than the clanking swagger of an icon that has overstayed his welcome.

Band of Joy is a sterling, first-rate effort that should not be missed.
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