Nine Lives [CD/DVD Box Set]

Nine Lives [CD/DVD Box Set]

4.0 2
by Robert Plant

The producers of this lavishly packaged box set found a novel way of sidestepping the question of how best to summarize Robert Plant's post-Zeppelin career: Simply bring together absolutely everything he's officially released and sprinkle a slew of rare cherries over the top for good measure. Nine Lives collects all of Plant's albumsSee more details below


The producers of this lavishly packaged box set found a novel way of sidestepping the question of how best to summarize Robert Plant's post-Zeppelin career: Simply bring together absolutely everything he's officially released and sprinkle a slew of rare cherries over the top for good measure. Nine Lives collects all of Plant's albums (plus a bonus DVD), each outfitted with a passel of live and remixed material, making for a long, sometimes winding trip through the man's ever-changing musical landscape. Plant's first solo offerings, Pictures at Eleven and The Principle of Moments, were only marginally different than his work on Zeppelin's later flights, although the latter disc is enlivened here by additions such as a swinging live rendition of "In the Mood" and a reverent cover of Bob Marley's "Lively Up Yourself." Plant started to stretch his wings in the mid-'80s, when he released the Honeydrippers EP -- supplanted here by a live version of "Rockin' at Midnight" -- but didn't really give in to his inner wanderlust until 1990, when he issued Manic Nirvana. That disc found him reconnecting with his fondness for world music, a bond conveyed in songs like "Watching You" and the hard-to-find, Moroccan-influenced B-side "Oompa." By 1993, he'd moved on yet again -- this time revisiting his folk roots on Fate of Nations, rounded out here by five new songs, including a demo version of "Rollercoaster" and the B-side version of "Great Spirit." Nearly a decade later -- removed by a long period of collaborations with old partner Jimmy Page -- Plant cast off expectations entirely with Dreamland, a cover-heavy collection that veered off into psychedelia (via Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren"); outsider rock ("Skip's Song" by Skip Spence, the troubled leader of Moby Grape); and old-school blues ("Funny in My Mind (I Believe I'm Fixin' to Die)." Energized by that experience, he took flight with Mighty Rearranger, a hard-edged set of tunes with Indo-Arabic flavorings that shine through its original body, as well as bonus tracks like "Red, White and Blue" and a remix of the eerie "The Enchanter." To round things out, Nine Lives adds a DVD that showcases both Plant's own work -- through music videos and live clips -- and his influence on a chorus of admirers that includes names as varied as Tori Amos and John McEnroe.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Too much of a good thing? Perhaps. Nine Lives contains remastered versions of all of Robert Plant's studio recordings, from Pictures at Eleven (1982) to Mighty Rearranger (2005), with bonus cuts and a DVD containing an hourlong film that covers the career gamut, with cut-in video clips, a new interview, and, as is Rhino's wont, comments from everybody from Ahmet Ertegun and Bobby Gillespie to Tori Amos and John McEnroe! Nothing appears from the Jimmy Page and Robert Plant recordings. Was this really necessary, especially after the issue of Plant's double-disc career retrospective, Sixty Six to Timbuktu, in 2003? His early records used the technology of the day and the first pair, Pictures at Eleven and The Principle of Moments, dipped deep into the production and pop styles of the '80s and mixed them with Led Zeppelin's ponderous pomp and circumstance. This also occurred on discs from Shaken 'n' Stirred to the harder-rocking Now & Zen and Manic Nirvana, with stops along the way via the Honeydrippers' roots rock cover project that featured the reunion of Jimmy Page with Plant, yes, but also of Page with Jeff Beck. Of course, with Fate of Nations, Plant changed course again, creating a moody, drifty, and dreamy sound -- another portrait of the singer and songwriter that paved the way some nine years later for his resurrection as a recording artist with 2002's Dreamland and a band (Strange Sensation) that found its way with the aforementioned Mighty Rearranger. Plant's solo records have been consistently acclaimed, and he has always placed singles in the charts somewhere. Some were received better than others, and some scored big, like 1988's Now & Zen, with its big single, "Tall Cool One." These ten discs reveal Plant to be endlessly searching and endlessly changing without losing the core of who he was as either a singer or a songwriter. He never tried to recreate Led Zeppelin, though he did firmly acknowledge it finally in Mighty Rearranger with guitarist Justin Adams. There isn't anything dour in these records, though some have stood up better to the test of time than others. The first two discs in the set do sound hopelessly dated, and at this point, the Honeydrippers project, played so godawful many times on FM radio, has lost its charm and sounds like a slew of cats having a good time playing standards. Still others, like Now & Zen and Manic Nirvana, sound better somehow than when they were issued -- at those moments in time, rock & roll was seldom played on the radio and these are most assuredly big rock & roll albums. Plant played the game insofar as he made videos and played live, but the albums themselves -- with their huge guitar and edgy synth atmospherics -- are far from nostalgia because of that experimentation with rock & roll's sonics. The story is one that shows how plentifully Plant surrounded himself with textures, space, and -- above all -- a knotty idea of what rock & roll was as it moved through the decades. He nurtured his own vision along some pretty sketchy lines during the volatile 1980s and '90s. In the new millennium, it became safe for rockers of his generation to come home again, from Eric Clapton and the Who to the Moody Blues and even Traffic. (Jeff Beck and the Rolling Stones have never really gone away.) All of this said, it still feels like a lot, maybe over the line. Sure, having these albums in remastered form is a great idea; look for them to follow suit soon -- if Rhino's past marketing track is any gauge -- as individual budget-priced items. There is a very handsome book included with loads of photos and a book-length liner note essay by Ed Vulliamy. The bonus material is nice, but it's far from earthshaking or in the least bit revelatory. The listener/consumer is faced with a dilemma: how often will some of these albums get pulled out of the stack and played? Stories like this one get told in the music business to be sure, but in Plant's case, his solo career -- no matter how successful -- has always been visible, but still somehow under the radar and second fiddle because of the incredible weight that Led Zeppelin's myth carries. Perhaps this set will be acclaimed for what it is, and that would be justice, but it's more likely that it will be considered an incomplete excess, which would be not only unfortunate, but very wrong. Certainly there is an argument for the Page & Plant records to be included here, but those, good as they are, are a distraction more than anything else because they are collaborations. For any Plant -- or truly hardcore Zep -- fan who wants the whole solo story presented in a manner that is pristine, revealing, and elegant, this set will be a boon. For the rest, in an age when the "track" is what matters, a box this size will be considered an overblown excess beyond comprehension or consumer demand, and that argument carries more than a bit of weight.

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Product Details

Release Date:


Disc 1

  1. Burning Down One Side
  2. Moonlight in Samosa
  3. Pledge Pin
  4. Slow Dancer
  5. Worse Than Detroit
  6. Fat Lip
  7. Like I've Never Been Gone
  8. Mystery Title
  9. Far Post
  10. Like I've Never Been Gone

Disc 2

  1. Other Arms
  2. In the Mood
  3. Messin' with the Mekon
  4. Wreckless Love
  5. Thru' with the Two Step
  6. Horizontal Departure
  7. Stranger Here...Than Over There
  8. Big Log
  9. In the Mood
  10. Thru' with the Two Step
  11. Lively Up Yourself
  12. Turnaround

Disc 3

  1. I Get a Thrill
  2. Sea of Love
  3. I Got a Woman
  4. Young Boy Blues
  5. Rockin' at Midnight
  6. Rockin' at Midnight

Disc 4

  1. Hip to Hoo
  2. Kallalou Kallalou
  3. Too Loud
  4. Trouble Your Money
  5. Pink and Black
  6. Little by Little
  7. Doo Doo a Do Do
  8. Easily Lead
  9. Sixes and Sevens
  10. Little by Little

Disc 5

  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

Disc 6

  1. Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes on You)
  2. Big Love
  3. S S S & Q
  4. I Cried
  5. She Said
  6. Nirvana
  7. Tie Dye on the Highway
  8. Your Ma Said You Cried in Your Sleep Last Night
  9. Anniversary
  10. Liars Dance
  11. Watching You
  12. Oompa (Watery Bint)
  13. One Love
  14. Don't Look Back

Disc 7

  1. Calling to You
  2. Down to Sea
  3. Come into My Life
  4. I Believe
  5. 29 Palms
  6. Memory Song (Hello Hello)
  7. If I Were a Carpenter
  8. Promised Land
  9. The Greatest Gift
  10. Great Spirit
  11. Network News
  12. Colours of a Shade
  13. Great Spirit
  14. Rollercoaster
  15. 8:05
  16. Dark Moon

Disc 8

  1. Funny in My Mind (I Believe I'm Fixin' to Die)
  2. Morning Dew
  3. One More Cup of Coffee
  4. Last Time I Saw Her
  5. Song of the Siren
  6. Win My Train Fare Home (If I Ever Get Lucky)
  7. Darkness, Darkness
  8. Red Dress
  9. Hey Joe
  10. Skip's Song
  11. Dirt in a Hole
  12. Last Time I Saw Her

Disc 9

  1. Another Tribe
  2. Shine It All Around
  3. Freedom Fries
  4. Tin Pan Valley
  5. All the Kings
  6. The Enchanter
  7. Takamba
  8. Dancing in Heaven
  9. Somebody Knocking
  10. Let the Four Winds Blow
  11. Mighty Rearranger
  12. Brother Ray
  13. Red, White Blue
  14. All the Money in the World
  15. Shine It All Around
  16. Tin Pan Valley
  17. The Enchanter

Disc 10

  1. Burning Down One Side
  2. Big Log
  3. In the Mood
  4. Rockin' at Midnight  -  Honeydrippers
  5. Sea of Love  -  Honeydrippers
  6. Little by Little
  7. Pink and Black
  8. Heaven Knows
  9. Tall Cool One
  10. Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes on You)
  11. Nirvana
  12. Tie Dye on the Highway
  13. 29 Palms
  14. Calling to You
  15. If I Were a Carpenter
  16. I Believe
  17. Morning Dew
  18. Darkness, Darkness
  19. Shine It All Around
  20. Bonus Material

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robert Plant   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Bukka White   Composer
Tim Hardin   Composer
Bob Marley   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Robert Plant   Composer
Jesse Colin Young   Composer
Tim Rose   Composer
Jezz Woodroffe   Composer
Phil Spector   Composer
Rainer Ptacek   Composer
Bonnie Dobson   Composer
Robbie Blunt   Composer
Doug Boyle   Composer
Clive Deamer   Composer
Phil Johnstone   Composer
Kevin Scott Macmichael   Composer
Doc Pomus   Composer
Stephen Schlaks   Composer
Don Stevenson   Composer
Porl Thompson   Composer
Rudy Toombs   Composer
Billy Vera   Composer
Larry Beckett   Composer
Robert Crash   Composer
John Baggot   Composer
Dave Barrett   Composer
William Roberts   Composer
Skin Tyson   Composer

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