Are you ready for this? Nine Lives is a ten-disc box set that includes all nine of his solo albums, remastered and expanded with some "extras," if you know what I mean. It also includes a sixty-minute film on DVD that takes you on a tour of Robert's solo career, which began after Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980. But that's not all on the DVD. There are interviews with Plant about each of the albums and with other musicians who know him and are still to this day inspired by his artistry, such as Roger Daltrey, Tori Amos, and Lenny Kravitz.
This would have been an awesome set to get to review, but unfortunately I could only get a sampler CD. This disc pulled together fourteen songs, including radio hits "29 Palms," of which I can never get enough, and "Ship Of Fools," which is one of the soundtracks to my life. It also has B-sides, "Far Post" and "Oompa (Watery Bint)," and previously unreleased songs. "Turnaround" is classic Plant with a rocking blues beat and his cool melodic vocals. I swear that this man sounds just as good in 2006 as he did back when Jimmy and John heard him wailing the blues in 1968. Another unreleased demo is a sweet tune called "Rollercoaster." A jazzy, retro keyboard sound provides the backdrop as Plant causally recants a tale of love in almost a whisper.
Hey, babies, if the sampler CD is this good, I can only imagine what this ten-disc pack is going to be like. The collection includes 1982’s Pictures at Eleven, 1983’s The Principle of Moments, 1985’s Shaken ‘n’ Stirred, 1988’s Now and Zen, 1990’s Manic Nirvana, 1993’s Fate of Nations, 2002’s Dreamland, 2005’s Mighty Rearranger, and even The Honeydrippers EP. Plant has had a long and incredible career spanning over thirty years, and yes, that's including the Zeppelin years. Say what you like, but he is a world-class music icon. After such a powerful rock band breaks up, the brightly lit stars usually burn out, but not Plant. His ideas and insights keep getting stronger with every new song he puts out.
The sampler's liner notes also tell me that not only do you get the DVD and nine CDs but also a sixty-page book with rare pictures and artwork are also included in this box set. As soon as this hits the stores, I am going to get myself a Christmas present. Just reading the liner notes on this sample sleeve made my mouth water. For those who are fans of Robert Plant, this is a must-have. Expanded CDs, a bonus-packed DVD and a sixty-page photo book makes Nine Lives my pick of the year for box sets.
Written by Fumo Verde