29 Palms And 1 Plant (Hammerjack HJ014)
Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands – December 20th, 1993
(78:12): Interview, 29 Palms, Thank You, That’s Why I’m In The Mood, Whole Lotta Love, Hurting Kind, Ship Of Fools, If I Were A Carpenter, Going To California, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You. Bonus track: I Believe (Later with Jools Holland (BBC) 1993)
29 Palms And 1 Plant captures Robert Plant at the very end of his initial solo career before he began working with Jimmy Page in the Unledded project. Plant’s attitude for Fate Of Nations is a return to his roots and drawing inspiration from late sixties psychedelia (which would be the same approach as the decade ended with the short-lived Priory Of Brion project). This attitude is certainly reflected in live performance and is audible on this release.
This contains a radio broadcast from the Paradiso in Amsterdam on December 20th. On the artwork this show is attributed to December 13th, but Plant played at the Zenith Club in Paris on that date. Most of the show is present but missing are “Tall Cool One,” “Ramble On,” “What Is And What Should Never Be,” “Calling To You” and “Heaven Knows,” all songs regularly included in the set.
It sounds as if there were two half hour broadcasts edited to run consecutively. There is a cut after “Whole Lotta Love” (which was the encore and not played in the middle of the show) and a faint snippet of a DJ’s comments.
The disc starts with a short interview with Plant while he visited Amsterdam. He discusses the inspiration for his music in general and for “29 Palms,” the latest single, in particular. It’s a breezy, fun song (a rarity for Plant) and segues directly into “Thank You.”
Most of the first broadcast is occupied by the following track “That’s Why I’m In The Mood.” It is a fifteen minute long medley which has never seen official release and alone brings worth to this release. It has snippets of “In The Mood,” the Zeppelin songs “That’s The Way” and “In The Light” and a cover of Donovan’s “Season Of The Witch” interspersed with his patented shrieks and screams. It is a moody piece of work which foreshadows some of his material in Page & Plant, Priory Of Briton and Strange Sensation.
The second broadcast, from “Hurting Kind” to “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” is much more mellow and laidback than the first. It is interesting that the final song was the one which formed the artistic bond between him and Jimmy Page at the very beginning of Led Zeppelin, and would be important for their reunion the following year.
The bonus track “I Believe” is taken from “Later…With Jools Holland” telecast on May 21st, 1993. The complete broadcast also contains “If I Were A Carpenter,” “8.05,” “Bluebirds” and “Whole Lotta Love.”
29 Palms And 1 Plant (Hammerjack HJ014) is a minor release from the mid-nineties and is among several other titles. Live At Paradiso, Amsterdam (SRS) is a Russian release with the broadcast from “29 Palms” through “Going To California” and Paradiso, Amsterdam (Tie Dye 98118) is a Dutch release which has both broadcasts but in reverse order. It is an essential title for Robert Plant collectors.
It is flawless. VPRO is known for having the greatest fidelity radio transmissions in the world. This recording sounds like a professional release.
Great review. I’d just like to ask: what’s the sound quality like for a radio broadcast source…? Is it pristine and flawless like a professional recording, or does it have any glitches or other problems…?
I really like Plant’s solo material and this release is no exception. I hope the full shows were recorded and will eventually surface however that probably won’t happen.
Thanks for reviewing this title!