Not only has legendary singer Robert Plant recorded a boatload of seminal hard rock and early heavy metal classics with his former band Led Zeppelin, but he's also had his share of solid solo albums over the years, which many folks tend to forget. His second release The Principle of Moments from 1983 is a stellar collection of songs that just might be his best, now lovingly remastered by Rhino Records & Atlantic Records. With a hot band that included guitarist & writing partner Robbie Blunt, keyboard player Jazz Woodroffe, bassist Paul Martinez, and drummers Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull) and Phil Collins (Genesis), Plant moved away from the bombastic, blues based hard rock of Zeppelin to a more textural, moody style here on The Principle of Moments, and it really paid off as this one contains numerous FM staples that really clicked with the rock audience.
If you are no stranger to rock radio, chances are you are quite familiar with songs such as the stinging guitar rock of "Other Arms" (the closest they came to Zeppelin on this release), the moody & atmospheric pop of "In the Mood", and the earthy sounds of "Big Log". However, there's other strong cuts here, like the mix of blues and majestic prog on "Messin' With the Mekon", the adventurous, keyboard laced "Wreckless Love", and the quirky new wave/pop of "Horizontal Departure". The musicianship is top notch, with Blunt proving to be quite an adept player, and Woodroffe giving Plant the symphonic edge that his tunes were made to have. Of course, having both Barlow and Collins on board is a plus as well.
As always, Rhino have done a great job on the remastering. The audio is crystal clear and punchy, with every instrument fully audible, which is a must for this record as there are so many textures to begin with. It would have been nice to have some lyrics and photos, but you do get a few bonus live tracks, and the song "Turnaround", which was a leftover from these sessions and a catchy rocker that was perhaps a bit too upbeat for the album. It will be of essential interest to Robert Plant fans no doubt, as will be this entire reissue.
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 (bonus live track)
10. Thru' With The Two Step (bonus live track)
11. Lively Up Yourself (bonus live track)
12. Turnaround (bonus track)