Robert Plant opened the first chapter of his post-Led Zeppelin career 40 years ago today with the release of his debut solo album, Pictures at Eleven.
The eight-track collection peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200, while reaching #2 on the U.K. albums chart. Four of the tracks broke into the top 20 of Billboard’s Mainstream Rock tally — “Burning Down One Side,” “Worse Than Detroit,” “Pledge Pin” and “Slow Dancer.”
“Burning Down One Side” was the most successful single released from the album, peaking at #3 on Mainstream Rock chart and at #64 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Phil Collins played drums on six of the album’s eight tracks, while journeyman rocker Cozy Powell was behind the kit for the other two songs. Other musicians featured on Pictures at Eleven included guitarist Robbie Blunt, keyboardist Jezz Woodroffe and bassist Paul Martinez. In addition, sax player Raphael Ravenscroft, best known for his memorable playing on Gerry Rafferty‘s “Baker Street,” lent his talents to the song “Pledge Pin.”
Plant co-wrote all of the tunes with Blunt, with Woodroffe also helping to write three songs — “Burning Down One Side,” “Fat Lip” and “Far Post.”
Plant produced the album, which was recorded in Wales at Rockfield Studios, a famous facility where Queen worked on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Pictures at Eleven has been certified Platinum for sales of over 1 million copies in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Plant launched a European tour with his Raise the Roof collaborator Alison Krauss last Friday with a performance at England’s Glastonbury Festival. The trek runs through a July 20 gig in Berlin and will be followed by a second 2022 U.S. leg that begins August 15 in San Diego.
Here’s Pictures at Eleven’s full track list:
“Burning Down One Side”
“Moonlight in Samosa”
“Worse Than Detroit”
“Like I’ve Never Been Gone”
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