Front one of rock’s all-time biggest bands and your solo career is bound to suffer in comparison, whether you’re Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger or Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, who gets an elaborate post-Zep retrospective with “Nine Lives,” a mammoth boxed set containing all nine of his solo albums.
No Plant album has made much of a lasting impact, but he’s had success with some singles, and if you’re in the mood for a melody, there may be no greater example than “In the Mood,” off 1983’s “The Principle of Moments,” or the near-novelty bombast of “Tall Cool One,” from 1988’s “Now and Zen” and featuring guitar licks from former fellow Zeppelin Jimmy Page. And The Honeydrippers’ 1984 smash cover of “Sea of Love” ain’t bad, either. However, their success lowers the enjoyment of more unfamiliar, less accessible tracks.
Like all box sets, “Nine Lives” tacks on an extra track or two to each disc, such as live cuts, demos and an UNKLE remix. For the Plant faithful, a DVD of videos brings this set up to 10 “¦ but not to 11.
– Danny Marroquin