Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XXVIII
Date: 97-02-10 07:15:49 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

A quick question, does anyone know how the Roman numeral system works past 40? I know at some point they get into L's or some other thing like that. This could get scary before long. Thought I'd ask now, as we're only in the 20's. Anyway, good day to all of you. In the last SOTD I mentioned seeing Robert in Denver in 1983 and already two of you have written to say you were there too. Small world, huh? Continuing with "Pictures At Eleven", Robert's first solo album, we move to the ballad of the album. Actually there are two, but this is the more mellow of the two. So join me won't you, as we look, and listen, to track two, clocking in at 3:58, "Moonlight In Samosa".

A stunningly beautiful song. I had the privilege of hearing this a week before it was released, when the radio played a sneak preview. I knew then that I would love this album, and couldn't wait for the release day. Robbie Blunt starts this one out with a truly beautiful bit of guitar playing. His approach on this song is pure genius. Electric and acoustic guitars weave in and out perfectly, blending into a very hypnotic and romantic number.

Robert pours his heart into this song, the emotion that he feels is genuine. This song was written right around the time of his divorce from Maureen, and the lyrics reflect a sadness that may pertain to this situation. (Robert has never, to my knowledge, stated this, just my opinion). Look at the lyrics though, and judge for yourself.

        Time and again
        I see you walking down the street
        Over and over
        just like before

        Once in a while
        you stop and say hello to me
        just like you used to do before

        Time and again
        it's like we were in love and then
        Over and over
        nobody keeping score
        Once in a while, I think you notice when I smile
        that love still lingers in my eye

Combine these lyrics with the heartfelt, pure emotion that he sings them with, and one can't help but be reduced to tears. This is one of those songs that seperates Mr. Plant from the rest of the crowd. He allows the listener to see inside heart, yet isn't asking for pity, isn't seeking our comfort, just telling the story as it is. Sometimes this man's ego can get annoying, it's songs like this that is why we are so quick to forgive.

        Can't go wrong, can't go wrong
        It lingers on, it lingers on...

And then Robbie proceeds to play one of the most amazing acoustic guitar solo's I've ever heard. Please, if you have this tape, CD, or LP, put it on now and listen to this man solo. Well, listen to the entire song, but pay attention at the solo. It's a work of art. He starts out slowly, playing some Spanish flavoured licks, gradually building, staying with the melody, then tears through a nice long run but keeping it beautiful, and the emotion his right on par with Robert's singing. A perfect blending of guitar and voice in a song.

Robert re-enters with the next verse, and this time his voice bulids as the guitar, slowly at first, then rising up, to enforce the point of the message.

         Day after day
         I turn it over in mind
         Dream after dream
         it's hard to tell you how I find
         Out of the blue I'm suddenly so close to you
         despite the years that I've been gone

         (voice rising now)
         Will you stop will you wait
         will you please remember
         Can you stop, can you just give me...
         one minute to explain
         I'll not kick or fuss, I'll not (rock it)
         believe me darling
         ooh, what is, what was- it's all the same

That little part, (rock it), I wasn't sure of that till I got a boot of him doing this live, and sure enough, that's what he says. So there you are, a beautiful song, as Robert might say, " a song of love".

In concert in Denver he sang this while holding a red rose that someone had placed on the stage. During the solo and the outro he looked sadly at the rose, ( I had the binoculars focused on him), and this was another reason that leads me to feel this is about Maureen. To see him that night, the look on his face just didn't look forced. It looked real.

This is one of many excellent songs in Robert's solo career, one I feel is on a par with Zeppelin. The emotional factors, the guitar, the keyboards, the voice, it's all there. On this album Robert had to explore a lot of new territory, ie: producing the album, working and writing with new people, ect..., and with "Moonlight In Samosa" he proves that he was more than capable of the task at hand.

We will conclude our look at "Pictures At Eleven" with this song. If you have the album then you know how good it is, if you don't, I suggest to you to check it out. Not to cause an uproar, but I feel that Robert's singing on "Pictures..." is the best his voice has ever been. It's so smooth, so well balanced. The emotional level is right there, and the delivery is always perfect.

There are only eight songs on this album, we've looked at three of them. The other five are all very good songs, ranging from hard rock to ballads and all points in between. One quick note, when Robert released the 12 inch single for "Burning Down One Side" and "Moonlight In Samosa", a third song was added that was not released on the album. Titled "Far Post", it was an up tempo song that could have been included, but, for whatever reason, wasn't. "Far Post" was a good song, and I wish it would see the light of day on CD, as my turntable is broke.

Hope you've enjoyed this little glance back at Robert's solo career, we'll get back to Zeppelin for a bit, then something REAL controversial is in store. Ooh, can't wait. All you flamers out there, get out the blowtorch and start warming them up.

Till the next time,

Rock on,


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