Thursday, January 28, 2016

Songoftheday 1/28/16 - I'm like a strange cat running in the heat of the night, I've got a fire in my eyes got a date with delight...


"Tall Cool One" - Robert Plant
from the album Now and Zen (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's song of the day comes from Robert Plant, who had carved a respectable solo career after the dissolution of Led Zeppelin. He had already racked up a third solo top-40 hit with "Little By Little". In 1988 Plant released his fourth solo album, Now and Zen. After the first radio single "Heaven Knows" topped the rock chart for six weeks, the next selection "Ship Of Fools" landed at #3 on the rock list and was a minor pop hit at #84. It was the third release from the record, "Tall Cool One", that got pop radio noticing. Of course sampling a whole slew of Led Zep songs in the mix, including former bandmate Jimmy Page redoing the "Whole Lotta Love" slide. Written by Plant with Phil Johnstone, it was his 'hardest' pop solo hit to date...


"Tall Cool One" became Robert's fourth and so-far last top-40 pop hit in America in July of 1988. The song also climbed to #1 for four weeks on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart. Internationally, the song just missed the top 40 in Australia at #46. Three more tracks from Now and Zen also reached the rock chart as well.

In 1990, Plant put out Manic Nirvana, also with Johnstone, and returned to the top of the rock chart with "Hurting Kind", which barely missed the American Top-40 at #46. Three years later came Fate Of Nations, which put him back in the top-40 in the UK with "29 Palms", one of three top-10 rock hits from the set. In the mid-90's, Plant officially reunited with Page for a pair of albums, one live and one studio, that made top-ten business on the album chart, and scored him another #1 rock hit with "Most High" in 1998. Going back to his solo work, he last graced the British top-40 in 2005 with "Shine It All Around", which also was his most recent American rock hit at #18. His 2007 collaboration with bluegrass great Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, which won Album of the Year at the 2007 Grammy Awards. Plant's most recent solo album, Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar, reached #10 on Billboard's Albums chart in 2014.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Plant co-opted the song to shill Coke that same year...


 ...and here's Robert (with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin) performing "Tall Cool One" live at the Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary gig in 1988...


...and finally, from a show in 2002...


Up tomorrow: A pop singer/songwriter clings to the evenings.

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