Next to “Big Log”, “29 Palms” is probably the one solo release that I hear everywhere–in stores, at the market, in the elevator, on TV. So we might as well talk about it some more.
Robert Plant’s way with interpreting songs doesn’t stop with other people’s songs. He’s tinkered with a few of his own with interesting effect. He manages to take a song that was good already and make it something new and different and perhaps more intriguing. During 2006 we saw “29 Palms” crop up during the Mighty Rearranger tour with it’s own rearrangement.
Here are three versions of “29 Palms” done live for your enjoyment.
The first version was performed in June, 1993 not long after its release on the “Fate of Nations” album. The song is still pretty true to form. It’s full of swagger and bravado and a sense of c’est la vie.
Thirteen years later, in March 2006, the song reemerges in France. Now it’s a slowed down noirish outpouring of moody reflection. It’s quite different from the original and casts a new, albeit darker, light on a “crazy situation”.
Add another two years and we hear yet another working of the song in May of 2008, this time with Alison Krauss. The song has taken a little sidestep this time. It’s still moody but has more of a swampy, bonhomie attitude. By adding Alison Krauss on backing vocals it becomes more of a storytelling event.
I think my favorite of the three is the Zenith interpretation. I like that dark, slowed down feel to it. Robert has a bit of a lean toward dark and moody in lyrics now and then, and I think this treatment makes “29 Palms” one of those.
Listen (click the triangle to start the player)
June 1993 in Holland
6.0mb mp3 5:16
March 2006 in France with Strange Sensation
5.6mb mp3 6:08
May 2008 in UK with Alison Krauss
7.2mb mp3 5:13
Posted in Now and Zen |