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Released: Sept. 14, 2010

Rating: 4.000 (average of 4 ratings)

Genre: pop

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Angel Dance
  2. House of Cards
  3. Central Two-O-Nine
  4. Silver Rider
  5. You Can’t Buy My Love
  6. Falling in Love Again
  7. The Only Sound That Matters
  8. Monkey
  9. Cindy, I’ll Marry You Someday
  10. Harm’s Swift Way
  11. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
  12. Even This Shall Pass Away

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Angel Dance (2010) --

Band of Joy
Robert Plant
“As long as Robert Plant is alive and murmuring, there will be those who take their Led Zeppelin worship so seriously that they’ll be satisfied with nothing less than a full-blown Zeppelin reunion tour.” SL “Zepheads got so tantalizingly close to that dream fulfillment back in 2007 when the band played the Ahmet Artegun tribute concert…but when it came time to a take it on the road…Plant balked.” SL “Not satisfied with his stature as one of the great innovators and heroes of pop music,” AZ he pursued “his unquenchable thirst for new songs and new sounds,” AZ letting “his curiosity guide him to unexplored territory.” AZ “Regardless of the inevitable disappointment among the Led Zep warriors, Plant’s decision…paid off.” SL He “was able to do a stylistic aboutface and rediscover his first love: American roots music” SL on “2007’s Raising Sand.” SL That “collaboration with Alison Krauss was a triumph on all levels, a critical and award-winning smash that found Plant more inspired as a vocalist than at any point in the last two decades.” SL

Now “Plant has the mike back all to himself on the new Band of Joy,” SL although “the great Patty Griffin is in the band to provide vocals, but she is, unlike Krauss before her, truly in an auxiliary role. Her presence is definitely felt, but her pristine harmony singing is simply another of the band’s backing instruments.” SL

Significantly, the album takes its name from “Robert Plant’s Black Country psychedelic folk group of the late ‘60s and his revival of its name and spirit in 2010 is of no small significance. Certainly, it’s an explicit suggestion that Plant is getting back to his roots, which is true to an extent: the original Band of Joy was unrecorded outside of a handful of demos, so there is no indication of whether this 2010 incarnation sounds anything at all like the ‘60s band but the communal vibe that pulsates throughout this album hearkens back to the age of hippies as much as it is an outgrowth of Raising Sand.” STE

“Blurred borders are commonplace on Band of Joy, where American and English folk meld, where the secular and sacred walk hand in hand, where the past is not past and the present is not rootless.” STE “This year has turned out to be the year of dusty revisionist Americana, much of it thanks to the man who produced Raising Sand, T-Bone Burnett, who has made gorgeous throwback records this year with Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and others. Band of Joy continues the trend, though Burnett is replaced here by the legendary Buddy Miller, the guitarist from the Raising Sand tour.” SL

“Miller’s encyclopedic knowledge of blues, folk, and gospel – along with his impeccable taste – is key to Band of Joy’s almighty musicality. It’s a collection of covers and traditional songs that, for the most part, you’ve probably never heard, and if you have, Plant and Miller see to it that you’ve never heard them like this. Miller was wise to only invite a handful of people to the party – besides Buddy and Patty, the new ‘Band of Joy’ features only Marco Giovino on drums, bluegrass mainstay Byron House on bass, and multi-instrumentalist genius Darrell Scott on mandos, banjos, and steels.” SL

“Plant finds fiercely original music within other people’s songs… digging back to find forgotten songs from the heyday of honky tonk and traditional folk tunes not often sung. Some of these songs feel like they’ve been around forever and some feel fresh, but not in conventional ways.” STE “Much of the wonder of Band of Joy lies in these inventive interpretations but the magic lies in the performances themselves.” STE

Band of Joy will, without question, go down as a companion piece to Raising Sand, as the two are of a highly similar vintage. Still, as the new record plunges into the shivering guitar waves and mandolin delirium of the opening Angel Dance, it’s clear that this is a ballsier animal. And when Plant fires off some bratty yelps a minute in, it seals the deal. It ain’t Zeppelin, but this sounds sweeter than anything you could’ve expected Plant to cook up at this stage, no matter whom he’s working with.” SL

“You can mark how much fun Plant is having on any given project by how many times he improvises ‘well well’ between verses, and on Band of Joy, he’s clearly enjoying himself. ‘Angel Dance’ is preposterously great, and the next tune, Richard Thompson’s House of Cards, borrows Jimmy Page’s ‘Moby Dick’ guitar tone, with a slinky dose of classic-Plant mojo that should light the bong of even the most ardent nostalgia trippers.” SL

“Plant experiments with a variety of folk exercises, including the only song here credited to Plant/Miller, Central Two-O-Nine, a strummy, bluesy train tune. There’s also Silver Rider, a Low cover, the album’s most ethereal song. It’s one that will recall the Plant/ Krauss duets, with Plant at his most ‘What Is and What Should Never Be’ whispery, though by the end of the tune, Miller is piling on a noisy, hypnotic guitar wash.” SL Both that song and the other Low cover (Monkey) “feel like ancient, unearthed backwoods laments.” STE

The “riotous” STEYou Can’t Buy My Love isn’t McCartney’s; it’s an obscure Barbara Lynn tune, but it sounds ‘64 enough, as the buzzing guitars do the hop with swinging toms while Plant reminds us that he is, after all, a guy who always knew how to shake it one time for Elvis.” SL

Falling in Love Again, another deeply mined find by the Kelly Brothers, is Plant offering up his most romantic croon, revisiting the sound he last mined this successfully as part of the Honeydrippers back in 1984. Cindy I’ll Marry You Someday is a goth-roots standard, arranged here with Scott’s ghostly banjo. Townes Van Zandt’s Harm’s Swift Way is given one of the record’s most straightforward folk-rock arrangements – very Wilbury-esque – and Plant lends these lovely lyrics the warm, cordial lilt they deserve.” SL

Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” shows up here, too, for you folks whose trajectory took you from Led Zeppelin to Uncle Tupelo. That tune is also on Willie Nelson’s record earlier this year, so the T-Bone Burnett/ Buddy Miller circle of influence is clear. Both Willie’s and Plant’s takes are given the haunted banjo treatment, but Plant’s is spookier, with more weight in the rhythm section.” SL

“The record ends with its noisiest tune, a layered, blippy, psychedelic track, Even This Shall Pass Away, which showcases Plant’s best 2010 rock-speak wail; it’s as if to conclude that Plant remains a curious explorer and that each of these trips is worth taking.” SL

“Never as austere as the clean, tasteful impressionism of Raising Sand, Band of Joy is bold and messy, teeming with life to its very core. It’s as a joyous a record as you’ll ever hear, a testament that the power of music lies not in its writing but in its performance.” STE “Plant's song selection and incomparable vocals make Band of Joy a new triumph;” AZ “by both reaching back and by yearning for a decorous new future, [this] is an album that matters.” SL

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

previous album: Raising Sand (2007) see DMDB studio albums page

Plant discusses the album.

Angel Dance

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Last updated September 27, 2010.