After a very hectic and sporadic existence these past few weeks it’s time to join the fracas that is Muenster Mash. Yep, that’s where we here at WMMCM distill our knowledge of all that is rock n’ roll into a tiny little package with a weird name.
Not just any name mind you, we only go for the best. And, that’s how we ended up with Muenster Mash. You see, Muenster is a pretty good cheese and we wouldn’t have it any other way around here. So, for today’s foray into musical madness in going to be in league with the I15 freeway while I passionately drive through the city of San Bernardino. (Or something like that.)
Well, by the summer of 1983, Robert Plant had not been a member of Led Zeppelin for nearly three years and he was looking for something to do. That something would normally be called – a solo career. The year before, Plant had released his first “solo” album, Pictures at Eleven, and it was good. In fact it even had a pretty big hit with the single, “Burning Down One Side,” which made it to the sixty-third spot on the US charts while the album was a respectable number five seller.
Why isn’t former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant’s first “solo” album not really quite a “solo” album? Well, the drummer on that first hit single was none other than Phil Collins of Genesis. In fact Collins played drums on six of the album’s eight tracks with the remaining two being played by former Rainbow and Black Sabbath drummer, Cozy Powell
In 1983, anything with Phil Collins on it can not be considered a solo album. In fact in 1983, Phil Collins was on nearly everybody’s albums. Eric Clapton, Frida from ABBA, Phillip Bailey from Earth Wind and Fire, Adam Ant and so on. There was a several year long period in popular and rock music that Collins was either playing drums, singing, writing or producing seemingly everything you would hear that was not hair metal. (I think that got missed because even then Phil didn’t have any hair.) But, I digress.
So, at least in 1983 terms, it is difficult to describe Plant’s first solo album as a “solo” album with the then all encompassing Collins behind the drum throne.
After the success of Pictures at Eleven, Plant very quickly followed up with The Principle of Moments and his first top forty hit, “Big Log.” This is where the Muenster Mash part comes in.
The words “Big Log” are never used in the song for which we should all probably be thankful when you think about it. I’ve read the lyrics of course and heard the song an interminable number of times, especially in the early 80′s when it was on MTV high rotation. What I can tell you is that even in the summer of 1983 when “Big Log” was released and became a hit, it bored me to death… I freely admit that even when putting up the link to the video, I didn’t listen to it. I won’t listen to it.
Dom, doo, doo, doom… And then right to sleep…
Perhaps it should be praised for it’s medicinal qualities?
As I’m sure you can tell, I don’t like the song. It snoozed it’s way into becoming a hit and I have no clue as to why. Other than a lot of walking and looking, I have no idea what the heck this bizzarly named song is about?
“My love is in league with the freeway,
Its passion will ride, as the cities fly by.
And the tail-lights dissolve, in the coming of night
And the questions in thousands take flight
My love is a-miles in the waiting.”
Of all the things that my love might be in league with, a freeway is not one of them. Where do you go with this stuff? “Hey, nice center divider! Whoo, Hoo!”
“My love is exceedingly vivid
Red-eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles
Distance and longing, my thoughts do provide
Should I rest for a while at the side.”
Even trying, crawling actually, past these lyrics, other than a really vivid and possably thoughtful guy watching tail-lights going by while wandering through the desert for no particular reason, I have no idea what the heck he’s talking about.
“Your love is cradled in knowing
Eyes in the mirror, still expecting they’ll come
Sensing too well when the journey is done
There is no turning back.”
Question? Why should I care what he’s talking about?
When Robert Plant’s “Big Log,” – no snickering please – was a huge hit, a musician friend of mine said to me after watching the video. “I think Robert Plant has laid a big log on all of us.”
Well, there you go.