Robert Plant – Fate of Nations (1993), A Legendary Rock Album

‘Fate of Nations’ is the title of the sixth studio album by ex-Led Zeppelin singer and frontman Robert Plant on 25 May 1993 through his own, independent label Es Paranza Records in North America. Overseas, the album was released through Fontana Records.

Robert Plant – Fate of Nations (1993), frontal cover artwork. Image source:

The LP was produced by Plant in collaboration with British producer Chris Hughes. The guitarist with whom Plant had collaborated for this album was ex-Cutting Crew member Kevin MacMichael. The album was recorded between 1992 and 1993 at RAK Studios and Sawmills Studio in Cornwall as well as Monnow Valley Studio in Monmouth in Wales. ‘Fate of Nations’ is the last solo Robert Plant studio album before his comeback with ‘Dreamland’ in 2002.

On the album, Robert Plant stated the following:

From the very beginning of this project, around January 1991, right after the Manic Nirvana tour, I knew what I was going to do: go back into my past, listening to [Moby] Grape, the [Jefferson] Airplane, Tim Hardin, Quicksilver, Traffic, and other turning-point artists in rock. These people were trying to tell the listener something, joining various traditions, with the sense of a quest being insinuated and bandied in their acoustic and electronic themes. I’m also proud of what I’ve attempted to do lyrically [on the album], trying to tell vivid tales that come from a hearty tradition of prose.

Artistically, it is a very interesting, tremendously catchy, dreamy, and passionate mixture of classic rock, hard rock, folk rock, and alternative rock with tints of world music here and there, especially Egyptian influences (prevalent, most notably, during the first part of the album). As it is characteristic to almost any (if not all) Robert Plant studio albums, the record adorns of hints and allegations related to spirituality, destiny (or fate, as the title of the LP pretty much says it all in the beginning), mysticism, memory, hope, and soulful romance.

In terms of tracklisting, the original edition of the album consisted of 14 songs as follows:

  1. Calling to You;
  2. Down to the Sea;
  3. Come Into My Life;
  4. I Believe;
  5. 29 Palms;
  6. Memory Song (Hello Hello);
  7. If I Were a Carpenter;
  8. Colours of a Shade (UK edition);
  9. Promised Land;
  10. The Greatest Gift;
  11. Great Spirit;
  12. Network News.

During the year when it was released, the album also produced 4 singles as follows:

  1. I Believe;
  2. If I Were A Carpenter;
  3. Calling To You;
  4. 29 Palms.

All 4 of the above songs also have music videos which are uploaded on Robert Plant’s official Youtube channel. ‘I Believe’ is Robert Plant’s tribute to his late son Karac Pendragon, who passed away at the age of 5 due to a stomach virus. In 2007, Rhino Records released a remastered version of the album with 5 additional tracks (also known as bonus tracks):

  • Colours of a Shade;
  • Great Spirit (acoustic mix);
  • Rollercoaster (demo);
  • 8:05;
  • Dark Moon (acoustic).

‘Great Spirit’ is, in particular, a song of extremely valuable interest to me as it clearly points to Native American spirituality, which, since my early twenties onwards, has really intrigued and fascinated me tremendously. The previously unreleased demo ‘Rollercoaster’ has also been one of my sturdiest Robert Plant songs, especially when I listen to it at night.

‘Fate of Nations’ was well to very well received by critics, with specialized music magazines such as AllMusic giving it 3 stars out of 5, Music Box 4 stars out of 5, and Rolling Stone 4 stars out of 5 as well. Commercially, the album proved to be quite successful, especially in the United States, where the R.I.A.A. certified it gold with 500,000 certified units/sales recorded in the American music market. The album also rose to position number 6 in the British weekly album charts (OCC – i.e. Official Charts Company). These achievements, in my humble opinion, cement the album’s status as legendary, at least in my view.

For this album, Robert had collaborated with many musicians, among others, most notably Maartin Allcock (mandolin), Moya Brennan (backing vocals), Nigel Kennedy (violin), or Nigel Eaton (hurdy-gurdy).

Last but not least, the frontal cover artwork clearly sends out a very important message to the audience, more specifically ‘what world do we intend to offer our children to live in?’, referencing climate change which definitely isn’t a hoax and should be taken very seriously by us, humans.

Down below you can listen to the album integrally via Youtube. I truly hope you will like it! Last but not least, thank you very much for your attention, time, and readership! All the best, much health, take care, stay safe, many blessings, and great peace your way! God bless you and rock on! 😊🙏✌️☮️🤘

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