Raising Sand

Last updated
Raising Sand
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand.png
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 23, 2007 (2007-10-23)
StudioSound Emporium, Nashville; Electro Magnetic and The Village Recorder, Los Angeles, Stage & Sound, Hollywood
Genre Americana, folk, country, country rock
Length57:13
Label Rounder, Zoë
Producer T Bone Burnett
Robert Plant chronology
Nine Lives
(2006)
Raising Sand
(2007)
Band of Joy
(2010)
Alison Krauss chronology
Lonely Runs Both Ways
(2004)
Raising Sand
(2007)
Essential Alison Krauss
(2009)
Singles from Raising Sand
  1. "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)"
    Released: 2007
  2. "Please Read the Letter"
    Released: 2008
  3. "Rich Woman"
    Released: 2008

Raising Sand is a Grammy-award winning collaboration album by rock singer Robert Plant and bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss. It was released on October 23, 2007 by Rounder Records. Raising Sand won Album of the Year at the 2008 Americana Music Honors & Awards and at the 2009 Grammy Awards.

Contents

Reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic 87/100 [1]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [2]
Blender Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Now Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [4]
The Observer Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]
Paste Magazine Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [6]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Uncut Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [8]

The album met with critical acclaim, earning an average score of 87 from reviews compiled by Metacritic. [9] It ranked at #24 on Rolling Stone's December 17, 2007 listing of the year's top 50 albums. [10] Being There called it "one of the year’s very best". [11] Allmusic hailed it "one of the most effortless-sounding pairings in modern popular music", but stated that some songs "(felt) like (they were) tossed off". [2] JamBase called the album "subtle, focused and full of life" and said that it was "highly recommended". [12] Village Voice described it as "powerfully evocative" and "utterly foreign, oddly familiar, and deeply gratifying." [13]

The songs on Raising Sand were handpicked by producer T Bone Burnett. Entertainment Weekly described the selection as "eclectic", [14] while Village Voice said, "Burnett flaunts his typical curatorial genius with a whole set of 'have we met before?' tunes." [13]

The musical quality was also praised. The BBC described Krauss's fiddle as "coruscating" and "raw", [15] while Music Box said Krauss "exceeds all expectations". [16] The BBC said the musicians "make this a stunning, dark, brooding collection, comparable in tone to Daniel Lanois' masterful job on Dylan's Time Out Of Mind ." [15]

Critics praised Krauss and Plant's vocals; one critic saying that the "key to the magic is the delicious harmony vocals of the unlikely duo". [17] Various critics described Krauss's vocals as "spellbinding", "honey-sweet", "weepy", "saccharine", and "haunting". [15] [17] [18] Plant's vocals were described as "orgasmic" and "slithering". [13] [18]

"Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)" was released as a single and won the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 50th Grammy Awards and was nominated for the Americana Award for "Song of the Year". The song "Killing the Blues" was #51 on Rolling Stone 's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007. [19]

On February 8, 2009, the album won all five awards for which it was nominated at the 51st Grammy Awards: Album of the Year; Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album; Record of the Year (for "Please Read the Letter"); Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (for "Rich Woman"); and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (for "Killing the Blues"). [20] [21] Raising Sand was the second of three country albums to win Album of the Year, following Dixie Chicks's Taking the Long Way and preceding Taylor Swift's Fearless .

The album was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Prize in the UK.

In December 2009, Rhapsody ranked the album #2 on its "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" list. [22] The online music service also called it one of their favorite cover albums of all time. [23]

"Raising Sand is my album of the century," said singer Lily Allen. "I love the whole folky and bluegrass sound. There's one track called 'Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us', which sounds like an epic funeral march: it's haunting and spooky, and Alison Krauss's voice can just make you shiver. Then there's 'Please Read the Letter', which just has such an honest and open sentiment, it's disarming. I'd love to do an album like that." [24]

Chart performance

The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling about 112,000 copies in its first week, the highest chart position for either artists' solo work, although Plant had previously reached #1 several times with Led Zeppelin. [25] Raising Sand was certified platinum by the RIAA on March 4, 2008. [26] [27] After the album's success at the 2009 Grammy Awards, the album topped the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart and Top Internet Albums chart for the first time on the week of February 28, 2009. The album also hit the top of Canadian Top Country Albums, and also peaked at #2 in Billboard Top Country Albums, being stuck behind part of 35 weeks non-consecutive chart topping Fearless by country singer Taylor Swift. Selling 77,000 copies on a 715% increase, Raising Sand jumped 69-2 on the Billboard 200. [28]

The album entered the Top 5 on the UK Albums Chart, going on to reach #2 in January 2, 2008. [29]

Follow-up album

According to Ken Irwin of Rounder Records, and producer Burnett, the duo started work on a second album in 2009. [30]

"To be 61 and faced with the 'difficult second album' is quite a phenomenon…" Plant observed in 2009. "We'd finished everything in ten days in Nashville, and I rented a car and went down the Natchez Trace to Oxford, Mississippi, across to Clarksdale and down into Helena, Arkansas, looking for those ghosts… and thought to myself, 'How can this be? I've just been with complete strangers, recorded 12 amazing tracks, had a fantastic time, and now I'm headed for the Mississippi Delta.'" [31]

In a 2010 interview, Plant indicated that the follow-up sessions were unsuccessful. [32]

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Rich Woman" Dorothy LaBostrie, McKinley Millet 4:04
2."Killing the Blues" Roly Jon Salley 4:16
3."Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" Sam Phillips 3:26
4."Polly Come Home" Gene Clark 5:36
5."Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" The Everly Brothers 3:33
6."Through the Morning, Through the Night" Gene Clark 4:01
7."Please Read the Letter" Charlie Jones, Michael Lee, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant 5:53
8."Trampled Rose" Kathleen Brennan, Tom Waits 5:34
9."Fortune Teller" Allen Toussaint 4:30
10."Stick With Me Baby" Mel Tillis 2:50
11."Nothin'" Townes Van Zandt 5:33
12."Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson" Milton Campbell 4:02
13."Your Long Journey" Doc Watson, Rosa Lee Watson3:55

Personnel

Additional musicians

Production

Charts

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Ireland (IRMA) [65] Platinum15,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ) [66] Platinum15,000^
Russia (NFPF) [67] Gold10,000*
Sweden (GLF) [68] Platinum40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [69] 2× Platinum600,000^
United States (RIAA) [70] Platinum1,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI) [71] Platinum1,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

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