Primal Scream (Feat. Robert Plant), ‘Elimination Blues’ – Song Review
It's not quite accurate to say Primal Scream use Robert Plant for backing vocals on 'Elimination Blues.' The Led Zeppelin lead singer is more of an instrument, used to sweeten an experimental blues song. It's a bold move to ignore the temptation to put Plant in a starring role.
Anything else would have been a distraction. This song from the Scottish rock band's 'More Light' album (2013) is lyrically sparse and sonically similar to the deepest of the deep cuts from Zep's catalog -- like bootleg-live-show deep. The first sounds Plant makes are a moan that still has traces of his '70s rock glory. Perhaps only longtime fans of the band will recognize it.
Vocalist Bobby Gillespie sings about heartache between several masterful guitar and keyboard solos. His two-line phrases are scattered and disconnected but match the theme of the composition.
"Crying and stumbling baby / Hate to be alone," he sings at one point. Other lines include, "Screamin' in a hollering baby / She's broken up my home" and "Ooo the sky is crying baby / Rainin' tears of stone."
Plant joins in for the quasi chorus. "Long black hair / Eyes are brown / My baby's gone / She's leavin' town," the two men sing together repeatedly.
A chorus of "Ooo's" and "Ah-ha's" is more prominent than Plant's vocals, but not as important. Often a high-profile collaboration is more of statement than a song, but the 64-year-old becomes a member of Primal Scream for this track. Like a great theater actor he knows there are no small roles. Without his humble additions 'Elimination Blues' would be simply ordinary.