Please Read the Letter

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"Please Read the Letter"
Song by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant from the album Walking Into Clarksdale
Recorded 1998
Genre Rock
Length 4:21
Label Atlantic (US) Mercury
Writer Charlie Jones, Michael Lee, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
Producer Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
Walking Into Clarksdale track listing
"Blue Train"
(4)
"Please Read the Letter" "Most High"
(6)

"Please Read the Letter" is a song originally recorded by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page for the 1998 album Walking into Clarksdale.[1] It was released as the second single of the album.

Plant and Alison Krauss later recorded a version of the song for their collaboration album Raising Sand. The song was well received by critics, and won the Record of the Year award at the 2009 Grammy Awards.[2]The song features in the closing moments of the final episode of the USA TV show The Riches.

Music and lyrics[edit]

"Please Read the Letter" is in the folk rock genre.[3]

Plant explained that "Please Read the Letter" is a song about yearning for someone, adding that the lyrics are about "unfinished business".[4]

Release[edit]

A music video for the single was released in 2008. It was shot in a 1905-built house in South Los Angeles.[4] The music video was nominated for Wide Open Country Video of the Year at the 2009 CMT Music Awards.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss version[edit]

"Please Read the Letter"
Single by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
from the album Raising Sand
Released 2008
Format CD single, Digital download
Recorded 2007
Genre Folk rock, country
Length 5:55
Label Rounder
Writer(s) Charlie Jones, Michael Lee, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
Music video
"Please Read the Letter" at CMT.com
Robert Plant singles chronology
"Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)"
(2007)
"Please Read the Letter"
(2008)
"Rich Woman"
(2008)
Alison Krauss singles chronology
"Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)"
(2007)
"Please Read the Letter"
(2008)
"Rich Woman"
(2008)
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' "Please Read The Letter" from Raising Sand

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Chart performance[edit]

Plant and Krauss' version of the song initially failed to chart, but after winning the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, the song entered the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart at #20 (the virtual equivalent to #120 on the Hot 100) in 2009.

Chart (2009) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 102
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100[5] 20

Critical reviews[edit]

The song has been well received by critics. Chris Jones, in his review for the BBC, felt that the version by Plant and Krauss is "completely improved" from the original track.[6] Thom Jurek wrote for Allmusic: "Slow, plodding, almost crawling, Krauss' harmony vocal takes it to the next step, adds the kind of lonesome depth that makes this a song whispered under a starless sky rather than just another lost love song."[7]

Track listing[edit]

2008 US CD single (Rounder RPAK102-R1)
  1. "Please Read the Letter" (Radio Edit) (Jones, Lee, Page, Plant) – 3:47
  2. "Please Read the Letter" (Jones, Lee, Page, Plant) – 5:55

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (2007-08-03). "Plant, Krauss Cover Everlys, Waits On New Album". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved 2009-01-12. [dead link]
  2. ^ MTV News Staff (2009-02-08). "Grammy 2009 Winners List". MTV. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  3. ^ "Raising Sand". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2009-01-12. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b Halperin, Shirley (2008-02-20). "A Tale of Two Singers". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 500. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 
  6. ^ Jones, Chris (2007-10-19). "Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: Raising Sand". BBC. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  7. ^ "Raising Sand: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-12-08.