Raising Sand

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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
GenreAmericana, folk, country, country rock
LabelRounder, Zoë
ProducerT Bone Burnett
Robert Plant chronology
Nine Lives
Raising Sand
Band of Joy
Alison Krauss chronology
Lonely Runs Both Ways
Raising Sand
Essential Alison Krauss
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.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]
Blender4/5 stars [3]
Now3/5 stars [4]
The Observer4/5 stars [5]
Paste Magazine4/5 stars [6]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars [7]
Uncut5/5 stars [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[edit]

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 2nd 2008.[29]

Follow-up album[edit]

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[edit]

1."Rich Woman"Dorothy LaBostrie, McKinley Millet4:04
2."Killing the Blues"Roly Jon Salley4:16
3."Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us"Sam Phillips3:26
4."Polly Come Home"Gene Clark5:36
5."Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)"The Everly Brothers3:33
6."Through the Morning, Through the Night"Gene Clark4:01
7."Please Read the Letter"Charlie Jones, Michael Lee, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant5:53
8."Trampled Rose"Kathleen Brennan, Tom Waits5:34
9."Fortune Teller"Allen Toussaint4:30
10."Stick With Me Baby"Mel Tillis2:50
11."Nothin'"Townes Van Zandt5:33
12."Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson"Milton Campbell4:02
13."Your Long Journey"Doc Watson, Rosa Lee Watson3:55


Additional musicians[edit]



Chart (2007–08) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[33] 45
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[34] 31
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[35] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[36] 12
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[37] 22
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[38] 26
French Albums (SNEP)[39] 49
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[40] 23
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[41] 3
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[42] 1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[43] 74
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[44] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[45] 2
US Billboard 200[46] 2


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Ireland (IRMA)[47] Platinum 15,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[48] Platinum 15,000^
Russia (NFPF)[49] Gold 10,000*
Sweden (GLF)[50] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[52] Platinum 1,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[53] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Raising Sand by Robert Plant And Alison Krauss". Metacritic. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Raising Sand' > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  3. ^ "Raising Sand > Review". Blender. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008.
  4. ^ Perlich, Tim. "Raising Sand > Review". Now.
  5. ^ Spencer, Neil Spencer (October 2007). "Raising Sand > Review". The Observer.
  6. ^ Whitman, Andy. "Raising Sand > Review". Paste Magazine (37). Archived from the original on December 28, 2007.
  7. ^ "Raising Sand > Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007.
  8. ^ Scoppa, Bud. "Raising Sand > Review". Uncut.
  9. ^ Robert Plant And Alison Krauss: Raising Sand (2007): Reviews, Metacritic
  10. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 2007"[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Miller, Adam D. "Raising Sand - Robert Plant/Alison Krauss" Archived 2008-12-10 at the Wayback Machine. Being There. Retrieved March 8, 2008
  12. ^ Cook, Dennis. "Robert Plant | Alison Krauss: Raising Sand". JamBase. November 12, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  13. ^ a b c Cavalieri, Nate. "Robert Plant & Alison Krauss's Raising Sand: A whole lotta desolate, evocative, engrossing love". Village Voice. October 16, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  14. ^ "Raising Sand (2007) Alison Krauss, Robert Plant". Entertainment Weekly. October 26, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  15. ^ a b c "Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand". BBC. October 29, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2008. Archived May 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Robert Plant/Alison Krauss - Raising Sand". Music Box. October 23, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  17. ^ a b "Raising Sand". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2008. Archived March 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ a b "Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raing Sand (sic)". Blender Magazine. October 23, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  19. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2007" Rolling Stone. December 11, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2007. Archived December 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Grammys". Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2009.
  21. ^ MTV News Staff (2009-02-08). "Grammy 2009 Winners List". MTV. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  22. ^ "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" Retrieved 12 January 2010. Archived January 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Rhapsody’s Favorite Covers Albums Referenced August 1, 2010 Archived July 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Albums of the century". Q. No. 282. January 2010. p. 93.
  25. ^ Hasty, Katie. "Underwood Leads Three Country Debuts Onto Chart", Billboard. October 31, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
  26. ^ "RIAA Searchable Database". RIAA. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
  27. ^ "Alison Krauss/Robert Plant go platinum". Country Standard Time. March 20, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
  28. ^ Hasty, Katie. "Swift Back To No. 1 As Plant/Krauss, Coldplay Soar", Billboard. February 18, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
  29. ^ "OFFICIAL ALBUMS CHART RESULTS MATCHING". Official Charts. July 2019.
  30. ^ Daniel Kreps (2009-02-13). "Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Working On "Raising Sand" Follow-Up". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  31. ^ Doyle, Tom (January 2010). "Artists of the century". Q. No. 282. p. 88.
  32. ^ Mansfield, Brian (September 14, 2010). "Robert Plant loves to dig in America's rich musical soil". USA Today.
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  40. ^ "Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: Raising Sand" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
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  45. ^ "Robert Plant & Alison Krauss | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  46. ^ "Robert Plant Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  47. ^ "Irish album certifications – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  48. ^ "Official Top 40 Albums - 21 April 2008". NZ Top 40. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
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  50. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2008" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  51. ^ "British album certifications – Robert Plant & Allison Krauss – Raising Sand Times". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 May 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Raising Sand Times in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
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External links[edit]