Robert Plant is one of the greatest vocalists in rock history.
I don’t think you’d find many arguing against that statement, but people will misread it so I will say it again.
Robert Plant is one of the greatest vocalists in rock history.
The Led Zeppelin front man could seemingly do anything with his instrument, adding power, subtlety, passion, anger and every emotion in between, to their music. Sometimes, when listening to Led Zeppelin, I’ll skip back to hear parts again, especially if I’m driving. I know a lot of his vocals were doubled on iconic songs, and they’re easy to find, but the raw performances that he was able to produce were just magic. The vocal giant has a new album on the way, Carry Fire (out on October 13 and available here), and whilst it’s a special album, I wanted to go back in time a bit. Now I know you’ll have your spine tingling Robert Plant moments, but if you’d indulge me, I’d like to share my 7 Robert Plant spine-tinglers with you.
Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Presence - 1976)
Turn it up, close your eyes, and lose yourself in a sonically brilliant version of this Zep classic. Robert Plant just oozes swagger, sex, and groove on a song about a man looking for deliverance from his perceived sins. Huge fan of this one.
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (Led Zeppelin – 1969)
A cover song, originally done by Anne Bredon, is a monster in the hands of Led Zeppelin. The beautifully gentle beginnings showcase the delicacy of Plant’s voice, juxtaposed with his gruff howls and screams. This runs the full gamut of his abilities, and the control he has to switch between styles is one of the reasons he’s revered to this day.
Since I’ve Been Loving You (Led Zeppelin III – 1970)
This is another wonderful example of Robert’s power and control. So dim the lights, light an incense stick, slump in your beanbag, and be swept away in this story. I mean holy shit, we don’t have this anymore do we? A guy just baring his soul in the most incredible vocal way possible. Like an actor will conjure up feeling and a headspace to get the right performance, I wonder what techniques Robert used back then? 4:55 into this epic there’s the pause before he launches into a barking plea. I would say this is my all-time favourite studio performance of his.
The Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin III – 1970)
I love this performance of Plant’s because of the sheer power he possesses. Those ah-aahhhhhh-ah parts just give you goosebumps and amp you up every damn time. It’s a helluva battle cry. This is one of the songs that influenced so many singers to get that balance of harsh and clean vocal abilities. Chris Cornell comes to mind when listening to this one.
In My Time Of Dying (Physical Graffiti – 1975)
At over 11 minutes long, this is the longest Led Zeppelin studio-recorded song, but somehow it never feels that long due to time changes, it’s more like 3 different songs in one. The reason I vibe on this is because no matter which direction the song goes in, Plant is there with the rest of them, using his instrument as it was intended, to feed and serve the song, not be above the song.
Going To California (Led Zeppelin IV – 1971)
Plant’s largely clean vocal in this song is what gives it it’s strength. Much how I wrote about his voice feeding and serving the song previously, that’s exactly what he does again here. His voice was a perfect conduit to another time, another world, remaining timeless. You could expect someone to write a song like that today, but ultimately, it would be a contrived throwback, whereas this was what was happening at the time, it was in the moment. Great performance.
Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin IV – 1971)
It would simply be remiss of me, or anyone, not to include Plant’s performance on Stairway in an article like this. This is the introduction that so many new listeners had to Led Zeppelin. This is the one that people sing along to and try to figure out what the hell old mate is actually singing about. It showcases yet again how Robert was able to flow effortlessly between genres, modes, and styles, leaving all imitators in his wake.
There’s no doubt we could sit here ALL DAMN DAY talking about what are his best songs, but it’s not about that, it’s about what moves YOU, what speaks to YOU and how some songs will just urge you to close your eyes and soak in his voice. What are your spin tingling Robert Plant moments? Have you found some on his solo records or the new songs already released from forthcoming Carry Fire?
Check out our exclusive interview with the great man here.
We use the information that you provide about others to enable us to send them your gifts or cards. We will not disclose personal information about or send promotional material to these recipients unless they have requested it.
The information we collect in connection with our online forums and communities is used to provide an interactive experience. We use this information to facilitate participation in these online forums and communities and, from time to time, to offer you products, programs, or services. When you enter an online forum or community please be aware that information you disclose in these areas, for example your email address, can be collected and used by people you do not know. This may result in unsolicited messages being sent to you by other people or organisations.
We sometimes use the non-personally identifiable information that we collect to improve the design and content of our site and to enable us to personalise your Internet experience. We also may use this information in the aggregate to analyse site usage, as well as to offer you products, programs, or services.
We will disclose information we maintain when required to do so by law, for example, in response to a court order or a subpoena. We also may disclose such information in response to a law enforcement agency's request.
Agents and contractors of WMA who have access to personally identifiable information are required to protect this information in a manner that is consistent with this Privacy Notice by, for example, not using the information for any purpose other than to carry out the services they are performing for WMA.
Although we take appropriate measures to safeguard against unauthorised disclosures of information, we cannot assure you that personally identifiable information that we collect will never be disclosed in a manner that is inconsistent with this Privacy Notice. Inadvertent disclosures may result, for example, when third parties misrepresent their identities in asking the site for access to personally identifiable information about themselves for purposes of correcting possible factual errors in the data or in the event that unauthorised persons breach our security systems.
If the WMA site discloses personally identifiable information to companies not affiliated with WMA who want to market products or services to you, it will provide you with an opportunity to opt out or block such uses.
WMA may on occasion combine information we receive online with outside records to enhance our ability to market to you those products or services that may be of interest to you. If you prefer not to receive marketing information from this site, click here for instructions on how to make your request.
The WMA site will not use or transfer personally identifiable information provided to us in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you with an opportunity to opt out of these unrelated uses.
Finally, if you receive promotional material from WMA about us or our affiliates and do not wish to receive it any longer, you can request that we remove your information from our mailing lists by emailing us at email@example.com. Please allow us 7 days to amend our records. If you have provided your details directly to another Warner Music Group site, you may also have to notify that site directly.
Collection of Information by Third-Party Sites and Sponsors
Some of our sites contain links to other sites whose information practices may be different to ours. Visitors should consult the other sites' privacy notices as we have no control over information that is submitted to, or collected by, these third parties.
The WMA site sometimes may offer contests or promotions that are sponsored by or co-sponsored with identified third parties. By virtue of their sponsorship, these third parties may obtain personally identifiable information that visitors voluntarily submit to participate in the contest or promotion. WMA has no control over or responsibility for the third-party sponsors' use of this information. The WMA site will notify you at the time of requesting personally identifiable information if third-party sponsors will obtain such information.
To enhance your experience with our sites, our web page may use "cookies." Cookies are text files we place in your computer's browser to store your preferences. Cookies, by themselves, do not tell us your e-mail address or other personally identifiable information unless you choose to provide this information to us by, for example, registering at one of our sites. However, once you choose to furnish the site with personally identifiable information, this information may be linked to the data stored in the cookie.
Our Commitment to Security
We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorised access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information we collect online.
To protect your privacy and security, we will take reasonable steps to help verify your identity before granting access or making corrections.
If you wish to have your personal information deleted from our records, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavour to delete it unless we need to keep it for legal reasons.
Children under the age of 16 should not submit any material (particularly personal information) to this site. Children should ask their parent or guardian to submit any material on their behalf, including for the following: