Given that many reviewers and fans have referred to Bob Dylan as “the voice of a generation,” he could easily serve as a benchmark for any budding lyricist or artist. Although Dylan himself wasn’t very appreciative of the comment, millions of people nevertheless found his gift for writing lyrics to be admirable.
When an artist aspires to Bob’s level but is actually a rock icon rather than an aspiring rocker, things may become a little more tricky. After all, Robert Plant has captivated many people via his work with Led Zeppelin and his solo career, so the typical rock fan probably doesn’t require an introduction.
However, after selling millions of records, becoming famous all over the globe, and being chosen as the “rock god” by other rockers, he still felt insecure about not having the same influence as Dylan. The rock star had just spoken to Rolling Stone three years prior, during the height of the epidemic, when he was 72 years old, so these concerns weren’t decades old either.
When Robert conducted the interview, he was preparing to release an anthology CD called “Digging Deep: Subterranea” in 2020. He was remastering some previously unheard songs as well as old songs from Led Zeppelin and his solo career. He so attributed his influence to Bob’s when talking about the album and making the sarcastic comment that the person who had recorded it sounded like he didn’t have a social life.
None of the songs on the album could live up to the standards of Bob Dylan’s hit, “Masters of War,” the singer claimed, even though he had faith in his words and compositions. He also pointed out the doubts that lay behind each tune. In any case, Robert was happy with his work and delighted that it had been casually created in a typical studio on the Welsh border.
Robert Plant’s statement on his compilation album:
“When I listen to it, I wonder whether the guy who was singing and writing the lyrics ever had a rest. I mean, did he ever take a vacation? What on earth was going on? And why didn’t he just shut the f*ck up for a while and learn something new, like applied mathematics or astronomy? But yeah, [Digging Deep] just rolls with so much gusto.
It’s pretty confident, except for, really, underneath it all, maybe it was never confident; it was just throwing another spanner into the works to see where the shards would take me. None of these songs are going to match [Bob Dylan’s] ‘Masters of War’ or something like that. They’re songs from the moment that they were born in some rehearsal room on the Welsh borders, I guess.”
As for the singer himself, he didn’t believe his anthology record would have the significance of a single track from Bob’s career because of the simplicity of their recordings and how everything came into play easily. However, it may be up to your taste to judge whether Robert did match the impact of Dylan’s.