Legendary rock singer and composer Robert Plant first gained notoriety as Led Zeppelin’s lead vocalist. He is well-known for both his engaging onstage presence and his strong, diverse vocal range. Rock & roll was undoubtedly shaped by Plant, who also served as an inspiration for a large number of performers.
Plant’s ability to meld diverse genres and styles, such as blues, folk, and hard rock, has contributed to the development of rock & roll. His poetry lyrics, which frequently probed themes of love, sorrow, and the paranormal, were another of his most notable talents. Plant distinguished himself from other singers of his age and laid the path for subsequent generations of rock vocalists with his vocal delivery, which combined screaming and singing.
He may have been the quintessential rock ‘n’ roll God, but what truly mattered was his intangible insight.
They were innovators, and going over the line is expected when you’re ushering in a new era of music. Led Zeppelin entered the world of heavy metal blindfolded, with essentially just Black Sabbath to guide them. For the most part, though, they blazed the way like real pioneering progenitors at the top of their game.
Three tracks stand out for Plant as the pinnacle of their abilities during this tumultuous voyage. He told Rolling Stone, “[‘Kashmir’], ‘All My Love’ and ‘In the Light really were the finest moments.”
Robert once said, “I realized what Led Zeppelin was about around the end of our first US tour. We started off not even on the bill in Denver, and by the time we got to New York we were second to Iron Butterfly, and they didn’t want to go on!” It was him realizing the song’s energy.
They discovered along the way that their sense of drama was the aspect that made them such a terrifying force. While this might have been carried to “pompous” heights sometimes, with ‘Kashmir‘ – certainly Plant’s fave Led Zep track. During his interview with Louder Sound, he told, “I wish we were remembered for ‘Kashmir’ more than ‘Stairway to Heaven’, It’s so right; there’s nothing overblown, no vocal hysterics. Perfect Zeppelin.”
The sumptuous “All My Love” can be compared to this sentiment. At the sudden passing of his Karac in 1977, Plant put his everything into writing this anthem. About the song, he told, “It was just paying tribute to the joy that [Karac] gave us as a family, and in a crazy way, still does. I was a little worried about the [‘All My Love’] chorus.I could just imagine people doing the wave and all of that. And I thought ‘That is not us. That is not us’.”
The last track in Plant’s top three, “In the Light,” epitomizes the band’s inventiveness and exploration. He told, “Once the vocal lines and phrasing were sorted out, you’d know where not to play, which was as important as knowing when you should play. With ‘In The Light,’ for instance, we knew exactly what its construction was going to be. Nevertheless, I had no idea at the time that John Paul Jones was going to come up with such an amazing synthesizer intro, plus there’s all the bowed guitars at the beginning as well, to give the overall drone effect. We did quite a few things with drones on, like ‘In The Evening’ and all that, but when he did that start for ‘In The Light’ it was just unbelievable.”
You can tell that the band is uber-alles defending the song in each of these instances. When technique and evolution served the music’s poetry rather than the other way around, this is when they were at their greatest. As Page once said, “The thing about Led Zeppelin was that it was four musicians at the top of their game, but they could play like a band.”