Robert Plant: Ten Highlights Of His Solo Career
If there was a Mount Rushmore for rock bands Led Zeppelin would definitely be on it. Yet, the lead singer of that band, Robert Plant, seems to fly under the radar. As celebrities go, he’s behind Roger Daltrey and Ringo Starr. Part of the problem is he’s basically a blues singer. In case you hadn’t noticed the blues isn’t exactly the kind of music the kids are listening to nowadays.
Robert Plant’s low profile has nothing to do with his live shows. The English crooner is a consummate performer. This summer, Plant and his new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, are touring the United States. Their trek begins June 20 in Dallas and ends July 27 in Brooklyn. Plant and company have been booked to play at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon; the Jambase Festival in George, Washington; and the Portland Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon—it’s okay if you don’t know where any of those places are located, we don’t either. Plant’s setlist will include material from his days with Led Zeppelin.
Robert Plant will always be known, first and foremost, as the frontman for Led Zeppelin. However, he has also compiled one heck of a solo career. Below, are ten highlights of Robert Plant’s amazing solo career. After perusing our list, we’re sure you’ll agree that Plant is definitely one of the all-time greats.
Raising Sand (2007)
Robert Plant’s collaboration with country singer Alison Krauss was a commercial and critical success. Not only did the work win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year it also went Platinum in the United States. A follow up to Raising Sand was scratch after recording sessions went poorly.
“Sea of Love” (1984)
Recorded under the name The Honeydrippers, “Sea of Love” is Robert Plant’s highest charting single in the United States (including his work with Led Zeppelin). Plant was mortified this song did so well. He wanted The Honeydrippers big hit to be “Rockin’ at Midnight.”
Now and Zen (1988)
Now and Zen peaked at number six in the U.S. on its way to achieving triple-platinum status. The album, which features the handy work of Jimmy Page, contains the hit singles “Heaven Knows,” “Tall Cool One,” and “Ship of Fools.”
Band of Joy (2010)
Band of Joy, an album named after Plant’s backing band, contains the great track “Angel Dance.” The album did well on the charts and with the critics, but not so well at the Grammy Awards. The album garnered two nominations but no victories.
“Big Log” (1983)
“Big Log” was Robert Plant’s first big hit as a solo artist. This sparse, chilling, and totally enthralling song is from Plant’s second studio album, The Principle of Moments. Plant toured on the success of the aforementioned album, and when he did, the great Phil Collins served as his drummer.
“In The Mood”
“In The Mood” is another song from The Principle of Moments. And speaking of Phil Collins, the Genesis frontman played drums on this memorable track. Plant composed “In The Mood” with guitarist Robbie Blunt and bassist Paul Martinez.
"It Keeps Rainin’" and "Valley of Tears"
The year 2007 saw Robert Plant record "It Keeps Rainin’" and "Valley of Tears" for a Fats Domino tribute album. The two tracks, recorded with Lil’ Band O’ Gold and the Soweto Gospel Choir, respectively, really show off Plant’s range. Although he invented, and perfected, what a lead singer of a hard rock/heavy metal band should sound like, he can, in fact, sing anything.
Priory of Brion (1999–2000)
From the middle of 1999 through the end of 2000, Robert Plant performed with a folk-rock band called the Priory of Brion. They didn’t cut an album but they did play gigs at small venues. Can you imagine seeing Plant in an intimate theater or a quaint music hall?
Dreamland (2002) & Mighty ReArranger (2005)
Robert Plant crafted both of these albums with the band Strange Sensations. Neither album sold well but critics bought them hook, line, and sinker. Each opus earned two Grammy nominations. Dreamland was mainly a collection of blues cuts while Mighty ReArranger dabbled in world music.
“The Only One”
“The Only One” is an appropriately titled song. It’s the only song on Jimmy Page’s 1988 solo album that features Robert Plant on vocals. He also co-wrote the track with his Led Zeppelin comrade. Is “The Only One” the greatest track in the world? No, but it’s the greatest track on the album (which isn’t saying much).