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The singer remains the same The singer remains the same
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-08-20 09:57:26
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Fine, fine; I have to admit it! The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw that Robert Plant celebrates his 60th birthday was …oh man I’m getting old!!! Then I checked online videos and Robert Plant's voice overflowed into the room, the whole house and then my whole world. I just closed my eyes and enjoyed "Stairway to Heaven"!

plant01_400I think the only thing that remains for me to write is that Robert Plant, the lead singer of the group Led Zeppelin and song writer, has his birthday today and please if you don’t have any of his records just check online, the end! What else can I say? When I was young, I thought I could be a rock star and due to my curly hair I thought I could be like Robert Plant. That was an embarrassing moment but if you want more I’ve got all his records with Led Zeppelin or personal ones including those he did with other artists, such as Alicia Krauss! The man with his voice changed Rock music! Or to be fair Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury changed Rock!

Robert Plant’s voice is what classical music calls an 'instrument'. In the proclassic times, the voice was an instrument and there are compositions where voice is part of the composition just like the violin or the piano and regarding Led Zeppelin there was no music without Robert Plant’s voice. There is no "Stairway to Heaven" without Robert Plant’s voice; it doesn’t matter how many have tried. The man is a tenor of an apocalyptic scale, just listen the songs “Dazed and Confused”, “Since I’ve Been Loving you” or “Communication Breakdown” to get the feeling. Steven Tyler, Bono, Gene Simmons, Ian Gillain, Axl Roses, Tori Amos definitely felt the power and the style and were definitely influenced, after all, they said so themselves. 

plant03_400His mystical and spiritual lyrics are another case. Let's start with "Immigrant Song” and continue with “Rain Song” and let be flown by “Kashmir”. Welsh mythology meets the Scandinavian gods and all together travel to the Mystic East. “Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on…” he sings in the classic “Stairway to Heaven" to continue with, “Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream - I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been - to sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen - They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed” in "Kashmir" to end with, “Heaven knows what kind of fool am I - Heaven knows why you take an eye for an eye - Heaven knows what comes over me - you were pumping iron as I was pumping irony” in his personal "Heaven knows."

plant02_400Don’t you have the feeling that these lyrics say who the man is? Well, add to that the voice and you have got the full package and if you think that Welsh and East were his frontiers you didn’t understand because Robert Plant had to explore Africa, he had to go to …”Dreamland”.

If you haven’t had the luck to see him live check for his famous …Plantations!!! Robert Plant is magical on stage, always light-hearted offering a laugh during his concerts, always trying to give a good time, to make people smile or better make people laugh!

It is really strange for me writing this piece because Robert Plant is out there really kicking ass with his voice and on his 60th birthday I wish him the peace and quiet he’s been looking for but I have to admit that secretly I wish he will listen to Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones even to late Bonham’s son John and reunite with them for a World Tour and it will not be like The Rolling Stones' old men on stage but the singer remains the same!!!

   
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Emanuel Paparella2008-08-20 15:16:05
Bernard Baruch used to say that to him being old was always fifteen years more than his present age. Perhaps that is also Robert Plant's secret.


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