Robert Plant reflects on his “horrific” early Led Zeppelin vocals

Led Zeppelin in the late 60s
Led Zeppelin in the late 60s (Image credit: Getty)

Robert Plant has revealed that he’s not a fan of some of his vocals from Led Zeppelin’s early days.

The vocalist, who recently released his latest studio album Carry Fire, makes the comment in an interview with the Guardian where Plant reflects on his life and career.

He says: “I realised that tough, manly approach to singing I’d begun on You Better Run wasn’t really what it was all about at all. Songs like Babe I’m Gonna Leave You… I find my vocals on there horrific now. I really should have shut the fuck up!”

Plant goes on to talk about his love of North African music which was sparked by a trip to Marrakech in 1972 – especially bendir hand-drumming – and reports that he still visits Morocco on a regular basis to find inspiration.

Plant says: “It helps get rid of the whole rock four-on-the-floor rhythm, which I liked. It forces you away from that world. Although playing them has wrecked my thumb-bone completely.”

The singer adds that he’s noticed that western music has begun to infiltrate the traditional sounds. “I hear the chord progressions of Coldplay in Marrakech now, which I’m trying to get away from!” he says. “But Berber music burrows into me, and why it does fascinates me. Why do I feel so enriched by hearing it? Can I try and do something with it that is part of me, part of the band, part of everything? So I did.”

Plant also reports that he was “basically tutored” by Alison Krauss on their landmark 2007 album Raising Sand and adds: “She’s a very precise singer who’s done more duets than you can shake a stick at, and I was thinking, ‘Help, I’m a rock singer, no matter what I do.’ But, of course, I’m not – I’m just a guy that sings songs.”

Plant will head out on tour in support of Carry Fire later this month, with dates planned across the UK and North America. Find a full list below.

Robert Plant 2017⁄2018 tour dates

Nov 16: Plymouth Pavilions, UK
Nov 17: Bristol Colston Hall, UK
Nov 20: Wolverhampton Civic Hall, UK
Nov 22: Llandudno Venue Cymru, UK
Nov 24: Newcastle City Hall, UK
Nov 25: Liverpool Oympia, UK
Nov 27: Glasgow SEC Armadillo, UK
Nov 28: Perth Concert Hall, UK
Nov 30: Manchester O2 Apollo, UK
Dec 02: Belfast Ulster Hall, UK
Dec 06: Sheffield City Hall, UK
Dec 08: London Royal Albert Hall, UK
Dec 11: Portsmouth Guildhall, UK
Dec 12: Birmingham Symphony Hall, UK
Feb 09: Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, NC
Feb 11: Charlotte Ovens Auditorium, NC
Feb 12: Norfolk Chrysler Hall, VA
Feb 14: New York Beacon Theatre, NY
Feb 16: Boston Orpheum Theatre, MA
Feb 17: Toronto Massey Hall, ON
Feb 20: Chicago Riviera Theatre, IL
Feb 22: Minneapolis Orpheum Theatre, MN
Feb 24: Denver Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre, CO
Feb 26: Phoenix Symphony Hall, AZ
Feb 28: Oakland Fox Theater, CA
Mar 02: Los Angeles Orpheum Theatre, CA

Robert Plant on musical anthropology, harmony, and getting on a bit...

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.