Robert Plant reveals the eight songs he'd take to a desert island

Robert Plant in close-up
(Image credit: Vanessa Heins)

Robert Plant has revealed the eight songs he'd take with him to a desert island. Appearing on The BBC's long-running interview series Desert Island Discs, the former Led Zeppelin man picked songs by Mario Lanza, Eddie Cochran, Howlin' Wolf and more, and finished with Your Long Journey, one of his own songs with Alison Krauss, from 2007's Raising Sand album

Asked to pick a favourite from the eight selections, Plant went for Mario Lanza's Serenade, a song taken from the 1957 film of the same name. He also chose The Earliest English Poems (translated by Michael Alexander) as his book choice, and selected "a basket containing photos of homing pigeons" as the one luxury item he could take to the imaginary island.   

During the interview, Plant was asked about how be felt about joining up with Led Zeppelin in 1968. 

"John Bonham and I were coming from the Black Country," Plant responded. “We were big fish there, but we were suddenly alongside John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page who were really seriously accomplished, far more mature and pretty well versed in all the different elements of melody and construction and stuff like that, so it was kind of daunting in a way.

“Although I really wanted to be around excellence, when I came head to head with it I was really kind of intimidated."

Plant also spoke about the tragic death of his five-year-old son Karac, in 1977, and about Bonham's unexpected passing just two years later. 

“I drove down with him on the day of the rehearsal and I drove back without him," said Plant. “He was an incredible character and so encouraging for me despite the fact he was always taking the mickey out of me and I loved him desperately." 

Desert Island Discs has been running since 1942, and has only had five hosts in that time. The most recent, Lauren Laverne, has been in the hot seat since 2018. Guests to have included Led Zeppelin songs amongst their choices include concert promotor Harvey Goldmith, who picked Kashmir, and celebrity hypnotist Paul McKenna, who picked Stairway To Heaven

Plant's own choices are collected in the playlist below. Desert Island Discs can be heard on the BBC website. Last month, Plant announced that his mysterious musical collective Saving Grace will tour The UK in April

Robert Plant's Desert Island Discs

Eddie Cochran - Pink Peg Slacks
Mario Lanza - Serenade
Howlin’ Wolf - I Ain’t Superstitious
Baba Brooks - Teenage Ska
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Ohio
Mohammed Rafi - Mein Hardam Raha Gardishon
Ali Farka Touré with Ry Cooder - Diaraby
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Your Long Journey

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.