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Robert Plant says he can no longer relate to Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven

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Robert Plant says he can no longer relate to Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven

By Scott Munro (Classic Rock)

While Robert Plant acknowledges the rock classic, he has “no intention ever to write along those abstract lines any more”

Robert Plant says he can no longer relate to the lyrical content of Led Zeppelin’s classic track Stairway To Heaven.

The vocalist was speaking with UCR and their Nights radio show when the topic of the 1971 track came up.

Plant says: “The construction of the song, the actual musical construction, is very good. It’s one of those moments that really can stand without a vocal and, in fact, it will stand again without a vocal, I’m sure, because it’s a fine piece of music.

“Lyrically, now, I can’t relate to it, because it was so long ago. I would have no intention ever to write along those abstract lines any more.

“I look at it and I tip my hat to it and I think there are parts of it that are incredible. The way Jimmy Page took the music through, and the way that the drums almost climaxed and then continued – it’s a very beautiful piece. But lyrically, now, and even vocally, I go, ‘I’m not sure about that.’”

Led Zeppelin have been uploading clips celebrating their history over the course of the last six months, with the latest instalment arriving at the end of October.

Episode eight focused on the last few months of 1969 when the band wrapped up a US tour and prepared to launch their second album Led Zeppelin II.

Plant, meanwhile, is preparing to release Digging Deep With Robert Plant in February – a limited edition 7-inch vinyl box set which will feature remastered versions of singles from 30 years of Plant's solo career and ties in with his Digging Deep podcast.

It’s now available to pre-order. Find details below.

Plant will be the cover star of the next issue of Classic Rock magazine which will go on sale next week.

 

https://www.loudersound.com/news/robert-plant-says-he-can-no-longer-relate-to-led-zeppelins-stairway-to-heaven

 

 

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Bittersweet... it makes me sad to think Robert has come to that point in his life where he can no longer relate to those words in the same way as when he was younger, but also happy with how much he welcomes it and doesn’t let it define him as a musician. 

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I find myself a bit bemused and befuddled by his statement, simply because I have always thought Stairway's lyrics were timeless and ecumenical. Sure, he uses heavy symbolism and texture, but I always got the point quite clearly.

Now Misty Mountain Hop or Whole Lotta Love may have less than timeless lyrical value outside of the context of the times but Stairway? I can understand him not wanting to sing it as Plant is "Mr. Don't Pigeon-Hole Me, I am not a jukebox" man, but the lyrics and vocal delivery? His delivery was very tasteful, and even the end where he is screaming out the vocal is really not over the top and fits perfectly with the journey of the song.

Mr. Plant, you confound me

Edited by PeaceFrogYum

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4 hours ago, zeplz71 said:

Plant, meanwhile, is preparing to release Digging Deep With Robert Plant in February – a limited edition 7-inch vinyl box set which will feature remastered versions of singles from 30 years of Plant's solo career and ties in with his Digging Deep podcast.

It’s now available to pre-order. Find details below.

 

 

The 7-inch was scheduled to be released December of this year. 

In regards to Stairway, I guess there will be no "Digging Deep" podcast on that one!

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1 hour ago, PeaceFrogYum said:

I find myself a bit bemused and befuddled by his statement, simply because I have always thought Stairway's lyrics were timeless and ecumenical. Sure, he uses heavy symbolism and texture, but I always got the point quite clearly.

Now Misty Mountain Hop or Whole Lotta Love may have less than timeless lyrical value outside of the context of the times but Stairway? I can understand him not wanting to sing it as Plant is "Mr. Don't Pigeon-Hole Me, I am not a jukebox" man, but the lyrics and vocal delivery? His delivery was very tasteful, and even the end where he is screaming out the vocal is really not over the top and fits perfectly with the journey of the song.

Mr. Plant, you confound me

I thought the same thing and wondered why doesn't he slag The Wanton Song or Custard Pie? It has become such an icon as a stand alone piece that maybe he feels handcuffed to it.  I only saw one of the members do it and it was Jimmy on the Outrider tour.  He played it and the crowd sang it. .I have never seen anything quite like it:) I know he would have loved if Kashmir had the kind of acclaim STH has. . He is probably fed up with the Spirit thing as well since he didnt write the music. .  

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I understand Robert in one way but overall he's been making similar statements about Zep's material for a long time. He's

attacking one of the greatest "rock" songs of all time. Sorry, but nothing in his solo career even approaches "Stairway". Not sure if Lynryd Skynrd feels the same about "Freebird", or Paul McCartney feels the same about "Yesterday".

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Isn't this pretty much the same reason Robert gave for not wanting to sing Stairway at the Atlantic thing in 1988?
Not exactly a revelation, then...

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im not sure why he's still expected to dig it in the same way as he used to. for one thing its been played o death. I used to like it when I was young but now I couldn't bother to listen to it all and id just skip to the solo. I don't think he saying that anything he's written since is as good as it, just that he cant relate to anymore as he used to. things change. It seems reasonable to me

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I was also struck by the praise he gave Page, Bonham and Jones for the shear beauty of the music.

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1 hour ago, anniemouse said:

I was also struck by the praise he gave Page, Bonham and Jones for the shear beauty of the music.

Hopefully, JP, JPJ and Jason have recorded a new (instrumental) version of it for a future release. 

R😎

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Many musicians have had hit songs that over time they started to get bored with or practically hate. Some perform them despite that, because they feel an obligation to deliver what their audiences want, others stop. Then there's a third category, Robert Plant.

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6 hours ago, Sandey said:

Many musicians have had hit songs that over time they started to get bored with or practically hate. Some perform them despite that, because they feel an obligation to deliver what their audiences want, others stop. Then there's a third category, Robert Plant.

Reminds me of when Lou Reed released The Raven in 2003 and then went on tour. Dude only played The Raven and a few of his newer material. Refused to play his old stuff. Well that lasted for about three shows until the ticket buying public got wind and his ticket sales began to dry up. Next thing you know...BAM! Reed decides to have a mixed set of older and newer material and his tour is saved.

Like it or not, that majority of fans want to hear the hits, you don't play them, they won't come. Unless you are the Dead or Phish, then you have no hits and your fans are super-high. Its a niche market.

Edited by PeaceFrogYum

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He should thank his lucky stars he wasn't in Chicago.  Being expected to sing "Colour My World" at every show for over 45 years might cause me to schedule a lobotomy or perform one on myself.

It's been discussed many times, but Jimmy's instrumental version of "Stairway" on his 1988 tour was worth the price of admission by itself.  We took care of Plant's part for him.  Jimmy's part would have been a little bit more difficult to handle.  I respect his decision to never perform it live by himself.  

 

 

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Maybe we should be thankful for not having to hear Justin Adams or Skin flailing hopelessly at the Stairway solo over a Trance beat 

 

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On 11/7/2019 at 5:23 PM, Bong-Man said:

It's been discussed many times, but Jimmy's instrumental version of "Stairway" on his 1988 tour was worth the price of admission by itself.  We took care of Plant's part for him.  Jimmy's part would have been a little bit more difficult to handle.  I respect his decision to never perform it live by himself.  

I was at Page's last night of the Outrider tour in Manchester in 1988. Stairway was sung word perfect by a packed house of Mancunians. Nearly brought a tear to our eyes. A wonderful part of my youth. Thankfully I have a great recording of the show

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1 hour ago, chillumpuffer said:

I was at Page's last night of the Outrider tour in Manchester in 1988. Stairway was sung word perfect by a packed house of Mancunians. Nearly brought a tear to our eyes. A wonderful part of my youth. Thankfully I have a great recording of the show

I had the same experience. The audience went nuts! It was amazing.  

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Just more of the same from Plant. For 35+ years now he's had a stick up his ass about anything related to Zeppelin. And it doesn't really matter if he can "relate" to the lyrics anymore. His personal feelings don't matter because it's a song, with melody, harmony, structure and imagery. It's for the people's enjoyment. It's not supposed to be his little comfort doggie.

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5 hours ago, Christopher Lees said:

Just more of the same from Plant. For 35+ years now he's had a stick up his ass about anything related to Zeppelin. And it doesn't really matter if he can "relate" to the lyrics anymore. His personal feelings don't matter because it's a song, with melody, harmony, structure and imagery. It's for the people's enjoyment. It's not supposed to be his little comfort doggie.

:hysterical:

All of a sudden I have a vision of Plant wearing a papoose with the head of a little Malti-Poo sticking out, Plant saying, "who's the best doggie...you are...YOU are!!!"

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On November 7, 2019 at 12:23 PM, Bong-Man said:

 

It's been discussed many times, but Jimmy's instrumental version of "Stairway" on his 1988 tour was worth the price of admission by itself.  We took care of Plant's part for him.  Jimmy's part would have been a little bit more difficult to handle.  I respect his decision to never perform it live by himself.  

 

 

 

I have to agree, the 1988 instrumental of sth was very memorable and a powerful live show moment and memory....which i am surprised jimmy page would not want to give that moment to many many more young fans over the years. So honestly, i think its jimmy page who let that song fade away. Its a shame, cause the song took on another life with the audience singing and jimmy conducting us along the way. 

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I’d love to hear JP w/ JPJ (w/ arrangement assistance), along w/ Jason Bonham and a top Symphony Orchestra doing Led Zeppelin classics (whether live and/or for an album release). 

R😎

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I guess Robert finds Stairway to be an albatross. Anything he does is in it's shadow. I think it was the same for Pete after Tommy. Michael Stipe after Murmur. You hit your high and of course people will never let you forget and move on. All of these musicians had their albatross when they were relatively young/fairly early in their respective careers. (Stipe,first album out of the gate).

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8 minutes ago, Tremelo said:

I guess Robert finds Stairway to be an albatross. Anything he does is in it's shadow. I think it was the same for Pete after Tommy. Michael Stipe after Murmur. You hit your high and of course people will never let you forget and move on. All of these musicians had their albatross when they were relatively young/fairly early in their respective careers. (Stipe,first album out of the gate).

You forgot Rob Halford after Rocka Rolla :hysterical:

Edited by PeaceFrogYum

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10 hours ago, PeaceFrogYum said:

You forgot Rob Halford after Rocka Rolla :hysterical:

In some ways its better for a band to finds its feet and develop. Priest grew into an incredible band of course. You can always improve and get better, but starting out on top out of the gate, its very easy to fall down as well. You set huge expectations. A big trap in some cases. 

Edited by Tremelo

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