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rose62

Plant put it all out there.

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YouTube is awash in Zep bootlegs these days.  In some, Plant sounds pretty rough.  Man, to try and do what he did, night after night, on the road, taking such poor care of ones self.  It had to be tough.

But, it really gives one perspective of his studio efforts.  With the right conditions he spared nothing and just gave it all that he had.  I mean those high, wailing notes.  What a blessing that even during the early years, when they were recording while on tour, he was able to muster the chops to get that one-in-a-generation voice on tape.  

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Just imagine what Robert had to do to even be heard onstage, fighting Bonzo the loudest drummer of all time, Marshall stacks, all with basically non existent or primitive monitor systems.  You can only scream so much before your vocal chords will throw in the towel.

Roberts early Zep era performances are truly Super Human, there’s no way it could last. He left his voice on the stage for sure. 

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Not to mention virtually inventing the "rock star stage presence" archetype. How many rock singers since Plant have dyed their hair blond and copied his stage moves? Most of the bands that came out of LA in the 80s for a start.

Really "put it all out there" applied to all of them. Zeppelin might have occasionally had a train wreck live, but there's one thing they never did, they never phoned it in.

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As much as some people may roll their eyes every time Black Dog comes on the radio, enjoy it when you hear it! Listen to the first two shows of 71 - Belfast & Dublin. That vocal simply was not sustainable on stage, much as he tried that first night.

As I'm typing, Robert is singing Stairway in Copenhagen that same year. Amazing!!

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21 hours ago, bluecongo said:

Just imagine what Robert had to do to even be heard onstage, fighting Bonzo the loudest drummer of all time, Marshall stacks, all with basically non existent or primitive monitor systems.  You can only scream so much before your vocal chords will throw in the towel.

Roberts early Zep era performances are truly Super Human, there’s no way it could last. He left his voice on the stage for sure. 

Totally agreed. Just a personal remark: IMHO the problem was home-made to a certain degree, as Jimmy wanted the band playing that loud. Why did they have to play "10 times as loud as anybody else"??? A little volume reduction might have saved Robert´s chords, the audience would have had a far better sound, while still beeing as loud as contemporary bands.

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Denmark 1969 concert was his most raw delivery in my opinion.  Not even singing his own lyrics, but it was a sound that voice professionals would probably tell him wouldn't allow him to last long as he was singing with his throat (so it sounded like to me).

The outtakes of Babe I'm Gonna Leave illustrated how wild Plant was.  Loud, wild and young.  It was probably why some in the industry had told him before he had ever joined Led Zeppelin that "he couldn't sing", he probably hadn't found that control yet, I imagine especially live.  In this regard, Page wisely saw and heard what others might not have.  I recall reading that Page had told Plant to sing BIGLY more mellow and build it up, his usual "light and shade" perspective which the entire band employed well during their career. 

If you listen to his old Band of Joy stuff, just before he joined Zeppelin you can hear some of that immaturity, but also the raw potential, he incorporated some of it in early Zeppelin stuff.  All of the concerts and him pushing the limits constantly in concert (he hit some of the highest notes I've heard of any male singer during their early live concerts) definitely had to have run down his voice.

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On June 7, 2020 at 10:19 AM, Autumn Moon said:

Totally agreed. Just a personal remark: IMHO the problem was home-made to a certain degree, as Jimmy wanted the band playing that loud. Why did they have to play "10 times as loud as anybody else"??? A little volume reduction might have saved Robert´s chords, the audience would have had a far better sound, while still beeing as loud as contemporary bands.

Interesting in retrospect for led zeppelin

Although the 1988 robert plant shows were noticeably louder than jimmy pages 1988 shows 

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Having just finished the Barney Hoskyns oral history book, one of the big impressions is Plant's drive to move forward and explore. This was a key ingredient in the success of  LZ and also what has propelled him since. 

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