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ROBERT PLANT – ON THE OCCASION OF HIS 65TH BIRTHDAY…

19 August 2013 12,713 views 7 Comments

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Robert Plant is 65 today…

From his initial forays into the Midlands scene in the mid 60’s, through to his vital contribution to Led Zeppelin and on to an always compelling solo career, Robert Plant has occupied a unique position at the forefront of popular musical culture for over five decades…

That unmistakeable voice and that charismatic presence, together with a relentless thirst for musical invention have placed Robert Plant in a category of his own.

In the past 12 months, working within the dynamic Sensational Space Shifters line up, he has yet again lit up many a venue – inspiring audiences from afar afield as Rio, via Perth and back to Chicago… and soon to Bristol and Wolverhampton, where we here in the UK eagerly await his presence on stage…

For him… it’s still about the next gig, the next musical high, the next vocal performance sung into that Shure microphone.

Robert Plant is a musician who has made his vision real…and he continues to keep it real. Long may he shine it all around…

Happy Birthday Robert from all of us to you…

Dave Lewis – August 20th , 2013

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Gary Foy’s thoughts….

Robert Plant…
When a songwriter can paint pictures with words, transport you to another world, time or place, to lift your spirits, to bring joy into our normal every day lives, it’s a true talent and it’s a joy to behold.

Roberts’s talent to lift our spirits is without doubt and his list of truly great songs goes is far longer than the meagre list of videos that follows, Thank You, Ramble On, Battle Of Evermore, California, Stairway, Song Remains, Ten Years Gone, Night Flight, Tea For One, For Your Life, Fool In The Rain, All My Love, Carouselambra, should all be here and more.

These songs and more have been with us for a lifetime and stood by us like friends, there to support us at our lowest point. Music is our key to happiness, our doorway to joy. John Miles once sang, “To live without my music would be impossible to do” and indeed to live without Robert’s or Led Zeppelin’s music would be an impossibility.
But Robert has given more than just music, words, visions to get lost within; he has opened up doors to other music, to other genres of music. As he has travelled and sampled the world’s music, he has brought it back to our living rooms and into our lives. My love affair with Joni Mitchell started because of him; I certainly wouldn’t open my ears to North and West African rhythms if it wasn’t for Robert’s introduction to the desert music of Mali, I doubt that I’d hunt for the brooding pulse of Mississippi Delta blues if it wasn’t for Robert Plant and ten years ago I would have laughed at the suggestion that I’d be seeking out so many different types of country and western or female folk singers to add to collection.

His influence on mine; on all our lives is immense, on each phase of the musical journey he has opened our eyes and ears and enriched our lives. Yes for twelve years he was the singer in Led Zeppelin but for those who have been willing to take the journey, what has followed has been equally as important.

The Brisbane Times recently said “What’s going on is further proof that Plant is far more imaginative, playful and adventurous than any cliché, a man who’s absorbed all the music he’s loved and played and sought out the musicians to explore that,”

Forty five years on from the beginning of Led Zeppelin—Robert, along with the Sensational Space Shifters, is still drawing from a lifetime of adventures. A voice of experience that has  learned from the sounds of Southside Chicago Electric Blues; of Griot mantras from West Africa; from Louisiana Dance Halls; Greenwich Village Folk hangover; Height Ashbury indulgences; Moroccan medina backbeat; the early English radical techno materials, Texas two-step and Bristol Dub-step.

From this platform, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters have developed. Now together these confederates and conspirators dig deeper and more intensely, always twisting and turning, bringing the past into a brilliant Technicolor present.

Enjoy it….

Gary Foy

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Your All Time Robert Plant Vocal Performance Top Tens:

To celebrate Robert’s milestone birthday -we asked for your all time Robert Plant Top Tens and the response has been fantastic. What emerges from these lists is a sheer passion and deep appreciation of the singer’s vast output.

It’s been a joy to scan through these and spot the often underplayed gems that have been flagged  ie Hey Hey What Can I Do, Like I’ve Never Been Gone, Great Spirit, 805 , Darkness Darkness etc etc… 

Many thanks to all who contributed -here’s the first selection – with more to follow. We could not fit them all in today -if your contribution is not here, it will follow in the next TBL post. 

So….have a look at the following  and  prepared to be inspired again by this compendium of eclectic choices that will take you back to the music to celebrate Robert Plant at 65…

David Higgins:–

Here are my Top Ten Robert Plant Performances (in chronological order):

1. Baby Come On Home–Led Zeppelin sessions/Box Set II (Plant the blue-eyed soul singer, playful and strong: “I use-ta call-ya all my very oh-oo-own”)

2. I Can’t Quit You Baby–Royal Albert Hall 1970/Led Zeppelin DVD (What else is there to say but: “Yooooooooooouuu-aaaaaaaah! Ya build my hopes so high, then ya let me DOWN, ya let me DOWN, ya let me DOWN so low-oh! Dontcha re-ah-lize sweet bay-beh, Woman, I don’t know, I don’t know which way to go!”)

3. That’s The Way–Led Zeppelin III (Not only one of his best vocal performances, but certainly one of his best ever lyrics; sensitive and tender)

4. Night Flight–Physical Graffiti (Only a few singers in the world, ever, have this combination of range, power, and charm in one song)

5. All My Love–In Through The Out Door outtake version (The extended ending showcases even more brilliance and passion; heartbreakingly beautiful)

6. Big Log–The Principle of Moments (introducing himself to a whole new generation with his combination of subtlety and power)

7. Ship of Fools–Live bonus track from Now & Zen remaster (dreamy and captivating)

8. Song to the Siren–Dreamland (one of his most beautiful and delicate performances)

9. Kashmir–O2 Reunion, London, December 10, 2007/Celebration Day (The lion can still roar…with possibly his best ever performance of this definitive song)

10. Nothin’–Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, June 24, 2008 (This Raising Sand cut was exploding from the stage, reverberating off the hills of L.A., and up to the stars. It gives me chills to this day. As the L.A. Times review stated, “The Zeppelinized version at the Greek offered dramatic contrasts between full-blast and near-silence, and Plant’s clenched, cathartic wails drew the biggest ovation of the two-hour show.”)

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Richard Ingram:

This has taken some fun research and I am sure I will change my mind as soon as I hit the send button!

1.       Led Zeppelin – Black Dog (the blue print for heavy rock vocals)

2.       Robert Plant – Hurting Kind (commercial, cool and using all his tricks)

3.       Led Zeppelin –  How Many More Times (BBC Sessions) – (interwoven with The Hunter etc – Plant stands side by side with his bandmates and proves his vocal is an instrument to rival and match the peerless guitars/drums/bass)

4.       Robert Plant – 8.05 (the perfect gentle Plant vocal –  a signpost to more recent vocal approach)

5.        Led Zeppelin – The Girl I Love Has Long Black Wavy Hair (the strutting arrogance of youth)

6.        Robert Plant – Like I’ve Never Been Gone (a performance of overpowering emotion)

7.       Plant and Krauss – Polly Come Home (mesmerising)

8.       The Honeydrippers – Sea of Love (a guilty pleasure –for him and us)

9.       Page and Plant – Since I’ve Been Loving You– (utterly committed – no contemporary could get near it)

10.   Robert Plant & Strange Sensation  – Somebody Knocking (pulls together all his blues nuances)

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Jose Manuel Parada

1.- Kashmir O2.

2.- The Rain Song (Unledded) That is wonderful.

3.- Shine It All Around

4.- Moonlight in Samosa

5.- 29 Palms (young Jose Manuel discovering Robert’s solo career back in 1993).

6.- Tangerine (band of Joy)

7.- Pledge Pin

8.- Black Dog

9.- Achilles Last Stand

10.- The Ocean 1972.

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Phil White:

Here is my fav is my top 10.

Without a doubt the most influential rock singer of all time!

Great lyricist as well.

1; Ramble On

2; That’s The Way(Maple Leaf Gardens,Canada)04-09-71

3; Since I’ve been Loving You(the notes he achieves is Amazing!

4;Immigrant Song-Heartbreaker(Forum LA 25-06-72)

5;Rock And Roll(How high can you get)

6;Rain Song(MSG New York)28-07-73

7;The Battle Of Evermore(Forum LA )23-06-77(unbelievable vocal workout with Echo unit at the end section.

8; 8’o5 (top vocals with Harmonies)

9; Darkness Darkness (with Priory of Brian)

10;Stairway To Heaven(Sorry Robert)But this is the greatest song of all time period! The vocal are absolutely perfection from a whisper to a scream,a tour de-force.

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Rick Kay:

1. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Listen to this Eddie 21 June 1977) – The start is unbelievable!)

2. Lemon Song (LZ II) – Commanding performance from almost nothing to everything

3. Polly Come Home (Raising Sand) – A really smooth sound from Robert that had not been heard in quite a while

4. Like I’ve Never Been Gone (Pictures at Eleven) – Proof of life after Zeppelin

5. Too Loud (Shaken & Stirred) – Was an interesting musical direction and interesting vocal performance… wish he had followed up on it actually

6. Battle of Evermore (LZ IV) – Really nice duet with Sandy Denny, perfect match….

7. In The Light (Physical Graffiti) – The atmospherics cannot be beat

8. Nobodys Fault But Mine (Presence) – Rocking vocals while in a rocking chair… er wheel chair

9. In My Time of Dying (Physical Graffiti) – Oh my Jesus Oh my Jesus… Oh my …

10. Dazed and Confused (Song Remains the Same or similar) – Just love the San Francisco interlude….

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Jim Long:

Robert Plant top ten (all original album versions)

1. Over the hills and far away

2. Stairway to heaven

3. Nobody’s fault but mine

4. Poor Tom

5. Darlene

6. Fool in the rain

7. You shook me

8. Sea of love

9. 29 palms

10. In the mood

Paul Sheppard:

As requested, my top 10 Robert Plant vocals (in no particular order):
All are studio recordings (unless stated otherwise)
1. Battle of Evermore (emotive)
2. Colours of a Shade (gentle and expressive)
3. Hey Hey What Can I Do (powerful)
4. The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair (Rockin’ !!)
5. Immigrant Song (Bath Mar 13th 1971 – immediate impact as a set opener)
6. Whole Lotta Love (steamy)
7. Going to California (Osaka Sep 29th 1971) (smooth)
8. Please Read the Letter (with Alison Krauss) (nice!)
9. Dazed and Confused (Essen Mar 22nd 1973) (great call and response with Jimmy)
10. No Quarter (atmospheric production)
(it would be easy to list more but these are the ones that first came to mind)

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Hrannar Helgason:

Since I´ve Been Loving You (studio)
Since I´ve Been Loving You (Honolulu Sept. 6 ´70)
Immigrant Song (Dublin March 6 ´71)
Communication Breakdown (San Francisco April 26 ´69)
Over The Hills And Far Away (HTWWW ´72)
Black Dog (Milan July 5 ´71)
When The Levee Breaks (studio)
I Can´t Quit You (RAH ´70)
Whole Lotta Love (TSRTS ´73)
Your Long Journey (Raising Sand)

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Robert Baker

Hi all, here’s mine, hope it stirs some memories:
1 You Better Run, 1st outing on record (Long John Baldry impersonator)!
2. Calling To You – Kings Head rehearsal with Nigel Kennedy
3. Rock & Roll – Kidderminster Shopping Centre, having met some local musicians the night before he turns up and performs unrehearsed (virtually) with such enthusiasm, superb
4. Darkness Darkness – Priory of Brion, The Fiddlers Pub, Bristol
5. Mellow Saxaphone – Heartbeat 86, with The Big Town Playboys,
6. Hey Joe – Glasgow Barrowlands with Strange Sensations, just blew the roof off!
7. Since I’ve Been Loving You – Page & Plant, Poole 1995!

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Ed – Washington DC:

Plant vocal performances? Since the obvious Zeppelin moments are almost in the public domain at this point, I’ll try to feature what I consider some of his stellar solo offerings, in no particular order:

1. Sixes and Sevens. Soaring. Like watching a plane take off.

2. Slow Dancer. Almost a Zeppelin outtake in the middle bit.

3. Thru with the Two Step. An almost regal romp in the last verse, like a Barry Lyndon vibe from another century.

4. Walking towards Paradise. I know this one screams EIGHTIES, but that’s one reason I really like it. Very pungent melody, never seems to leave you.

5. Darkness, Darkness. When the very young among you aimlessly sing a verse or two from this without knowing whose listening, you know that Plant scored big here.

6. Heaven Knows. I know this was a Johnston bit, but Plant really owns this because he made a concerted effort to emphasize choruses on this record, and this is his best example of why it worked.

7. Worse than Detroit. Casual telephone blues set over a Phil Collins shuffle, doing his best Bonzo bit. Never gets old, this one.

8. Big Log. Moody, brooding Plant, lonely on the big highway at sunset. All the atmospherics in play here, and not a bad riff from Mr. Blunt.

9. Greatest Gift. I don’t know why this one sticks with me so much, but it has a certain beauty to it. Just pulls you it.

10. Young Boy Blues. Are you kidding me? This is one of the most infectious numbers I’ve ever heard, and Plant colors it in with a believability and sharpness that is really quite remarkable.

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Jonathan Taylor:

I’ll keep it to the official recorded versions, as not everybody’s going to have access to the same bootleg versions, so…in no particular order: “All My Love” (just sublime)/”Monkey” (the subtle blend with Patty Griffin, proving Plant’s ability to dovetail a vocal to perfection)/”That’s The Way” (Sheer charm and wistfulness)/”Immigrant Song” (the Viking war cry!)/”Like I’ve Never Been Gone” (truly emotive, particularly on his first post-Zeppelin record)/”The Only One” (Plant sounds liberated on this, briefly back with Page but freed of the shackles of Zep expectation)/”When The Levee Breaks” (peerless vocal delivery, matches the feel of the music and meshes in brilliantlywith the now legendary Bonzo drum track)/”The Rain Song” (If only for his delivery of the “Upon us all, a little rain must fall…” line…still sends shivers down my spine)/”Ship Of Fools” (another vocal of real depth and feel)/”Kashmir” (from Unledded) -this is just my favourite Plant vocal; I guess it helps that I was there (courtesy of you, Dave), but its just a wonderful vocal reimagining of this timeless classic, and Plant sounds like he was thoroughly enjoying himself, which he clearly was. Phew… that was tough. No room for “Sick Again”, “Fortune Teller”, “When The World Was Young”, “Achilles Last Stand”…if I don’t press ‘enter’ now this could all change

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Bill McGlynn:

1) Four Sticks – original 2) Kashmir – O2 Live 2007 3) Down to the Sea – Fate of Nations 4) Win My Train Fare Home – Dreamland 5) Another Tribe – Mighty Re- 6) Hot Dog – original 7) Custard Pie – original 8) Little Sister (w. Rockpile live) 9) In the Evening (Knebworth 10) Rollercoaster (Fate of Nations remaster)

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Carol Plant:

To narrow this down to 10 is impossible. I have about 60 top RP songs. so here goes: Great Spirit {acoustic version}- just breathless, Kashmir (album)-amazing and exotic and Kashmir O2- vocals soar through the roof, Heaven Knows {love the heights of his range on this one}, Ship of Fools {just classic beautiful Plant}, Watching You {what a majestic song}, Love Begin Again {exotic beautiful number}, Win My Trainfare Home { Festival in the Desert 2003- just amazing}, Immigrant Song {always thought this was one that set Robert off from the rest of the pack}, Colours of A Shade- love the vocal rises and falls on this one, and Nothing with Allison Kraus- album version. I could also add Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Dark Moon, Liars Dance, Sixes and Sevens, All My Love, Blue Train, Slow Dancer, Big Log, Sea of Love, Song to the Siren, Rude World, Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, Nothing Takes the Place of You, Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down, Monkey, In the Light and about 20 or 30 more. Love this man’s music!

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Lee Pritchard

1. I Can’t Quit You Baby – Royal Albert Hall 1970 (One of the top three all time great Zep gigs for me)
2. Since I’ve Been Loving You – BBC Sessions (Sh*t Hot!)
3. Over The Hills (A tricky one live, the album version leaves a lot to live up to)
4. Night Flight (Agree with you here Dave, Plant finds the words to match the music and then raises it all sky high)
5. Wearing and Tearing (Breathless excitement)
6. Little Sister – Concert for Kampuchea (Looks and sounds the part. King of Cool)
7. Young Boy Blues (The Honeydrippers! C’mon!)
8. 8.05 – Bonus Track Fate of Nations (Another Skip tribute that always pleases)
9. Lullaby – Page & Plant, any live version (Says everything about the brilliance of the Page/Plant reunion)
10. Wonderful One (An original composition to match any of Zep’s best)

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Lillian Cole

here’s my list: in no particular order, Kashmir, The Rover, Friends, Wonderful One, That’s the Way, Burning Down One Side, Little Angel Eyes, Tall Cool One, Big Log, Rain Song from SRTS.

Dalfy Ramone

Not in order. Steal Away w/ Alexis Korner, When The Levee Breaks, I Cant Quit You from RAH ’70, Misty Mountain Hop, Gallows Pole, Rock And Roll, That’s The Way from Berkeley ’71, Four Sticks, The Ocean, The Girl Can’t Help It from NY ’70 OR Weekend from LA ’71….

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Bill McCue

Here you go DL – 1. 1983 first solo tour, KBFH recordings from Texas. 2. Los Angeles August 1971 – two shows. Both incredible performances from Percy. 3. Back to Los Angeles – 6.25.72 gig. 4. Bit north of there – Berkeley, CA 9.14.71. 5. 4.28.77 one of the few nights during the ’77 tour when the band wasn’t in either NYC or LA but managed to turn in a solid performance. 6. The infamous Seattle Supersonic show, March 1975. It’s not saying much since he was so god awful for most of the USA run, but this was his best performance during that tour. 7. Rain Song – studio version. His finest studio performance. Ever. 8. Watching You – Jones Beach, 1990 (?). I was there so completely biased, but just thinking about this incredible show opener still gives me the chills. 9. Nothin’ – studio, Raising Sand. 10. Royal Albert Hall, January 1970 “won’t somebody PLEASE listen to me?” Well, since you asked so nicely and said please…

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Mark Williams:

Ok Dave, folks here goes (off the top of my head) : (originals,not covers)

1) Like I’ve never been gone…
2) The Greatest Gift,
3) Slow Dancer
4) Sixes & Sevens
5) Heaven Knows
6) Little by little
7) Pink and Black
8) Tie dye on the Highway
9) Tin Pan Valley
10) Big Log.

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Michael Scullion

1-Ten Years Gone 2 – Burning Down One Side 3 – Im Gonna Crawl 4 – The Only Sound That Matters 5 – Communication Breakdown 6 – Going To California 7 – Song To The Siren 8 – I Believe 9 – Nirvana 10 – Thru With The Two Step

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Melvyn Billingham

1.Great spirit (acoustic )2.,night flight,3.since I’ve been loving you(Mannheim )4.dazed and confused(tsrts)5.I were a carpenter.6. A house is not a motel,7.going to California ( Swiss)8.misty mountain hop.9,I’m gonna crawl,10, Kashmir ( getting the led out)

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Colette Murray

(1)WOMAD Taormina, July 15th 2007, WLL. Robert, for some reason, seemed to be honing his voice more than ever! Magic! (2) Operator -feat Alexis Korner 1968 (3) WLL (Acoustic)1994 ( 4) Mess Of Blues JB’s Dudley Feb. 14th 2007 – Honeydrippers

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Michael J. Chavez

1. Achilles Last Stand ,,Presence 2. Whole Lotta Love LZ2 3, K ashmir Physical Graffiti 4.Ramble On LZ2 5.Night Flight P G 6.Carouselamba In Through The Outdoor 7. Nobody’s Fault But Mine Presence 8.Dazed And Confused T S R T S 9.Black Dog LZ4 10. The Song Remains The Same .The Houses Odf The H oly

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Barbara Cain

Hey Dave I have so many favorite Zeps I will just give my favorite solo career list and skip my favorite boots also. 1. Morning Dew – Dreamland, 2. Darkness Darkness – Dreamland, 3. Song to the Siren – Dreamland, 4. Big Log – Principle of Moments, 5. Win My Train Fare Home – 66 to Timbuktu, 6. Ship of Fools – Now & Zen, 7. The Enchanter – Mighty Rearranger, 8. I Believe – Fate Of Nations, 9. If I Were A Carpenter – Fate Of Nations, 10. Burning Down One Side – Pictures At Eleven. That was hard!

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Claudia Bastos

Hi everybody!! It’s a hard work to choose only 10 Plant performances… but here they are (out of order):
1. If I were a carpenter 2. Communication Breakdown 3. Black Dog 4. All My Love 5. Celebration Day 6. D’yer Mak’er 7. For Your Life 8. Nobody’s Fault But Mine 9. Stairway To Heaven 10. What Is And What Should Never Be
I want you all to know that I’d love be born in England to have a chance to go to a Zep concert!!! Greetings from Brazil!

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Sara Dominique:

This task is impossible..anyway,these are the songs that have smitten my soul and made me fall in love with the man in so many different ways. In no particular order:

1- Our Song – it´s the sound of innocence

2- Immigrant Song live – the confirmation that Gods walk the earth!

3- Kashmir live Earls Court May 24 – the royalness.

4- All my Love- sublime, the purest love unfolds.

5- Like i´ve never been gone – the sadness in his voice.

6- Heart in your hand live Bizarre Festival 1998 with Jimmy- the tender pray. First time ever i heard that song and couldn´t stop crying.

7- Baby i´m gonna leave you live Exit Festival 2007 – the way he performed that song, the spirit, the depth, the intesity.. he carried that song to a new dimension in that performance.

8- Stairway to Heaven live O2 Arena 2007 – yes, Kashmir was the zenith, but Stairway that night, was the most moving song to me, a reminder of a time long gone.

9- Song to the Siren live Guidhall 2012 or any other time, really – the breath-taking, i can barely move after he sings that one.

10- Monkey- the heart-rending melody enfolds.

There are so many song left out of the list: Let the four winds blow, Slow Dancer, Big Log,Thru´with the two step, Sixes and Sevens ( really like a plane taking off!) Ship of fools, Darkness Darkness (i always found refuge in the wistfulness of that song), Sea of Love, if you compare that one with Our Song, you can see how his singing improved with the passing of time, like a good wine.

I really like the way he is singing since he formed the space shifters. I just had the opportunity to see him last year for the first time in my life. He´s amazing, the best singer of all time to me. Still forever and ever shining golden(even in the black and white pictures).

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Steve Jennings

1. Tie dye on the highway. 2. Song to the siren. 3. Shine it all around. 4. I believe. 5. Blue Train. 6. What is and what should never be. 7. Going to California. 8. The Rain Song. 9. Night Flight. 10. Nobody’s fault but mine (02 Celebration Day)

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Phil Lonsdale

10. Rock & Roll (lV) for the excitement. 9. I Believe (Fate Of Nations) for the Emotion 8. Fool In The Rain (ITTOD) for the fun 7. Ten Years Gone (PG) for the majesty 6. Hats Off To Harper (lll) for the raw country blues) 5. Stairway To Heaven (lV) because it’s Stairway@!!! 4. Since I’ve Been Loving You (lll) for the power 3. Black Dog (lV) for the dirt! 2. Rain Song (Un-Ledded) for the Beauty & 1. Kashmir (Celebration Day) as it’s the greatest thing ever!

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Jon Scriven

1. Hey Joe (Band of Joy)
2. Dazed & Confused (a warning of things to come)
3. Since I’ve been loving you (IMO his best ever vocal performance)
4. That’s the Way (beautifully winsome)
5. Kashmir (just epic!)
6. Ship of Fools (sublime)
7. The Truth Explodes (who expected them to pop up in a marketplace!)
8. Song the Siren (moving)
9. Life Begin Again (only RP could sing this!)
10. Twelve Gates to the City – with Oriana Choir (BBC Electric Proms)

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Suzanne McElyea

Ok Here goes – I loved your selection Dave and I couldn’t really change much based on your thoughts but 10 leaves no room for later Jimmy, Alison etc – so tough.

1) You Shook Me- the power here was incredible
2) Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You – I know same album but it is the power of Babe….
3)Since I have been Loving You- The Best Perfomance – the Passion
4) Kashmir – Mature and Beautiful (I didn’t want to leave out Rain Song but no room)
5) In the Mood
6) Memoy Song
7) Tall Cool One – Only because it was Ok to do Zep again…and he brought in Jimmy
8) I Believe (Just because you took All My Love)
9) Song to the Siren
10) Tin Pan Alley – Current US Shows (or Spoonful or Fixin to Die- all amazing)

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Marcel Vallen

Here are my all time favourite Robert vocal tracks (in no particular order) Tough choices to be made but here goes:

Kashmir
The Rain Song
Come Into My Life
Blue Train (heartfelt tribute to Karac)
Slow Dancer (I also really like the Strange Sensations version he did of this song live in the summer of 2007, he should bring it back to the setlist!)
Thru With the Two Step
Song To The Siren
What Is And What Should Never Be
All My Love (studio outtake, just breathtaking!)
Tea For One (amazing delivery)

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Andrew Johnson

Righto , after a sleepless night of long debate and nagging self doubt here goes. Ive decided to exclude Zeppelin material as I figure its HIS birthday. For the record if I had included Zep then Achilles Last Stand , Since Ive been loving you and Whole Lotta Love from the SRTS soundtrack would be my top 3. So in no particular order Pledge Pin – Rockin at Midnight – Ship of Fools – Liars Dance – Colours of the Shade – Song to the Siren – Tin Pan Valley – Fortune Teller , Falling ln love again and Come into my life….phew!

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Michaela Firth

This is the list now …. Yesterday it was different ! Had to make some tough decisions

From the top
10 sea of love
9 shine it all around
8.Hey hey what can I do
7.Friends
6. Nobody’s fault but mine
5. Song to the siren
4. Your long journey
3. Since I’ve been lovin you
2. Ramble On – love this!!
But
My number 1- The Rain Song

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Byron Lewis

1 – There are few people on the planet who could declare themselves travelers of all time and space and be taken seriously – When Robert belted out Kashmir at Knebworth we were all with him and no doubt still are.
2 – Years later he sang No Regrets at Brecon as part of the Priory of Brion which still resounds although I don’t have a recording of this.
3 – No Quarter from the O2 – The pleasure of entertaining was all there.
4 – Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us from the CIA in Cardiff – Robert often talks of stripping things down to the basics and sometimes it’s not clear what he means, but with this performance it all becomes clear. This is better than the original on Raisin Sands.
5 – Whole Lotta Love at Cardiff St Davids Centre – he knows how to tease an audience! A brilliant reworking of what we all knew.
6 – I’ve been working from seven seven to eleven every night and it kinda makes my life a drag – political.
7 – Battle of Evermore – that harmony – nice
8 – Tangerine – Cardiff St Davids Centre – second row centre this really was living in reflection of a dream.
9 – Morning Dew at Bergen 2003 – such forward thinking at that time.
10 – I can’t quit you Babe – from Zep 1 where it all began – so indebted to Willie Dixon

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Sue Clement

O.k., here it goes, my choices for top 10 vocal performances (it will change tomorrow, you know that eh:

10. Please Read the Letter (w/Alison Krause) – Perfect Harmony

9. No Quarter (Depth of his vocal performance – haunting)

8. Ten Years Gone – Absolutely captures Jimmy’s idea of light and shade in this performance. Melancholy combined with Joy. Very introspective performance which combines fantastically with Jimmy’s guitar.

7. Hey Hey What Can I Do – Vocal quality on this song

6. Since I’ve Been Loving You – The blues timing and wailing.

5. Bron-Yr-Aur-Stomp – Pure joy and fun (can’t sit still to this song – love the fact that it is an ode to his dog).

4. Going to California – Innocence of this performance (despite the rumours we’ve heard  ]

3. Sea of Love – What a crooner (channelling Elvis)

2. I’m Gonna Crawl – Sultry, sexy, bluesy (you can feel his pain).

1. Kashmir (O2 performance) – The Power, the majesty, the grandeur – Sublime!

……………………………….

Chris Wright

Aaarrggh – so impossible. Doing this reminds you how remarkable this man is. All my choices are the studio versions, I just prefer them. And if you ask me in another 20 minutes I’ll have changed my mind – in no order:

Ship of Fools
Since I’ve Been Loving You
Achilles Last Stand
Big Log
I Believe
Black Dog
Stairway to Heaven
Rich Woman
Sea of Love
Whole Lotta Love

…………………

Terry Graham

No reasons other than they’re all class.

  1. Darkness Darkness
  2. All my Love
  3. Since I’ve been Loving You
  4. Sea of Love
  5. 29 Palms
  6. Going to California
  7. Ship of Fools
  8. I can’t quit you baby
  9. Tea for One

10. Carouselambra

………………………

Joanna Jowaska

Hard task to choose 10 out of so many master performances ! Anyway Here’s my list ( order of appearance doesn’t imply anything):

In my time of dying ( earls court, London o2 )

Since I’ve been loving you ( MTV Page Plant No Quarter )

Tea for One ( Page Plant Budokan)

Baby I’m gonna leave you ( Danish TV, Page Plant Tour )

Dancing Days – studio version, How The West Was Won

Big Log – studio version

Tangerine – Page, Plant Tour

Hey, hey what can I do – Page , Plant Tour

Kashmir – Earls Court, London o2

Monkey , studio version , Band of Joy

William Misata

Dave Here are my Robert “top 10”: 1) That’s the way 2) Night flight 3) In the light 4) Fool in the rain 5) How many more times 6) Babe I’m gonna leave you 7) Nobodys fault but mine 8) Win my train fare home (live Festival in the Desert) 9) Far post 10) Down to the sea (as performed live on the Band of Joy tour) Happy birthday Robert!

…………………

Billy R

Top ten Robert Plant vocals in no particular order :

Going to California (Led Zep iv)
Tie Dye On The Highway
In The Mood (Texas 22/09/83)
Sick Again (Destroyer 27/4/77)
Hey Joe (Sixty Six to Timbuktu)
Like I’ve never been gone
Boogie With Stu
Battle Of Evermore – with Sandy Denny
Night Flight
That’s the Way (14/09/71)

 

 Alessandro Borri

1)       Since I’ve Been Loving You

2)       Babe I’m Gonna Leave You

3)       Kashmir

4)       No Quarter (The Song Remains The Same Movie Soundtrack)

5)       Trampled Under Foot (Earls Court 24th May 1975)

6)       The Song Remains The Same (Los Angeles 21st June 1977)

7)       Song To The Siren

8)       Silver Rider

9)       Shining In The Light

10)   Heaven Knows

…………………

David Watkins

Robert’s top 10 vocal performances.
1 Moonlight in Samosa Pictures at Eleven
2 Ship of Fools Now and Zen
3 Billy’s Revenge Live LA 90
4 Your Long Journey Raising Sand
5 Thank You LZ 2
6 Going to California LZ 4th album
7 Nobody’s Fault But Mine Knebworth 79
8 I’m Gonna Crawl In Through The Out Door
9 Wearing and Tearing Knebworth 90
10 Kashmir Celebration Day O2 2007
Very hard to do, but reflects my mood today, and songs that have a personal connection to me.

Eric Congdon

Best Plant moment ever: His vocal intro to Since I’ve Been Loving You 23.6.77 LA Forum. He holds that note for 14 seconds, I timed it!

Many thanks for all your great lists…

… More of Your Robert Plant Top Tens to follow  in the next TBL post…

 

And finally – some visual Robert Plant highlights…

Over The Hills And Far Away (1973)

That’s The Way (1975)

Achilles Last Stand (1979)

In The Evening (1979)

The Rain Song (1994)

Morning Dew (2001)

Harm’s Swift Way (2010)

Spoonful (2012)

Kashmir (2007)

And finally….a birthday cake for Robert Plant….

Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary FoyAugust 20th , 2013.

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7 Comments »

  • Simon said:

    Thanks for the Sally James clip!!

  • Lorraine Robertson said:

    Happy Birthday Robert Plant and thank you for sharing your journey with us and opening my ears to wider range of music.

    Thank you Dave for a most fitting tribute to Robert. I found it impossible to narrow down my faves as there are so many!

    Gary Foy really said it all – what a lovely contribution..I really enjoyed reading it.

    Well done TBL!!

  • roberta fiamma said:

    my fav are : kashmir, what is and what should never be, when the levee break, no quarter, tin pan valley, the enchanter, trumpled underfoot, babe i’m gonna leave you, thank you, most high
    Roberta 🙂

  • John Copeland said:

    I really thought hard about a Top 10, but in all honesty I can’t/won’t. It has been a total joy to read all those Top 10’s above from all those wonderful fans – I don’t know what other people think, but I feel part of a massive family.

    I guess vocals, lyrics and a great frontman aside, this is what Robert (and his three mates) give us all – common bond.

    I can’t pick 10, but one song has never been far away from my heart and ears the last 37 years;

    Then as it was, then again it will be
    An’ though the course may change sometimes
    Rivers always reach the sea.

    Thanks Golden God..

  • Nils Westerholt said:

    Being a Little late, but anyway I’ll contribute with my top ten (no particular order:

    X) Boogie With Stu – First time I really noticed that incredible voice – and imediately fell in love with it!
    X) That’s the Way – Respect! But that was when Robert really learned to sing.
    X) Nobody’s Fault But Mine – Probably the Knebworth version; pure force and power!
    X) What is and what should never be – Brilliant.
    X) Blue Train – So sensible, so fragile and yet so powerful!
    X) Young Boy Blues – A cover, but who cares when he sings it that way?
    X) Black Country Woman – As sung in Düsseldorf 2008; the way he combined the soft and loose way of singing with the power and hammer of the Gods! Nearly taking the breath away from drummer Jay Bellerose when thundering the line “You didn’t have to…”
    X) Come Into My Life – so beautiful as done on Fate of Nations.
    X) Season of the Witch – From the PoB period or – the debut in Denmark with SS – Man he was so powerful that night in Copenhagen, 2001!
    X) Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down – Beautiful performance, but so were a lot of the songs from the Band of Joy album!
    That was it, but a large number of songs by Robert could have done it too!

  • Richard said:

    Brilliant lists. Still happy with mine, but it is so good to see others so passionate about the songs that Robert has sung. It is so rare in day to day life to bump into folk who know their Pledge Pins from their Rain songs!

  • Michaela said:

    Wow. What a treat that was. I loved Gary’s piece and I agree totally about the variety of music I would have disregarded were it not introduced by Mr Plant. I was also introduced to the stunning Joni Mitchell and more recently the lovely Patty Griffin. But coming back to the Birthday Boy ….. What a great set of tracks … I’ve loved reading through them and listening to them. I’m pleased others have agreed with some of my choices but I totally agree with Chris Wright when he says how hard it was to choose and how the list will regularly change.
    I would add That’s the Way …. And how did I miss Achilles! Ah well, they are all here to enjoy. Thank you !
    Well happy birthday Mr Plant – you’ve given us a gift today and always !

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