At a charity function in the UK on Saturday, rock legend Robert Plant shocked his audience by performing “Stairway To Heaven” for the first time in sixteen years.
This classic song was sung by Led Zeppelin’s lead singer at a benefit concert for the Cancer Awareness Trust, which was organized by Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, who is battling stage 4 prostate cancer.
The 75-year-old Robert Plant changed the way he delivered the last verse of “Stairway To Heaven” during the charity performance, giving it a more melancholic feel. Plant’s performance begins at approximately 43 minutes into the Facebook livestream. He also performed a medley of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” and a few other Led Zeppelin songs.
“Bet I enjoyed that more than him,” Andy Taylor remarked following the performance of “Stairway,” implying Plant’s conflicted feelings regarding the song.
Plant first time sings the live solo version
Although many fans consider “Stairway to Heaven” to be among the best classic rock songs, Robert Plant hasn’t always felt the same way about it. At one point, he threatened to buy an Oregon radio station so they wouldn’t play the song, saying he couldn’t relate to its lyrics.
It’s possible that until this past weekend, Robert Plant had never performed “Stairway to Heaven” on his own. He had only ever performed the song live with Led Zeppelin before, most notably during the group’s 16-year reunion in 2007 and in a 1994 TV appearance with fellow band member Jimmy Page. But one particular performance of the song shaped his opinion of it.
He had second thoughts about the song after hearing Ann and Nancy Wilson perform it at the 2012 Kennedy Centre Honours, accompanied by drummer Jason Bonham (son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham).
Robert Plant was sitting in the audience and was moved to tears by that performance. It was a magnificent performance, in his opinion. In an interview from the previous year, he revealed that he now views the song as something to watch. He’s not being told not to play it in guitar stores, nor does he feel accountable for it anymore. He also doesn’t see himself using a flute to play it at weddings.
He declared his love for the song despite his earlier misgivings, saying it seriously affected him and erased the years he had been associated with it, returning him to its original meaning.
More about Robert Plant
Often compared to his peers, such as Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Roger Daltrey of the Who, Jim Morrison of the Doors, and Freddie Mercury of Queen, Robert Plant made a name for himself as a captivating frontman in the rock and roll genre. Plant carried on with his musical career after Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980, participating in a range of solo and group endeavors.
Jimmy Page, a fellow guitarist for Led Zeppelin, and other musicians were part of The Honeydrippers, one of his first well-known projects following Led Zeppelin. “Now and Zen,” his 1988 solo album, yielded hits like “Tall Cool One” and “Ship of Fools.”
He and Jimmy Page worked together again in the 1990s as Page and Plant, releasing two studio albums and a live album from an MTV Unplugged show. Their 1998 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance also went to them, thanks to the song “Most High.”
Robert Plant and bluegrass musician Alison Krauss formed a collaboration in 2007 and jointly released the album “Raising Sand.” This partnership was extremely successful and was recognized with the 2009 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In the same year, their song “Please Read the Letter” won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Plant revived the Band of Joy in 2010, renaming the group after an early 1960s group he was a member of. In addition, he formed the Sensational Space Shifters, a new band, in 2012, and he got back together with Alison Krauss in 2019.
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