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Robert Plant laments his ‘horrific’ vocals on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’

Robert Plant at Led Zeppelin's first ever show, Denmark 1968 © Getty Images

Robert Plant has dubbed some of his early Led Zeppelin vocals as “horrific.”

In an interview with The Guardian looking back on his formative years, Robert discussed how ‘Friends’ on 1970’s Led Zeppelin III marked a shift away from the vocal style he’d adopted ever since his recording debut on Listen’s ‘You Better Run’ back in 1966.

“I realised that tough, manly approach to singing I’d begun on ‘You Better Run’ wasn’t really what it was all about at all,” Robert explains.  

“Songs like (Led Zeppelin I’s) 'Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’... I find my vocals on there horrific now. I really should have shut the f*** up!”


Elsewhere in the chat, Robert revealed how he first found out his good mate Noddy Holder had also recorded a cover of The Young Rascals’ ‘You Better Run’ with his band the N’Betweens – who, of course, later became Slade.

“I’m 17, full of myself, in a youth club with Noddy Holder. We’d borrow Noddy’s dad’s window-cleaning van for our gear, buckets clanking through the Black Country streets, so to have a record that was going to be pressed, have a dust sleeve - it was showing-off time.”

“(I told Noddy) ‘Well, we’ve got this deal with CBS.’ And Noddy goes: ‘That’s all right, we’ve got one with Columbia.’ And then I found out it was the same bloody song!”

Plant also talked about how a trip to Marrakech in 1972 opened his eyes and ears to new styles of music – especially the bendir style of hand-drumming, which he adopted on many solo songs.

“It helps get rid of the whole rock four-on-the-floor rhythm, which I liked; it forces you away from that world. Although playing them has wrecked my thumb-bone completely.”


Robert Plant in 2017 © PA Images

Robert Plant’s eleventh solo album ‘Carry Fire’ is out right now. His sold-out UK tour kicks off at Plymouth Pavilions on 16th November and takes in a total of 14 shows.

NOVEMBER 2017
Plymouth Pavilions – Thu 16th
Bristol Colston Hall – Fri 17th
Wolverhampton Civic Hall – Mon 20th
Llandudno Venue Cymru – Wed 22nd
Newcastle City Hall – Fri 24th
Liverpool Olympia – Sat 25th
Glasgow SEC Armadillo – Mon 27th
Perth Concert Hall – Tue 28th
Manchester O2 Apollo – Thu 30th

DECEMBER 2017
Belfast Ulster Hall – Sat 2nd
Sheffield City Hall – Wed 6th
London Royal Albert Hall – Fri 8th
Portsmouth Guildhall – Mon 11th
Birmingham Symphony Hall – Tue 12th

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