Praising Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones’ “magnificent” musicianship on ‘Achilles Last Stand’, Robert Plant has described Led Zeppelin as a “trio” fronted by a “wedding singer.”
After previously discussing 'Calling To You' from his 1993 album 'Fate of Nations' and ‘Bones Of Saints' from his 2017 album 'Carry Fire', the third episode of Robert Plant’s Digging Deep podcast sees him shine the spotlight on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Achilles Last Stand’
Lifted from their 1976 album ‘Presence’, the sonically complex musical opus was recently voted as the 5th greatest Led Zeppelin song of all time by discerning Planet Rock listeners.
Explaining why he decided to focus on the track in his podcast, Plant said: “With all of these pieces of music, you can separate them. You can carve the songs up into performance, imagination and the kind of weave that holds it together – which could be melody, a repeat of a lyric or line… a guitar line, or any kind of musical reference that comes back and pulls you back into stuff.”
Presumably with his tongue wedged in his cheek, Percy continued: “So, with ‘Achilles Last Stand’ the music… I was so fortunate to be around so many amazingly gifted players and if you think about Led Zeppelin as being a trio, really, with a kind of wedding singer stuck up the front… my enthusiasm was a good contribution but, in truth, those guys were amazing.”
Calling the ‘Presence’ recording sessions “an uncomfortable time”, Plant added: “It was a disparate time - I was in a wheelchair for seven months or whatever it was at that time (Plant broke his ankle in a car crash in Greece and hurt it again in a subsequent fall) – but the music was continuing to be developed.
“Even though ‘Presence’ is not always the most comfortable listen in terms of ‘I’ll just settle down with a glass of wine with my girlfriend and listen to presence’, you might have to go and stand in the corner for a bit… but the interplay and the melding of the musicality of those three guys (Page, Bonham and Jones) on that track is insane. Absolutely insane. It’s magnificent.”
In other Robert Plant news, the singer performed Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ live for the first time since 1996 during his 23rd June set at the Secret Solstice festival in Iceland.
Led Zeppelin wrote ‘Immigrant Song’ after performing in Reykjavik on 22nd June 1970 and the opening lines “We come from the land of the ice and snow / From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow” are a direct reference to the country.