The Led Zeppelin song Robert Plant called “embarrassing”

Robert Plant

Many artists have written stunning lyrics that can resonate with anyone from any generation. But there are always a few songs that have a timestamp on when someone releases the song. It’s either through dated production or the artist using vernacular indicative of the time. While most of Led Zeppelin’s catalog is timeless rock music, Robert Plant felt that one song was not his proudest performance.

There isn’t a single filler track on the band’s first four albums. The band stormed onto the scene right after Jimmy Page left The Yardbirds, pushing rock and roll to its limits with their debut, which became the ultimate example. It was with Page creating one classic riff after the next on ‘Communication Breakdown‘ and ‘Dazed and Confused’.

Robert Plant, who would wail like a banshee throughout the group’s first handful of records, could only match Page’s precision behind the fretboard. The band was proud to wear their blues influences on their sleeve most of the time. Their self-titled album saga also showed them reaching for new influences all the time. It was with Page penning the Eastern-tinged ‘Friends’ and working on acoustic material on tracks like ‘Thank You’.

The press initially refused to cover Zeppelin. But the band decided to call their bluff by releasing their fourth album with as little fanfare as possible. Not even giving the album a proper name, what would commonly become known as Led Zeppelin IV remains one of the crowning achievements of 1970s rock. It contains songs that would become the foundation of the next generation of musicians. The songs like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Black Dog’.

The band’s rendition of ‘When the Levee Breaks’ remained firmly planted in the blues.’The Battle of Evermore‘ marked their most obvious foray into mystical music. Plant, an avid fan of JRR Tolkien’s work, crafted a story straight out of a fantasy novel. It was completed with Sandy Denny providing brilliant backing vocals behind him.

Zeppelin’s most unique composition is that song. Plant felt that the lyrics needed some work in retrospect. Plant would say that he was insecure about the song’s writing while working with Allison Krauss on the album Raising Sand. He said, “I was living in a dream then, talking about C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.” And, of course, it casts scorn on anyone who picked up a guitar or got near a microphone by 1980… The thing with ‘Evermore’ is…I’m embarrassed by this,’ I told Alison. ‘But you can’t be embarrassed. It’s a young person’s moment by living in an area like that which resonates with that period,’ she said.”

Regardless of the time he wrote the lyrics, the music behind him helped set the scene for the entire movement. It included a brilliant performance on the mandolin by Page and various sonic touches from John Paul Jones. It helped set the tone for the entire movement. Zeppelin’s true epics were more precise. But ‘The Battle of Evermore’ is a brilliant example of them creating a sonic landscape with only a few sparse elements.

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