The song Robert Plant called “the basis” of rock and roll

Robert Plant

Music lovers will always draw inspiration from their predecessors. Notwithstanding the numerous times musicians declare that their music will foretell the future, they frequently draw inspiration from earlier eras rather than merely improvising. Although the heyday of blues and rock & roll is credited with producing half of Led Zeppelin’s discography. Robert Plant believed that “Smokestack Lightning” laid the real foundation for rock & roll.

For the blues is the genre upon which rock and roll is based. Even though Chuck Berry started it all in the 1950s with songs about going to sock hops and kids who just wanted to play guitar. A lot of what he was doing was taking the old bluesmen’s foundation and adding a little attitude to it.

Furthermore, Led Zeppelin didn’t need an explanation on the blues. Their discography has amassed so many blues cliches over the course of their collaboration. Nearly half of it—from “The Lemon Song” to “Dazed and Confused“—could be considered stolen from another artist.

Plant always felt there was something primal about listening to the Howlin’ Wolf classic. Most artists were sampling the American blues and packaging it as the British invasion. This was a guttural howl unlike anything else heard in rock and roll at the time. Especially when he croaked out the song’s title in a voice reminiscent of the boogieman from under the bed.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Plant expressed his belief. He stated that the song “It’s not really rock and roll, but it was the basis of so much beautiful and extravagant music“. Plant emphasized that it was a major influence on most rock and rollers of his generation. As they say in England, “a miss is as good as a mile,” but we persevered and tried our best to make it as good as we could.

Honestly, though, is it really necessary for Plant to mention that this song influenced him? For the most part, especially on the bluesier tracks like “How Many More Times,” Plant sings in that screaming register. It sounds like his throat is about to burst in half when you listen to a good portion of Zeppelin’s debut album.

While the blues may come and go in style based on the generation you belong to, “Smokestack Lightning” is a must-have song for any decent hard rock band. When Soundgarden created their debut single, Ultramega OK, they went even further than Zeppelin’s generation. They gave the song a lot more energy. They slowed it down to the point where it sounds like a slower version of a Black Sabbath tune.

Robert Plant is old enough to recall the actual beginnings of rock and roll, but he is aware that the genre’s history extends far beyond the source of the term. Chuck Berry played a significant role in popularizing the genre. Rock and roll has always existed in any genre. It dared to defy expectations. Despite limitations, the record’s influence remained strong.

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