Robert Plant Was Once Asked By Label President To Stop Doing "Weird S--t"

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Of the course of Robert Plant's career, the iconic Led Zeppelin frontman has been known to take some pretty big lyrical risks.

Plant himself will be the first to suggest that those big swings didn't always connect the way he had hoped that they would at the time. In exploring his career on his Digging Deep podcast, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has more than once suggested that he could have benefitted from someone questioning his lyrical choices during Zeppelin's heyday.

While Led Zeppelin was probably too big for anyone outside the band to question them, after the band had split up and Plant had a couple solo albums under his belt, the singer recalls getting some forthright notes from Atlantic Records co-founder and president Ahmet Ertegun.

During a night out in New York with Ertegun and producer Phil Spector, Plant recalls the trio examining the outtros of famous '50s and '60s pop songs, when singers had the chance to break away from the melody and "disappear into this great abstraction," Plant explains.

The conversation apparently prompted Ertegun to make a suggestion to Plant.

"...[He] kept saying to me, 'Man, why don't you stop all this weird s--t and just do some of those songs?'" Plant recalls. "...'I can get anybody in the studio to play 'em; why don't you sing 'em?' So I did."

The resulting record was The Honeydrippers: Volume One, which found Plant reunited with Jimmy Page and an other iconic musicians, like Jeff Beck and Nile Rodgers, performing reimagined versions of '50s/'60s standards.

In a May interview with Planet Rock, Plant suggested that he probably ruined a few Zeppelin songs with his lyrics.

"My peer group were writing substantial pieces of social commentary," Plant said at the time, "and I was willowing along the Welsh borders thinking about Gollum."

Listen to Digging Deep with Robert Plant in the player below or here on iHeartRadio.

Photo: Getty Images

 

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