Saturday, August 20, 2011

Led Zeppelin--Rock and Roll (1972)

     Some birthdays make me feel different that others and the fact that Robert Plant turns 63 today revives many memories of my youth, and makes it all too real that I celebrate my birthday in less than two weeks as well. He is still popular today, not only for his past, but for a very successful present as well where top albums and Grammy awards are the norm. But for a generation he will be as close to a golden god as rock and roll ever truly got. I'm still always amused at the eye fluttering and audible groaning from female friends over 40 when his name is mentioned.

      When it came to living the rock and roll lifestyle, Led Zeppelin defined most of the excesses of the 70's. From it's very early days, manager Peter Grant demanded the best for his boys and was very shrewd about putting them "out there" when it came to interviews and such. This gave an aura of mystery about them, and the music with it's blues inflected mysticism did nothing to lift that notion, which is what Grant wanted in the first place. They also had the good sense to quit long before the opportunity to become a parody presented itself, which secured them a status that is only surpassed by a handful of bands.

     Robert Plant's voice isn't the controlled shrieking that used to come down like thunder off of a mountain, however he has tailored his music to the maturing and mellowing of the sound. This has allowed for a redefinition of  the music without really straying too far from his bluesy roots. However this has not lessened his swaggering self assured persona on stage. This will secure his future success for as long as he chooses, but for people my age, the vision of Plant will always be the one of the honey haired singer, out front of the greatest rock band of the 1970's.


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