One would argue that alongside being perhaps the nicest man in rock music, former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant is also one of the most interesting. His takes are always perceptive, and over the years, we have been lucky enough to have been offered insights into the inner workings of his intellect via the conduit of his black country humour and incredible lived experiences.
His life is one that has many twists and turns, all of which has been well documented. This is unsurprising given just how heavily mythologised Led Zeppelin as a band are, an image that was suitably enlarged by their heavily esoteric lyrics and sound.
Fusing Western and Eastern mysticism into his lyrics, when you examine the music of Led Zeppelin through this lens, you heed that in many ways they were the ultimate rock band. Lyrically dense, technically proficient musically and captivating performers, regardless of all the off-stage mire, Led Zeppelin at their zenith are unmatched. They ticked boxes that even The Beatles didn’t manage to.
In the mid-1970s, Plant once jokingly referred to himself as the ‘Golden God‘, invoking a Midas-like image, which, although in jest, and in the spirit of the bonkers birthday party he was at, this could not have been any more fitting as a moniker. At the time, everything Led Zeppelin touched did turn to gold, and in terms of rock and roll frontmen, you can’t get any more golden than Robert Plant.
Artistically, Plant is a man whose reach knows no real bounds. Over his career, Zeppelin and otherwise, he has covered pretty much every genre under the sun ranging from blues to world and heavy metal. For an artist so fluid, it is only suitable that the music he listens to is varied, to say the least.
In a past interview with the now-defunct Q Magazine, Plant surprised all his fans by revealing that he owns records by The Cure and This Mortal Coil. The most pleasantly surprising title was Faith No More’s 1987 sophomore effort, Introduce Yourself. An alternative metal classic, this was the last record to feature the band’s original frontman, the late, great Chuck Mosley. Featuring the total batshit but legendary tunes like ‘Introduce Yourself’, ‘We Care A Lot’ and ‘Anne’s Song’, this was the last record before Faith No More properly took off with the introduction of new frontman Mike Patton in 1988.
Introduce Yourself is nonetheless a classic. A tie-dye, weed inspired, semi-goofy record, it was also the first sign, that Faith No More were taking steps into previously untapped areas in metal and alternative. Plant even mistakenly believed it to be their first record. He said: “Their first album. It’s like, I, ME, listen to this! and if you don’t like it, fuck off!!! You can’t spend all your life whimpering away about the ex-wife. The vocal attitude – the hard, heavy garage rap – I like very much.”
Introduce Yourself was the first true indicator that Faith No More are one of the most unique and experimental bands out there. Its follow up, The Real Thing, would cement their legacy as one of the most influential bands of all time.
When you stop to think about it properly, it comes as little surprise that Plant is a Faith No More fan, as he himself has always been committed to pushing boundaries and following his own path.
Listen to Introduce Yourself in full below.