We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you a clash of cultures, as Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page cover The Cure’s 1989 track ‘Lullaby’.
One can’t imagine there is too much crossover in the diehard fandom of The Cure and Led Zeppelin. The two acts represent two different ends of the rock and roll spectrum. But even with such different sonic viewpoints, somehow, great music will always be great, no matter who plays it.
Following the disbandment of Led Zeppelin in 1980 after the death of John Bonham, guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant spent a fair while travelling the open seas of being a solo artist. With varying degrees of success, neither Page nor Plant reached the heights they shared together.
With an MTV Unplugged session offered to Plant, he knew he couldn’t be the only person on the stage performing Zeppelin, so he invited his longstanding collaborator Jimmy Page to perform. The duo instantly reconnected and let go of the past issues which had held them from re-establishing their relationship back over the last decade or so.
As new act, Plant and Page, the duo put out a live record of acoustic numbers and followed it up with a world tour. But they would need a band. The group soon formed around the two classic rock powerhouses and they also managed to lure away the wonderfully talented Porl Thompson from The Cure.
Having been a member of the increasingly chart-topping band since 1983, clearly, Thompson believed he had some more steady opportunities in the former Led Zeppelin leaders. He joined them for their 1995 world tour and delivered, as you might expect, a high-quality level performance everywhere he went.
The crowd were rightly enamoured with the chance to see Jimmy Page and Robert Plant tear through some Zeppelin classics with a fully loaded band. But for some, the highlight would have come from the group’s cover of The Cure’s 1989 hit, ‘Lullaby’. Often seen as an allegory for depression and drug addiction, the track is an atypical Cure track and it feels difficult to imagine anyone handling it with the same skill as Robert Smith and co.
In the clip below, Plant says to the audience, “Tonight, it’s great to have with us a member of a very important British group, probably the last great British band to effect America, The Cure. On guitar, would you please welcome Mr Porl Thompson.” the group then begin ‘Lullaby’s famous chords and with them, the worries about whether Plant and Page could handle this kind of track soon dissipate.
Somehow, despite being fairly opposite to Smith’s original vocals, Plant manages to encapsulate the track with his performance. There’s a tortured weariness to the song which highlights his commanding talent as a singer. But, don’t take our word for it, find below Robert Plant and Jimmy Page covering The Cure’s ‘Lullaby’ below.