Robert Plant Revisited His Time ‘Whoring Like Crazy’ Musically in the Post-Led Zeppelin Years
While countless podcasts launched during the Covid-19 pandemic, former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant took the opposite approach. After starting Digging Deep in 2019, Plant put his podcast on hold for the lockdown and isolation periods. But Plant returned in May ’21 to continue exploring his work in the Zeppelin years and (mostly) what came after.
Plant didn’t disappoint in Digging Deep’s series 4 premiere, which ostensibly was devoted to “Bluebirds Over the Mountain.” Prior to discussing his ’17 recording of that track, Plant spoke about the various projects he took up after the March ’20 lockdowns began.
Those activities included cataloguing recordings Plant made and never released over the years. During the process, Plant came across some surprises. “I would go and write with anybody,” Plant recalled with a laugh on Digging Deep. And his experiments included work with, among others, the man behind the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
Robert Plant rediscovered work with Buggles writer Bruce Woolley and others after Led Zeppelin
After the 1980 end of Led Zeppelin, Plant really wanted to stake out new territory for himself, musically speaking. He did just that with Pictures at Eleven (1982) and The Principle of Moments (1983). On those efforts, Plant began his embrace of drum machines and other modern sounds.
But somewhere between Shaken ‘n’ Stirred (1985) and Now and Zen (1988), Plant went back to the drawing board. During a search for new collaborators, Plant took a crack at songwriting with all sorts of characters. He had a blast revisiting that period on Digging Deep.
“If you ever want to hear Robert Plant singing with Buggles — yeah [laughs],” Plant said on the podcast. “Bruce Woolley and Robert Plant singing something about the city … it ended up with Grace Jones. I was whoring like crazy. I would go and write with anybody at that time.”
That list included Robert Crash, who had a band called Psychotic Tanks and worked with Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics fame). “I did some stuff with [Crash] in his room,” Plant recalled. “It’s insanely brilliant.”
Plant wants his unreleased recordings put out for free when he dies
Plant’s work with Crash really sounded like a scene. “It’s like 1984, huge Oberheim computers belching out this huge bottom end,” he recalled on Digging Deep. “With this mad German dressed in a plastic mackintosh tied at the waist — with spats — doing this weave ’round the room playing a Stratocaster. It really is the other side of David Byrne.”
Someday, Plant will release these recordings, along with many others music fans will be interested in. “I just itemized them all and put everything into some semblance of order,” Plant said. “I’ve told the kids, ‘When I kick the bucket, open it to the public free of charge.'”
By the sound of it, Plant has a number of recordings that will attract interest. “It’s really good. I don’t care what happens to it,” Plant said. “It’s great to hear it again.” As to when that day (post-“kicking the bucket”) will come, Plant had fun with it. “I don’t whether it’s one day around the corner, really, to be honest [laughs],” he said on Digging Deep. “I’m not sure.”