Robert Plant Reveals the Most Tolkien-y Led Zeppelin Song

The band Led Zeppelin was formed by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham in 1968. The members of Led Zeppelin were known to be big fans of The Lord of the Rings and author J. R. R. Tolkien. In an interview with Vulture, Plant revealed what Led Zeppelin song is the most inspired by Tolkien’s work.

A black-and-white photo with Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Robert Plant thinks ‘The Battle of Evermore’ is the most inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien

Tolkien released a book called The Hobbit in 1937. The author went on to release The Lord of the Rings in three volumes in the 1950s.

When asked about what Led Zeppelin song is the most inspired by the universe Tolkien created, Plant answered “The Battle of Evermore.”

“This is a windup, isn’t it? [Laughs.] Bearing in mind that I’ve been hung out to dry a million times for being a sort of sad old hippie going on about Frodo. But I was visiting Frodo when he was about as well known as the most obscure book in my library, when Tolkien was a forgotten entity. So that gives me … no, that doesn’t give me any parlay in this situation,” Plant told Vulture. “I have to say that ‘The Battle of Evermore’ is the right thing for me.”

“The Battle of Evermore” was released on Led Zeppelin’s fourth studio album that purposefully was left untitled. However, the 1971 album is frequently referred to as Led Zeppelin IV.

Why Robert Plant chose ‘The Battle of Evermore’

Speaking with Vulture, Plant explained why he chose “The Battle of Evermore” as Led Zeppelin’s most Tolkien-esque song.

“The fact that ‘Evermore’ was the to-ing and fro-ing, if you like, of dance in the dark of night, there’s always been something quite evocative about this area where I’ve been raised. I’ve always been as into the world as possible,” Plant explained.

He continued, “It goes back to what we talked about with the idea of ‘journey songs.’ I think ‘The Battle of Evermore’ is that ebb and flow of the constant rub of cultures. There’s no time more evident. It’s here everywhere. At the same time, you have to understand that I’m fully aware of the fact that compared to a big black flag, to the stuff that really makes me howl with satisfaction in a contemporary world, this is another thing altogether. We care a lot. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.”

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Robert Plant is still inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien

“The Battle of Evermore” is not the only song released by Led Zeppelin that refers to or builds upon stories released by Tolkien. In the interview with Vulture, Plant shared that he still feels connected to the author and his work.

“Tolkien was a professor of medieval history and he lived and taught about 30 miles from where I’m sitting. He took his inspiration from the landscape, which I’m a part of now,” Plant said. “I’ve been reading and studying this stuff and finding all the points of reference between myth, fairy tale, and reality, because it runs really close.”