Why Robert Plant Doesn’t Relate to His Led Zeppelin Songs Anymore

In 1968, Led Zeppelin was formed by vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. Even though the band disbanded in 1980 after Bonham’s death, Led Zeppelin is regarded as one of the most popular rock bands of all time. In an interview with Vulture, Plant revealed that as life goes on Led Zeppelin’s music does not “represent” him as much.

Robert Plant speaks into a microphone on stage with his arms held out
Robert Plant | Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Robert Plant does not relate to Led Zeppelin songs as much anymore

In a recent interview with Vulture, Plant discussed Led Zeppelin’s discography and his experience as a member of the band.

When asked to pick a song that changed in meaning, Plant named a few and explained that most of Led Zeppelin’s songs have changed for him.

“I think in all my times and all the changes that I’ve created and that we all create — the thought and the written words — everything rests in a particular moment. Then we move along and we leave that moment of enlightenment or madness or whatever behind,” he said.

Plant continued, “So for me, it makes no sense to consider a distance and the meanderings of such a long time ago. I mean, does ‘Black Dog’ work anymore for me? It did in 1971. Does it represent me now? It doesn’t represent me now, but maybe it still does in a way.”

The singer does not think the meaning of Led Zeppelin’s songs change

When speaking with Vulture, Plant shared that he does not think the meaning of “Black Dog” actually changed because it represents the time it is supposed to represent.

“It seemed to fit in with the blues at the time. But if I look back at it now, do I really think its meaning has changed? No, because it was written in the spirit of the time. It happened and then you move on. Look, it’s 50 years later,” Plant said.

Led Zeppelin released the song “Black Dog” on their untitled fourth studio album. The band released the album in 1971, and in pop culture, it is often referred to as Led Zeppelin IV even though the album was purposefully left untitled.

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Robert Plant would not recognize his younger self

While Plant does not think that songs change in meaning, the point he made to Vulture is that as time goes on, he changes.

“I also loved the lyrics and the shuffle of what was going on with early Buffalo Springfield. The thought process was far more coherent and challenging coming out of America at the time. So I suppose I was kind of stuck in this antiquarian approach, of sticking a lyric to a riff. Was it cute? Yeah, it was cute. But did it make any sense? I was 19 when I went to the first rehearsals and 20 when the first record came out,” Plant explained.

He continued, “So does ‘Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)’ work for me now? Well, I can dig it, but I don’t really know the guy who wrote it. I wouldn’t recognize him in the street.”