Posts Tagged ‘Rocks Great Frontman’

Robert Plant first came to the public eye in the late ’60s as a member of one of the biggest bands ever, Led Zeppelin. But long before the spotlight was on him, he was a member of The Crawling King Snakes which would prove to be pivotal as it put him in touch with John Bonham. Plant, like most aspiring musicians from England, was influenced by blues artists from America. In 1968 Jimmy Page was searching for a lead singer for the Yardbirds and after meeting Plant, he offered the gig to him on the spot. Collaborations between Page and Plant gave us some of the most memorable moments in rock history. With John Bonham on drums and session player John Paul Jones on bass, the band conquered the world with a mix of blues, folk and straight-ahead rock. Throughout the ’70s, the band released some of the most prominent records of all time. As a live act, they would often jam out songs 10 to 15 minutes beyond the originals as Plant would riff off Page and vice-versa. Robert Plant, like Roger Daltrey, had a golden mane, devastating good looks and incredible stage presence. Often performing in shirts that would show off his chest and arms, he became a rock god, and the band’s hotel stays while touring are legendary. In 1980, Bonham died after a night of hard partying, leaving the rest of the members no choice but to retire. Despite retirement, Plant has had an amazing solo career releasing ten studio albums. In 1984, he joined Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck in the super group the Honeydrippers who found success with such singles as “Sea of Love” and “Rockin’ at Midnight.” Plant would reunite with Page again on the 1994 project Unleaded which sparked a tour. Seemingly joined at the hip, the duo would release another album. No Quarter featured reworked versions of Zeppelin classics. To date, Jimmy, Jones and Plant received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1995 Led Zeppelin was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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As the frontman of Queen, Freddie Mercury was much more than a singer. His early persona was androgynous, theatrical and over the top. Though Queen’s early work was a mix of glam, punk and straight up rock, with Freddie at the helm, they would push the boundaries of popular music. As a performer, Freddie Mercury would encourage audience participation. His flamboyant style was embraced and celebrated by fans, critics and even his contemporaries such as David Bowie who called Freddie courageous. While Queen’s first three albums found critical success, they were having a difficult time unloading albums. This would change with A Night at the Opera. They charted with “You’re My Best Friend,” but “Bohemian Rhapsody” would catch the world’s attention. With its operatic interlude, the song was twice as long as anything on pop radio and is still hailed as one of the best songs ever recorded. The follow-up, A Day at the Races, received more critical and commercial success with tracks such as, “Tie Your Mother Down” and “Somebody to Love.” By the time they got to News of the World, Queen was given a license to kill, and the seminal track “We Will Rock You” has been chanted at sporting events for decades. Jazz found the band in transition as they adopted a pop-friendly and more accessible sound. Although he never officially came out as gay or bi, there were hints such as cutting off his hair, growing a moustache and adopting a leather man look. These rumours were confirmed as Freddie died in 1991 at 45 of AIDS-related complications. Several tributes would follow, including The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness in 1992. Queen and Freddie Mercury have received a plethora of awards including, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.