In 1966 Robert Plant left home, left college, left work and turned professional. In 1967 he cut 6 sides for CBS, formed the Band of Joy with John Bonham and created two working partnerships, first with Terry Reid; the two became friends playing on the progressive music circuit of the mid-60’s; and secondly as harmonica player and co-vocalist on various Alexis Korner ventures, which featured pianist Steve Miller and an opening act of a band known as Free.
In early 68, Plant’s psychedelic dream ran out of steam. Bonham left the Band Of Joy to tour with Tim Rose, Plant working still with Korner. Terry Reid recommended Plant to Jimmy Page for a revised Yardbirds line-up, declining the gig himself to pursue a promising solo career. Plant recommended Bonham and with John Paul Jones, Page’s fellow session doyen, the four created and created.
Since Bonham’s untimely death in 1980, Plant has recorded many solo projects and collaborated with a host of colourful accomplices. He and Jimmy Page renewed their long-time partnership in ’95 for four years to create the No Quarter project – a melange of North African, Egyptian and New Wave folk roots sounds. Plant’s attraction and affection to the music of Morocco, the Atlas region and beyond and his lifelong leaning towards the psychedelic indo-rock of West Coast USA, led to a new collision of styles and colours aka Strange Sensation.
Their first album together ‘Dreamland’, received great critical acclaim and two Grammy nominations in January 2003. In recent times, Plant has recorded with Afro Celt Sound System and along with Skin and Justin Adams, travelled to South Sahara, North of Timbuktu in Mali to participate in the 2nd Festival of the Desert, a gathering of African Saharan and assorted soul musicians including Oumou Sangare, Ali Farka Toure, Tinariwen and Tidawt. This project ultimately became a CD compilation to be found on the Harmonia Mundi label. 2003 saw the prestigious release of the definitive Plant retrospective, ’Sixty Six to Timbuktu’, which included a selection of Plant’s solo work from his first recording date to his appearance in Mali. As of Oct 2004, Plant has reassembled his Es Paranza label which saw its first release for many years. Robert Plant and Strange Sensation’s album, titled ‘Mighty Rearranger’ is a collection of 12 all new, all original songs released May 2005. A major year long tour has just been completed.
At the close of 2005, the critically acclaimed Mighty Rearranger received 2 Grammy nominations. 2006 will see Robert and the band embark on a new adventure with a string of dates across Europe and beyond.
In May 2006, Robert received the prestigious Polar Music Prize along with other members of Led Zeppelin. The prize awarded to ‘Led Zeppelin’ was presented by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in the presence of other such dignitaries.
Raising Sand, a new project and partnership with 26-time Grammy® Award winning artist Alison Krauss was released on October 23, 2007 on Rounder Records. In its first week, Raising Sand was the second best selling album in the US. A staple of critics’ 2007 year-end top ten surveys, Raising Sand topped lists in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sunday Times (UK), and placed high in many more outlets.
Raising Sand won five Grammys® at the 51st annual Grammy® Awards including top honors for Album of the Year and Record of the Year (“Please Read The Letter”) as well as Best Contemporary Americana/Folk Album, Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals (“Rich Woman”), and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals (“Killing The Blues”). These Grammy® wins come on the heels of a CMA award for Musical Event of the Year, as well as Album of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year honors at the Americana Music Awards and a nomination for the Mercury Prize’s Short List.