Phil Collins’ Key Role In Robert Plant’s Solo Career
When Led Zeppelin decided to disband following the passing of their well-respected drummer John Bonham, figuring out what to do next was pretty challenging for all the surviving members. They were even indecisive about staying in the music business. The lead singer Robert Plant, who was close friends with Bonham, went through a deep mourning period.
The rocker had already been grieving the death of his son, who died three years before Bonzo. It had caused him to question his future in music. After Led Zeppelin’s split, his concerns about his future career surfaced again, making him think a lot about his next move. Luckily, the music world didn’t lose such a magnificent voice when the singer settled on pursuing a solo career. He also had a supporting force in his new journey.
The Timeline Of Robert Plant’s Solo Career
Robert Plant’s solo journey began with his debut album, ‘Pictures at Eleven,’ released in 1982. It was quickly followed by 1983’s ‘The Principle of Moments,’ which gave him his first solo hits, ‘Big Log,’ and ‘Other Arms.’ Both albums were a departure from Led Zeppelin’s hard rock sound. The singer was determined to give his career a new direction. After these albums, Plant embarked on a successful solo tour in 1983. The rocker produced nine more solo studio albums in the following years, ‘Carry Fire’ of 2017 being the latest one he released.
Besides his solo records, Robert Plant formed several bands and collaborated with many prominent artists, including his former bandmate Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Alison Krauss. The singer actively toured with these bands, and they also contributed to the making process of his solo albums. Currently, Plant has been performing with a low-key acoustic band called Saving Grace, which he formed in 2019. On the other hand, the rocker’s latest release is his second collaborative album with Alison Krauss, ‘Raise the Roof’ of 2021. The vocalist has pursued a successful solo journey since 1982, yet there was someone who encouraged him in the first place.
How Did Phil Collins Help Robert Plant For His Solo Career?
While Robert Plant was thinking about his future, the encouragement from Genesis drummer Phil Collins made it easier for him to make his ultimate decision to pursue a solo career. The drummer also showed significant support musically by playing with Plant on his first two albums. In ‘Pictures at Eleven,’ Phil Collins played drums in five of the album’s eight songs. Later, in ‘The Principle of Moments,’ the drummer again contributed to five tracks. He also performed drumming duties in the North American portion of Plant’s tour in 1983.
In an interview with The Pulse Of Radio, Robert Plant credited Phil Collins for helping launch his solo career and providing the necessary support he needed at that point in his life. The singer explained that starting again after Led Zeppelin was quite challenging. Plant revealed that he received a phone call from Phil Collins, saying he was a big admirer of John Bonham and wanted to sit behind him just like him. The Led Zeppelin icon described Collins as a ‘positive’ and ‘encouraging force‘ who gave him the necessary motivation.
Robert Plant speaking on Phil Collins’ encouragement at the beginning of his solo career:
“I made my business to go out and start again at the age of 32. It’s hysterical when you think about it now. But I worked and worked with these guys; Robbie Blunt, who was a particularly fine guitarist. And I was graced by my first two solo records, ‘Pictures at Eleven’ and ‘The Principle of Moments.’
A drummer contacted me and said, ‘I love Bonham so much I wanna sit behind you when you sing.‘ It was Phil Collins. His career was kicking in, and he was the most spirited and positive and encouraging force because you can’t imagine what it was like, me trying to carve my way after all that.”
It looks like Phil Collins played a crucial role in saving Robert Plant’s career by having a massive influence on his decision to pursue a solo career. The singer probably didn’t regret his then-decision after the great success he gained as a solo artist.