Robert Plant looked back at this 38-year solo career as featured on his newly released double-disc compilation, Digging Deep. The former Led Zeppelin frontman joked to Rolling Stone, “When I listen to it, I wonder whether the guy who was singing and writing the lyrics ever had a rest. I mean, did he ever take a vacation? What on earth was going on? And why didn’t he just shut the f*** up for a while and learn something new, like applied mathematics or astronomy? But yeah (Digging Deep) just rolls with so much gusto.”

Plant spoke about the risk he took starting from scratch in 1982 after the demise of arguably the biggest band on the planet: “Well, I was 32. At that time, the media decided that people, quite rightly, at age 32 had probably better step aside and let the next wave go. And obviously Zep was more powerful than any of the individuals (in the band), so it was hard to see the whole deal for what it really is, and that is that there’s a sort of an addiction to it after a while — the combinations of people, and what they’ve got, what they’re laying down — so when you change that, a whole chemical imbalance occurs. So really, I could do whatever I would like to do. I just had to get something going, which would constantly change, so that I didn’t end up institutionalized.”

Plant personally assessed the tracks selected for Digging Deep: “It’s pretty confident, except for, really, underneath it all, maybe it was never confident; it was just throwing another spanner into the works, to see where the shards would take me. None of these songs are going to match (Bob Dylan‘s) 'Masters Of War,' or something like that. They’re songs from the moment that they were born in some rehearsal room on the Welsh borders, I guess.”

Robert Plant worked extensively with Phil Collins in the early-1980's and remembered that his work ethic and belief in the material was unyielding: “I mean, he was there and he used to come down to Rockfield (Studios), where we (used to) record and he’d say: ‘I’ve got four days, okay? Let’s go do the whole album' — I said, ‘done.’ And we’d just work it and work it and work it. And he was, he had this funny look on his — his eyebrow used to go up in the air. He put his drumsticks under his arm and a towel around his neck, and he’d listen to the playback and he’d go: ‘Bass drum’s too fast. Let’s do it again. Gotta get it right, we’ve got to get it right.’ So we got it right and in doing so, I started dragging myself out of the shadows bit by bit. And we did great stuff and Phil toured with us for a couple of tours and we had a great time.”


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