One of the songs that the Led Zeppelin singer recorded with Alison Krauss was “a great challenge” for the singer.
The singer is referring specifically to “Polly Come Home”, one of the versions he recorded with Alison Krauss for the 2007 album ‘Raising Sand’. He even dares to qualify it as one of the most important challenges of his career:
“It’s just the most difficult piece of music to sing at the tempo that we sang it at,” Plant revealed on the latest episode of his Digging Deep podcast. “It’s one of the toughest calls I’ve had, apart from my audition in the Yardbirds.”
Although the original version of Gene Clark’s song, released in 1969 on the album ‘Through The Morning, Through The Night’, was a half-time with a country touch, Plant and Krauss opted to slow down to a heady sway. This is how Plant defined his emotions:
“It’s such a remarkable feel and it’s such a beautiful song,” Plant remarked. “The song itself is just, it’s so poignant. And it’s so slow. So the very opening line of the song, in my chest, my lungs, my vocal cords, in my sense of timing… It was, ‘How am I gonna get these words right to the end of that bar without collapsing?’ It was just such a beautiful lilt.”
“So this is the guy that sang ‘Immigrant Song,’ he’s just gonna go and sing this song here where I need an iron lung to give me a little more air to get the song out,” Plant continued. “It’s just such a great song, but the tempo… it was so languid, it was magnificent. But it was a hell of a challenge.”
At least the effort was worth it because “Raising Sand” sold more than a million copies in the US and critics celebrated the incredible chemistry between the legendary rocker and Krauss. They won five Grammys, including Record of the Year. There has been talk of a continuation, although the details are scarce.
You can watch the full podcast episode below: