Robert Plant: If It's Really Got to be This Way (1994)

 |   |  1 min read

Robert Plant: If It's Really Got to be This Way (1994)

When the unexpected, Grammy-grabbing album Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss arrived, it reminded many of what a great interpretive singer Plant could be outside of his throat-abusing belting in Led Zeppelin. Even within the mighty Zepp however he offered some exceptional interpretations (Gallows Pole stands out).

Well before Raising Sand however, he appeared on a tribute to the great country-soul writer/singer Arthur Alexander (whose compilation The Ultimate is an Essential Elsewhere album here).

Alexander was one of the favourite songwriters of the young John Lennon (the Beatles covered Anna and he did Soldier of Love live in Hamburg and the Cavern). The Stones covered Alexander's You Better Move On.

A notable feature of Alexander's style was that he would throw the listener right into the middle of a narrative as on the heartbreaking Anna ("Anna, you come and and ask me girl, to set you free girl, you say he loves you more than me . . .")

He did the same on his hit If It's Really Got To Be This Way which Plant covered on the tribute album to Alexander, Adios Amigo, which appeared a year after the writer's death.

Plant plays an absolutely straight bat to the lyrics and melody which are merged like a seamless whole.

You can imagine Mick Jagger, showing some similar restraint, could have done an equally fine job.

But Percy got their first. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Beatles: Love Me Do (1962)

The Beatles: Love Me Do (1962)

It was 50 years ago today . . . Half a century ago, the world was a very different place. Germany was divided, racial lines split South Africa and the Southern states of America, the world held... > Read more

Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam: Is 'e an Aussie, is 'e Lizzy (the Thirties?)

Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam: Is 'e an Aussie, is 'e Lizzy (the Thirties?)

This is one of those songs which, once heard, is never forgotten: how can you ever erase lines like "seems this digger likes my figure" or "he being well-born, lived in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ABBEY ROAD REVISITED: Crossing the crossing (2006)

ABBEY ROAD REVISITED: Crossing the crossing (2006)

Long before you reach the most famous recording studio in the world you can hear the sound. But it is not music coming from inside the walls. It is the squeal of tyres as another car or truck slams... > Read more

THE FACES ANTHOLOGY (2012): A Rod's as Good as a Drink

THE FACES ANTHOLOGY (2012): A Rod's as Good as a Drink

Making records wasn't the point of the Faces – aka just “Faces” – although they delivered four albums in the five years to 1975. Certainly Rolling Stone critic Jon Landau... > Read more