Robert Plant Praises Dolly Parton’s Cover Of ‘Stairway To Heaven’


Among the stranger cover versions released this year is Dolly Parton’s rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven,” from her latest album Halos & Horns. Parton’s version of the song, which includes some new lyrics that she wrote for it, was OK’d by Zeppelin principals Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

Plant tells LAUNCH that he’s genuinely pleased with the way she treated the song. “You know, the thing is that she’s not wailing–she’s keeping it within the genre, and she’s a good singer. Maybe she didn’t get the last bit properly, and maybe that’s sort of how the idioms have changed so much, that maybe it doesn’t matter–maybe that’s the way to do it. That’s why we did with ‘You Shook Me’ or ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ or whatever it was. It’s just trying to move it ’round a couple, 15 degrees around from magnetic north.”

However, Plant adds that he understands how some fans can find the notion of Parton doing any Led Zeppelin song, much less “Stairway,” to be a bit odd. “For it to be covered here, there, and everywhere, it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “I mean, it’s just another time now, so it’s a bit like Kylie Minogue doing ‘Smokestack Lightning.’ You know, it’s just so kinda odd that the artist and the elements are not in tune.”

Plant releases Dreamland, his first solo album in nine years, on Tuesday (July 16). He accompanies it with a tour that starts Saturday (July 20) at Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin, before hooking up with the Who on July 26 at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts, for a month of opening dates.

Gary Graff courtesy of Launch