Indeed, when Plant went to see his former Led Zeppelin bandmate John Paul Jones's new rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures at the Royal Albert Hall a few months back, he admits his ears "bled for two days" after the sonic assault.
Ahead of the release of his new album, Band of Joy, Robert Plant talks to Andy Gill about the move from fronting the biggest band in the world to his success in exploring a diverse range of styles, from vocal harmony and country to North African and Arabic For a star of his magnitude, once the singer in the biggest band on the planet, frontman of the only group to seriously challenge the Rolling Stones' perennial claim on being the raunchiest of rockers, Robert Plant has managed to retain an admirably down-to-earth attitude to life.
His latest album, Raising Sand, recorded with country singer Alison Krauss, won five Grammy awards after it was released in 2007.
After the ceremony, he said he and Charles discussed the Dimbleby lecture the prince gave this week on global challenges and the environment.
"It's quite odd, how mine and John's paths seem to have crossed over – we've sort of gone into each others' worlds a bit." It's an intriguing development, and one which could hardly have been foreseen during Plant's tenure with Led Zeppelin, when his falsetto shrieks and erotic double entendres combined with Jimmy Page's steamroller riffs to effectively invent the heavy rock grammar.
Founded in the late 1960s, initially as The New Yardbirds – an attempt to glean some publicity from Jimmy Page's status as the last of The Yardbirds' stellar guitarists – Led Zeppelin were an alliance of extraordinary talents.