Last night, the legendary Robert Plant swung by The Late Late Show With James Corden, not only to perform but also to have a quick chat with the host. And since something like 90 percent of Corden’s brand is built on karaoke, that is naturally what he asked about when he had the chance to ask the former frontman of Led Zeppelin anything in the world. Of course, Plant is a sly and charming guy with decades of tales to tell, and he did in fact have an amusing anecdote about a night of karaoke in Hong Kong 22 years ago — after he calls the whole enterprise of karaoke a “dastardly trick.”
As Plant explained, he and his son had one night left in town and wanted to do something fun, and because Plant “had too much to drink,” he wanted to sing. After deciding against Abba, he settled on his old favorite Elvis. (Sidenote: I really want to hear Plant take on an ABBA classic like “S.O.S.” or “Take A Chance On Me” now.) Turns out, there was a Taiwanese Elvis impersonator there, and the crowd preferred his take over Plant’s, even though the latter was “really, really good.” Can you imagine somehow winding up at a karaoke night where a drunken Robert Plant shows up and sings Elvis and everyone’s cheering the other guy? It sounds like a wild night indeed. Anyway, Corden thankfully did not subject Plant to Carpool Karaoke, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree on who would’ve won that particular karaoke duel.
Plant also sang “New World” from his 2017 release Carry Fire — an album that gave us some of the best material of his solo career. In the grand scheme of things, it was just as overlooked as the rest of Plant’s rich late-career stage. His performance of “New World” is a good glimpse of what he’s still capable of, a moody and meditative reading that works perfectly with how weathered yet graceful his distinct voice has become. Check out videos of both below.