I actually agree with you starkers. I was a pre-Johnson AC/DC fan but cannot listen to them now.
Yup, Johnsons vocals ruin otherwise perfectly good music. Talking about strangling the cat... that's moments after you've applied thumbscrews to its nuts and poured hot treacle on its arse.
One of my top 3 bands of all time and Plant still has the voice. Some say at 66 he is a better vocalist than he was 35 years ago.
Led Zeppelin IS my favourite band of all time, with Ten Years After a close second and Black Sabbath tying with Pink Floyd for 3rd place. I have a long list of artists and bands after that, though, and I'd be here for a month of Sundays going through it.
As for Robert Plant's vocals being better nowadays, I always thought he was awesome, right through his career with Led Zeppelin, The HoneyDrippers and hs solo period.... when he reformed with Pagey. Thing is, he STILL has it, without doubt, though he's more mature with it and better portrays a himself as a singer with great passion and feeling. I saw Robert Plant at Festival Hall Brisbane in the mid-80's and came away awestruck... he was phenomenal.
I love this performance of Black Dog with Alison Krauss...
And their version of The Battle of Evermore...