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Led Zeppelin [Hardcover]

William Ruhlmann


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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good Led Zeppelin book... 5 Jun 2014
By Commisioned - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is only about 80 pages. Its primarily a book of photographs, some color, some B&W. The text is brief but reasonably informative. The writer kind of assumes that the reader already has a cursory understanding of the bands history. He kinda gets right to the point while not giving long histories on every aspect of the band. If you're looking for one book to learn about Led Zeppelin I would not recommend this one. But if you've got a collection going, then this would be a nice addition. It has many photos I've never seen before. This book briefly delves into subsequent solo careers and the several reunions/partial reunions. The book was published in 1991 so it only makes it up through Plant's Manic Nirvana album, and the Knebworth festival in which Page joins Plant's band onstage. Essentially the book would be equivalent to a Special Edition type magazine(except it is a hard cover book) featuring Led Zeppelin. Not incredibly detailed but a solid overview with some great photos that you may not have seen in other publications. A must for Zep collector's for sure.

As I said, this wouldn't be the book for the person who just wants one good book that covers all things Zeppelin. If you're looking for a more detailed biography I'd recommend Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis. Or Led Zeppelin: The Definitive Biography by Ritchie York.

If a photo biography is more your thing, I'd recommend Led Zeppelin A Visual Documentary by Paul Kendall. Or Led Zeppelin: Heaven and Hell by Charles R. Cross. Another book I thoroughly enjoyed and is an easy read with great photos, is Led Zeppelin the Final Acclaim by noted Zep expert Dave Lewis. Its a collection of articles from the bands own Tight But Loose magazine (as well as facsimiles from many newspaper articles of the time) . Its a book that really hasn't gotten much recognition but is great none the less. And anything by Dave Lewis tends to be very good. Final Acclaim was published in 1983 so its close to the source as far as timeline is concerned. It's not colored by the passage of time, memory, and urban legend as many newer books are. And of course Dave Lewis had unique access to the band and could be considered the bands information archivist.

Another quick note on the book being reviewed here, is that it was written by music journalist/critic William Ruhlmann. It is written in much the style you'd expect from someone with that background. His criticism of some of Zeppelin's work is harsh at times. For example he blasts Kashmir for being considered a quintessential Led Zeppelin song simply because it lacks a guitar solo. And he sort of uses every period that the band faced trying times as an excuse to sight the bands decline. But the book is still a worthwhile read as he does include a lot of statistical analysis. At times he seems to have a slight contempt for the band as just being a foil for Pages guitar excursions, then in the next breath seems confused as to why a particular song is not Page based guitar excursion. That style of writing does detract from the book a bit, but does not go so far as to make the book unenjoyable.
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