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When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography Of Led Zeppelin [Paperback]

Mick Wall
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
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Book Description

1 Oct 2009

They were 'the last great band of the sixties; the first great band of the seventies'; they rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time. Mick Wall, respected rock writer and former confidant of both Page and Plant, unflinchingly tells the story of the band that wrote the rulebook for on-the-road excess - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction and death.

WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH reveals for the first time the true extent of band leader Jimmy Page's longstanding interest in the occult, and goes behind the scenes to expose the truth behind their much-hyped yet spectacularly contrived comeback at London's O2 arena last year, and how Jimmy Page plans to bring the band back permanently - if only his former protégé, now part-time nemesis, Robert Plant will allow him to. Wall also recounts, in a series of flashbacks, the life stories of the five individuals that made the dream of Led Zeppelin into an even more incredible and hard-to-swallow reality: Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and their infamous manager, Peter Grant.

The culmination of several years research, this book tells the full, shocking story of Led Zeppelin from the inside, written by someone who has known Jimmy Page for over twenty years.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409103196
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409103196
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A document of a bygone age... they summed up the best and worst of rock culture in the 1970s (Robert Sandall TIMES)

an exemplary rock biography (CATHOLIC HERALD)

Well illustrated and utterly compelling (HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER)

Book Description

The final word on the world's greatest rock band, Led Zeppelin.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Led Zeppelin - In The Light 19 Mar 2010
Out of the three Zeppelin biographies that I have read, this is by far the best. Diligently researched, and well written it keeps you wanting to return to the albums (always a sign of a good music book) with each record being examined in great detail, which led to me purchasing Moby Grape's "Grape Jam" (1967) ... Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any Led Zep fan 12 Feb 2009
This book is just fantastic. It really does tell the whole story of the behemoth that was Led Zeppelin. The reviews aren't kidding when they say that this is THE definitive Zep biography. I haven't read any of the other bio's, like Hammer of the Gods, but after reading When Giants Walked the Earth I don't want to.
My only criticism is that at some points the italic "in the mind of" sections can be a bit confusing because you don't instantly know who Wall is impersonating.

Overall, this is a must-read. I think I'll be rereading it in a year or two.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant 29 Nov 2008
I only started reading this because I bought it for my husband for Xmas but once I started I couldn't put it down. I used to read music books when I was younger but stopped when I realised they were nearly always fan books. This isn't like that. It's obvious Mick Wall knows his stuff and has spoken to everyone including the band but he doesn't pull any punches. I don't know if the band will like it but they should because it's not only a great book about them but just a great book anyway. Utterly brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tea for one 5 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What actually happened? What struck me first was that I could trust the author. This is no one sided piece of hero worship, it's Led Zeppelin in all their horrible inglorious ways: plagiarism, heroin, dead bodies and abused groupies but amidst the carnage lies a powerful beast of a band. I have come away with a new understanding of what to do with the blues music that came before us and a new appreciation for Zeppelin. I had to skip over the bits about the occult but I know these will be the best bits for other readers. I might just read this book again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Couldn't Put It Down 2 Jan 2009
I spotted this in the shops just before Xmas, and dropped some none too subtle hints to my wife, and hey presto I had something to read over Xmas.
It's a 400page plus heavyweight read and I have just (2nd Jan) finished it - superby written its a book you can't put down.

I have been a fan for over 30 years, and whilst there was a lot in this book I already knew, there was a whole lot more. The music is covered in detail, but it's the stuff outside the music where a lot more light is shed on the band, and its individual members far more than anything else I have read. Its an uplifting, fascinating read - truly sex, drugs and rock and roll, with the ultimate practitioners of the non-stop party.

And yet.....its also poignant and quite sad in places as everyone involved (with the exception of Jonesy) has suffered personal tragedies, and when it comes up to date you ultimately start to feel sorry for Jimmy Page as its obvious that Robert Plant has "moved on" and its Jimmy who wants to try to recreate something from 30-35 years ago.

Anyone who is even the slightest bit interested in Led Zeppelin should buy this book, and its appeal goes further than that as it reads almost like fiction at times being fast paced and the characters are very well observed - I know how it ends, but that didn't stop me wondering as I turned every page what was going to happen next!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental achievement 18 Nov 2008
After having only the sleazy and now outdated Hammer of the Gods to put up with all these years, it's amazing to finally have the sort of serious, brilliantly written book on Zeppelin the band and their fans deserve. I never thought I'd live to see the day but here it is at last. Mick Wall is famous enough already as a great rock writer but this has to be the best thing he's ever done or ever likely to do. Zeppelin of course are simply the greatest rock band ever. What a combination the two make. The book pulls no punches, but at the same time goes right to the heart of the matter, telling you everything - everything - you've ever wanted to know about the band, the people in it, the music they made and the times they helped shape. Wall seems to have spoken to them all and come away with the truth at last. I literally could not put it down. There have been some great books over the years about groups like the Stones and the Beatles but this tops them all. Seriously. If Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have any sense they should go down on their bended knees and thank Wall. They may not come out of it always smelling of roses but at least he's done them the favour of burying Hammer of the Gods forever. Compared to that, When Giants Walked The Earth is the bible.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Guitarlass
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Every zep fan should read this..........huff said
Published 1 month ago by The Teacher
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great, in-depth biography.
Published 1 month ago by Margaret Jackson
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but...
I would like to kick off by saying this is a very good book. It covers an array of things from the occult to the bands dysfunctional behaviour. Read more
Published 3 months ago by SPUD
1.0 out of 5 stars bought it for a friend.
bought it for a friend. Mostly revamped stuff. Also has a wierd way of writing,wouldn't recommend it for a fan or a reader.
Published 4 months ago by Peter Broaders
5.0 out of 5 stars When Giants Walked the Earth: A Led Zeppelin Biography
Most enjoyable read, good insight to rock 'n' roll band wagon. It has all the Highs and Lows of hard work, touring, parties and the big drawbacks to living in the fast lane. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ali Mac
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story Remains The Same
Nothing wrong at all with this account of the triumph-to-tragedy history of Led Zeppelin.
As with any LZ bio, one is never far away from the usual superlatives 'Giants',... Read more
Published 7 months ago by tomyesfan
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good delivery!
Purchased as a Christmas present for a Zeppelin fan, so not given yet. I'm sure it will be appreciated though!
Published 8 months ago by Hils
4.0 out of 5 stars A wild ride
A brilliantly put together book telling the story of a rock n roll behemoth.

Even the rather strange italic 'from the point of view of' sections start becoming an... Read more
Published 9 months ago by ricenpeas
5.0 out of 5 stars When Giants Walked The Earth
A must for any Zeppelin fan. Interesting and humourous at times. A rockumentary that tells all. I would recommend this to anyone who needs to know the ins and outs of Led... Read more
Published 10 months ago by carol copper
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