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4.0 out of 5 stars Very decent effort!
I cannot understand some of the negative reviews this book has received on this page. I think Paul Rees has written a very decent biography of Robert Plant. The book is particularly strong on Plant's pre-Zeppelin years, the author has obviously done lots of research and persuaded many of RP's old buddies to talk. The Led Zeppelin years are well covered here too, although...
Published 1 month ago by john neil

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Robert Plant - Paul Rees biography is dazed and confused
The blurb surrounding this new biography of Robert Plant from its publisher declares proudly that "Paul's close professional relationship with Robert is going to make for a revealing read and we can't wait to bring one of the greatest untold rock n' roll stories to the world." The nature of Paul Rees "professional relationship" is an interesting one. As a...
Published 13 months ago by Red on Black


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Robert Plant - Paul Rees biography is dazed and confused, 26 Oct 2013
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The blurb surrounding this new biography of Robert Plant from its publisher declares proudly that "Paul's close professional relationship with Robert is going to make for a revealing read and we can't wait to bring one of the greatest untold rock n' roll stories to the world." The nature of Paul Rees "professional relationship" is an interesting one. As a former Editor of Kerrang and Q he has certainly interviewed Plant on a couple of occasions although the last time was in 2010. He also points out that "our paths crossed a number of times during the years that followed". This seems to amount to nothing more than bumping into him at "assorted television and music show awards". The result is essentially one of those biographies written by a rock journalist that is unauthorised and makes uses of no new material in its production. This in itself is not always a bad thing. Think of the the unauthorised biography of Tom Waits by Barney Hoskyns or The Smiths leading lights Morrissey and Marr by Johnny Rogan where great rock writers delve into the most intricate levels of available evidence and do huge research work around their subject to produce a great read.

Paul Rees unfortunately fails on a number of counts and the book reads like one long Q magazine piece. It is littered on every page with writing that can be excruciating and would embarrass an GCSE psychology student. Thus the author imagines himself in Plant's mind prior to the historic Led Zeppelin reunion gig in London on 10th December 2007 and proposes in language befitting an Hello celebrity portrait that for Plant "there would be ghosts in the room. Those of his first born son, of his best friend and of the ...others lost along the way. For each of them he wanted to be the Golden God one last time". Even with basic biographical detail Rees is clumsy, hence we have the remarkable insight that "the thing that Plant thought most on the morning of 10th September 1959 was not music but how little he liked his new school uniform". Worse than this is the sheer amount of padding that occurs throughout in the form of potted histories of events and people in order to fill pages. Thus we learn that the West Midlands played a role in the Second World War and was tied to it by politicians like "Neville Chamberlain the British Prime Minister at the time of the Wars outbreak who had misguidedly attempted to appease Adolf Hitler, was born into one of Birmingham's great political dynasties". In essence the book divides into thirds with one of these dealing with Zeppelin, another Plant's post Zeppelin years and more latterly his recent resurgence. The analysis of his work with both Alison Krauss and Patty Griffin is very thin and holding the book (even in hardback form) you feel its lightness, and quickly plough through the book as the text also seems double spaced.

If this book was cast as an introductory portrait it would have some merit, but as a serious study which proudly claims to be "The definitive biography" of Robert Plant one of rock musics key figures it fails. You will note in hardback this book cost nearly 14 pounds? If you do want to find out more about Robert Plant a better use of your spending power would be to get Mick Wall's "When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography Of Led Zeppelin" and Barney Hoskyns superb "Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin". Purchased together they will cost you less and render purchase of Paul Rees's flawed book unnecessary.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ordered and accessible biography of a rock God, 11 Aug 2014
By 
G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Robert Plant: A Life: The Biography (Paperback)
I really enjoyed Robert Plant's set on 2014's Glastonbury and bought this book on the back of that. I was not really a fan of Led Zeppelin having unwittingly seen them for the first time when I went to Liverpool University to see what was billed as 'the last performance by the Yardbirds' and was in fact one of the first British dates by Zeppelin. I always found their records too 'heavy' and too 'bombastic'.

I am amazed that this unauthorised biography has so many five star reviews, I'm afraid that I found it workman-like at best. I presume that the excellent reviews represent peoples' love of Plant himself rather than an appreciation of the book. I did enjoy the early part of the book dealing with his struggles to become a rock star and the post-Zeppelin career is also dealt with in great detail but there is no direct access to Plant and the book is built around old interviews and padded out with speculation. Nevertheless, Plant has an interesting story and Paul Rees tells that story in an ordered and accessible way that I imagine will be interesting for people coming to Plant for the first time. However, I did not feel that this book was of the same standard as insightful, well-researched biographies by writers such as Peter Guralnick, Michael Lydon and Barney Hoskyns.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dont waste your money.., 11 July 2014
This is a book full of the Authors idea what Robert Plant was thinking at certain times, and a music history lesson that is common knowledge.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very decent effort!, 20 Oct 2014
By 
john neil (isle of lewis) - See all my reviews
I cannot understand some of the negative reviews this book has received on this page. I think Paul Rees has written a very decent biography of Robert Plant. The book is particularly strong on Plant's pre-Zeppelin years, the author has obviously done lots of research and persuaded many of RP's old buddies to talk. The Led Zeppelin years are well covered here too, although of course the basic narrative is so well known now that there is little new to read here.

I suppose this will only change when Plant, Page or Jones actually puts pen to paper themselves. That said, Rees has done well to speak to so many of the LZ crew from the old days, not just Richard Cole again!! Plant's career after the break up of LZ is also well covered and there are lots of interesting glimpses into the love life of the man - which are informative rather than salacious. Rees has a slight tendency to unnecessarily embroider his writing style at times and I could have done without the social history lessons every now and then but overall this is a very solid and informative biography.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money, 29 Aug 2014
By 
Anna Wilkinson (skegness united kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a very worthy effort. The author has gone to a lot of trouble researching, but with absolutely no input from Mr Plant. There is nothing here that you couldn't find from trawling the internet and a lot of it is common knowledge anyway. No personal insights, but if you want a full run down of every record he's ever made (Yawn), every concert etc, then this is for you.

A waste of money.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty disappointing, 27 Dec 2013
I found this book pretty galling - it says the author met Plant 'a few times' - judging by the contents of the book they obviously weren't particularly enlightening occasions.... there's alot of filler and very little insight into Plant himself - lots of it seems to be based on interviews with the tour manager and assorted characters who were associated with Zep but there's next to nothing from the mouth of Plant and his band mates - it's omertà... It's a cynical cash in - you'll find out more about him on his Wikipedia page!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fellow schoolkid, 21 Sep 2014
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A well written and most interesting read throughout, giving a quite in depth understanding into Rob the person and the events of his life. A minor criticism in that Paul Rees has a few facts wrong for Rob's teenage years at King Edward VI Stourbridge (I was there at the time) but insufficient to distract from the story. No mention of his Austin Champ and the armchairs in the back of it. Zep really did blow away the other bands at the 1970 Bath Festival, the second best that weekend being undoubtedly Fairport Convention (not Pink Floyd, Airplane, Canned Heat or any of the other top notch acts). Apart from the book being about Rob, it is well worth reading for anyone who wants to get a feel for the rock business.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Total waste of money!, 29 Dec 2013
Not a fan of Plant but do enjoy his varied musical sounds. This book is just a repeat of everything else that has been previously written and published somewhere or another. Also some information about family members is incorrect and made lavish, purely for the readers interest. As my title states, " Total waste of money" !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what it says on the tin., 29 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Robert Plant: A Life: The Biography (Paperback)
I suppose the book is quite well written but doesn't reveal anything new and is more about the band from a rather oblique view. It's not the result of much actual contact and conversation with the subject.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I am glad to get that i read this book as i ..., 20 Sep 2014
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Although not in Roberts own words,the author has done much research to try to get down to what makes this man tick.I am glad to get that i read this book as i felt that it was written in such a way as to trace Roberts life from early days through out and up to present day.Very enjoyable for fans to get to know the great man a bit more.
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Robert Plant: A Life: The Biography
Robert Plant: A Life: The Biography by Paul Rees (Paperback - 5 Jun 2014)
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