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When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography Of Led Zeppelin Paperback – 28 May 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409103714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409103714
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 3.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,371,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Sensational."--"New York Times" "Entertaining, thoughtful."--"Los Angeles Times""" "His access and attention to detail make this a definitive work...an essential source for anyone eager to learn about the era when rock stars ruled the world."--"Publishers Weekly""" "Wall does well to shine light on the myths and music magic of Led Zep--rendering what could "have" been cartoonish real and sincere."--"TimeOut Chicago" “[T]hat Wall can add so much fresh detail to the Led Zep story is in itself an extraordinary achievement…(and) he manages to humanize these planet-striding giants while doing so…”
--"Classic Rock Magazine""" “It deftly strikes the balance between lofty authority and finding a way to get inside the heads of its subjects.”
--"The Guardian" (UK) "[T]his is the big one: a fat, juicy biography of the biggest band ever."--"Daily Telegraph" (UK)

"Sensational."--"New York Times" "Entertaining, thoughtful."--"Los Angeles Times""" "His access and attention to detail make this a definitive work...an essential source for anyone eager to learn about the era when rock stars ruled the world."--"Publishers Weekly""" "Wall does well to shine light on the myths and music magic of Led Zep--rendering what could "have" been cartoonish real and sincere."--"TimeOut Chicago" "[T]hat Wall can add so much fresh detail to the Led Zep story is in itself an extraordinary achievement...(and) he manages to humanize these planet-striding giants while doing so..."
--"Classic Rock Magazine""" "It deftly strikes the balance between lofty authority and finding a way to get inside the heads of its subjects."
--"The Guardian" (UK) "[T]his is the big one: a fat, juicy biography of the biggest band ever."--"Daily Telegraph" (UK)

Sensational. "New York Times"

Entertaining, thoughtful. "Los Angeles Times"

His access and attention to detail make this a definitive work...an essential source for anyone eager to learn about the era when rock stars ruled the world. "Publishers Weekly"

Wall does well to shine light on the myths and music magic of Led Zep--rendering what could "have" been cartoonish real and sincere. "TimeOut Chicago"

[T]hat Wall can add so much fresh detail to the Led Zep story is in itself an extraordinary achievement (and) he manages to humanize these planet-striding giants while doing so "Classic Rock Magazine"

It deftly strikes the balance between lofty authority and finding a way to get inside the heads of its subjects. "The Guardian (UK)"

[T]his is the big one: a fat, juicy biography of the biggest band ever. "Daily Telegraph (UK)"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
Led Zeppelin's latest author Mick Wall he has previously written books on Black Sabbath and Marillion as well as hastily assembled book on John Peel. I've no interest in Sabbath but have read his Marillion and Peel books and of course know his writing well from many high street rock magazines.

First of, despite some misgivings over Mr. Wall's writing style, I was really looking forward to this book. It isn't an authorised account, but Mick has had plenty of access to the band members in his time covering their solo careers for both Kerrang and Classic Rock. I was tempted to even think this could be the DEFINITIVE account of Led Zep.

It's certainly well researched - I noticed very few errors (although the idea that Genesis recorded at Headley Grange before Zeppelin was one that stood out a mile) and covers their formation in 1968 and those very early tours in excellent detail.

However there are 3 significant areas where the book is very disappointing.

The first is Chapter 9 which is entirely devoted to speculation on Jimmy Page's interest in the Occult. This might have been better included as an appendix rather than given a whole chapter in between the Third and Fourth albums. Aleister Crowley may well be someone that Jimmy Page has taken a lot from - he was an avid collector of his writings, and other memorabilia - he even bought his house on the shores of Loch Ness, but Page has resolutely refused to confirm in any detail precisely what his motives were in this and so far as Mick Wall's insight is concerned, he simply adds to the speculation that has been banded around for years that this interest somehow brought about the many disastrous and tragic events that plagued the group from 1975 onwards.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
this is an essential read for any fan of led zeppelin. very well researched and beautifully written.
by far the definitive biography on the band so far and very hard to beat i'd say.
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Format: Paperback
'You were a typical British rock hack. You'd written about the Quo, The Guns, the Sabs, even Bono... but never about the ultimate British band, the Zep. Easy, wasn't it? Stick together a few articles from Classic Rock, the mag you edited. A few record reviews... you know the ones. Put in a bit of attempt at academia with the Crowley stuff - fans'll eat that up! Run off all the cliches - Pagey the Mystic, Planty the Hippie, Jonesy the Quiet One, Bonzo the Beast. Then here's your stroke of genius, gov. Pretend you're inside the heads of the Zep boys! What was it like back in Brum and Swinging London when they started? And don't just write these flashbacks once. Oh no. Put them throughout the book, so that just when the poor sap is getting 'into' it he/she will be magically transported back to Crawling King Snake & Little Jimmy the session hack'. Don't forget the spelling mistakes & factual errors. This is rock'n'roll, man, as the Zep themselves said'.

That's what the book is like. If you have any interest in finding out what the members of Led Zeppelin are actually like beyond the Satanic and groupie cliches, don't read this book. The only recommendation I make is that Wall's analysis of the albums is fair and reasonably balanced.
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