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on 9 January 2015
Brilliant from start to finish.
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on 1 August 2015
Looks good book hopefully person I've bought it for will love it
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on 26 March 2009
Im not sure Ill be able to finish this book... After reading the review in the Guardian I was really looking foreward to it... As it is, these guys are putting me to sleep... It's not that the book is badly written: It's just that members of Zep come off as either drunken brutes , bores or , in the case of Page a hobbit addled Satanist...yawn.... hard to believe these are the guys who came up with all that great music....The potentially clever use of the first person device to get into the heads of the members fails miserably because after a while you never know who the hell is talking.. It seems like the same dummy each time...
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on 3 August 2013
The final two chapters are such a nosedive it ruins what came before. Shame the author didn't get the interview with Jimmy Page he so badly wanted. I guess he's just not important enough. Cue hatchet job.
Brad Tolinskis ' Light and Shade ' is a much better book.
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on 11 July 2014
Every zep fan should read this..........huff said
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on 12 July 2014
Briilient
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VINE VOICEon 24 April 2013
I was pleased to pick this up for £3 in the HMV sale a few weeks ago. It's a much-publicized and popular biography of Led Zeppelin that appears to be more authoritative than Hammer of the Gods, which is the only other book on this subject that I've read. The basic story of the rise and fall of this remarkable band is well-known, but Wall goes through it all over again with a thoroughness and attention to detail that only falters now and then (as, for example, he carelessly resurrects the canard (p221) that The Rolling Stones were playing "Sympathy For The Devil" when Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death at Altamont).

Indeed, sometimes his thoroughness is misplaced, particularly in the case of a lengthy digression on Aleister Crowley and occult practices. This includes some extraordinarily sloppy writing, such as for example (p229): "As with all great sciences and religions, the teachings of the [Ordo Templi Orientis] are full of arcane and dramatic rituals learned from ancient [grammars of magic] handed down [...] from generation to generation..." which could only be viewed as contentious by anyone opening - say - a chemistry textbook, or the Bible. Elsewhere in this chapter (p222), Wall describes - apparently without a hint of irony - how the drummer in Black Sabbath was awoken one night by what he thought was the Devil standing at the foot of his bed, and was so terrified he was unable to make the connection with the fact that he'd previously taken great care to paint his bedroom walls completely black, and had put "all these inverted crosses around the place and all these posters of Satan and all that that kind of stuff".

The author hauls all this stuff in because of the interest that Jimmy Page has expressed in this subject. But you can tell he's on shaky ground when he tries saying anything else about Page's involvement. For example (p228), "it seems likely" that Page was invited to join the Ordo Templi Orientis (a "secret magical society" led by Crowley) in the early seventies. Moreover, "it is believed" that he still belongs to it. Why, the reader wonders, all the uncertainty? Well, it can't be anything to do with "the vow of silence that being an initiate inevitably entails", because in the very next sentence Wall quotes the authoritative pronouncement of one Dave Dickson: "I would be surprised [...] if Page wasn't a member [...] I don't know for certain because it's not like there's a membership list [...] It seems almost inconceivable that he wouldn't be." The fact that Dickson is identified by Wall as a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis makes you wonder if the society is really all that secret - and, after several pages of speculation along similar lines which end with a blizzard of question marks and blind alleys, what all of this has to do with the music.

Of course it's the music that's the most important thing, and Wall does provide a commendable survey of this - for example, highlighting (p155) the "formidable three-dimensional quality" of the sound of Led Zeppelin II, and detailing the shortcomings of the band's final two albums, produced as their once-mighty powers were on the wane, and the world's attention was shifting elsewhere. Keeping more attention focused on their music and how they made it would have made this book even better, but as it is, it's still a compelling read for fans of this band.
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on 4 May 2012
I was a bit reluctant to come to this book as having read classic rock magazine for years i have always found Mr Wall to be biased for Jimmy Page and blame Robert Plant for not giving Page what he wants and getting the band back together.
The book though gives a fair and impartial view of the band,yes he does hold Page in very high regard as he should be and credit must be given as he does not shy away from showing both sides of Page both good and bad.
At first the "inside thoughts" of each member of the band take some time to get used to but i found it a refreshing way to give background to all of the main players in the Zep story while getting straight into the history of the band.
The story of the band is given proper time and attention and it is full of great insights into how each album came into being...
I very much enjoyed the story of the band and how Mr Wall presented the book.
I am still in camp Plant though.
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on 7 July 2014
Great, in-depth biography.
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on 12 November 2016
Got this for my brother as a Christmas Present, so I can't really be more helpful. I do know he likes Led Zeppelin, and has got "Hammer of the Gods" in his collection. He also likes Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones (he has the autobiography of Bill Wyman signed by Bill Wyman himself), so I am sure he will appreciate Mick Wall's research and writing! I will know more when I see him at Christmas 2016!
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