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on 15 April 2017
Another review on here picked up on a few lines from the beginning of this book which indicated that the author was second guessing RB's thoughts and overstating his personal closeness to him. It's an unfair comment as that is the only instance of that type of writing. I wanted a factual account of Plant's life and career, especially the less familiar early and later parts, revealing along the way something of his personality and in that the book really delivers. If there was a slightly jarring note for me it was the author's deciding for us which Led Zepp songs were good and which bad as if it was a matter of objective fact. But all music writers do that. It's always nonsense but they insist on throwing in their bit of critical analysis along with the stuff on people and events. It wasnt enough though to spoil a revealing and very well written and even-handed account. I really enjoyed it.
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on 11 September 2017
Well researched and well written. A story of a Rock God during Rock'n'roll's greatest and most destructive time. It was interesting to learn more of the person behind the public persona, he obviously has incredible charisma but I'm in no hurry to meet him!
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on 1 May 2017
Superb and informative, caring Plant seen in a new light. His highs and lows laid bare, frank and honest.
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on 10 March 2017
This well written book is worth a read. Not only does it go into the life story of Robert Plant but who he is as a person, what makes him tick and what he is like to be around. One disappointing thing about the book was that his first meeting with John Bonham and subsequent early partnership with him was glossed over. This I feel is one of Plant's seminal moments of his life and it should have deserved closer attention. Still, an enjoyable read.
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on 15 January 2015
I absolutely LOVED this book about the Golden God himself! I have been a big Robert Plant/ Led Zep fan since the 1970's where I saw them LIVE in 1973 in Pittsburgh and I have to say, living over here across the pond in London for the last 30 years has made me get this book even more. I have both perspectives of what it is like for them all to go to the States and make it in another country. I also loved the little details the author offers up about Planty and all his shenanigans and the way he left the O2 centre here in London after their momentous gig in 2007 and Plant left it all behind and jumped in his car and went to have some hummus in a little kebab shop he frequents in Primrose Hill! lol I laughed out loud when I read that. He is something else! The author captures it all, good times, bad times "you know he's had a few" so dive in and find out about this musical enigma and all his amazing talents and ideas. It's called," Robert Plant: A Life" but what a life!! Check it out.
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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 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 a 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 a "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 a 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 music's 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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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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on 8 May 2017
Good overview right up to 2015. No great surprises for anyone who has followed him beyond this Zep days. A true Rock God.
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on 31 August 2015
This was a recommendation on my Kindle which I clicked through curiosity, and that automatically placed an order. Rubbish Amazon one-click. No idea about the book - of no interest to me at all, and have deleted the download.
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on 5 June 2017
Whether you're a fan of the man and his music or not, this is a candid and captivating read.
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