From Publishers Weekly
In this ambitious biography, Wall narrates the history of a band that became one of the biggest musical and cultural phenomena of the 1970s. The brainchild of studio wizard Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin marked the transition from flower-power good vibrations to the rough sounds of a disillusioned era. More than just another hard-rock band, however, Zeppelin drew on elements from reggae, soul, blues and R&B, as well as more exotic sounds from India and the Middle East. The trashed hotel rooms and violated groupies Zeppelin left in its wake helped to create an enduring rock and roll road archetype. Wall painstakingly traces Zeppelin's development and musical pedigree. His access and attention to detail make this a definitive work. However, he falls short in substance and style when he tries to move beyond the music. Flashback segments written from the perspective of the various principals are confusing, and his forays into nonmusical subjects—such as Page's interest in the occult—are often portentous. Nevertheless, this volume is an essential source for anyone eager to learn about the era when rock stars ruled the world. (Nov.)
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"Led Zeppelin still thunders over the kingdom of rock, decades after the quartet split up. Veteran U.K. music scribe Wall takes on the mammoth task of humanizing the band through a detailed but colorful biography that benefits from his unusual amount of access to Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Wall does well to shine light on the myths and the music magic of Led Zep—rendering what could have been cartoonish real and sincere."--Time Out Chicago