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Led Zeppelin Paperback – September 1, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neal Preston has worked for nearly 30 years perfecting his abilities as a portraitist and 'rare glimpse' hunter, acquiring memorable, candid images of Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles and Bono. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Vision On (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903399637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903399637
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,725,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve S. on December 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In "Led Zeppelin: Shadows Taller than Our Souls -- The Albums, Concerts, Memorabilia, and Biography of the Gods of Rock," rock critic Charles R. Cross attempts to summarize the nine albums of studio work produced by Led Zeppelin. For the most part, he does a good job of explaining the conditions under which Led Zeppelin's catalog was written and recorded, along with the humbling reception given those albums upon their release. The fact that the manuscript contains quite a few errors at first does not detract from its overall intent, which is to pay tribute to the group that formed in 1968 and ended in 1980. However, some of his expressed opinions do eventually detract from an otherwise positive reading experience.

The continuous narrative spread across 96 pages might at first glance appear to be the book's focus, but the highlight is actually what can literally be pulled off the pages. This isn't quite a pop-up book; it's better than that. In several instances, the turn of a page reveals a brilliantly reproduced piece of memorabilia waiting to be examined. The replicas are of concert tickets and programs, vinyl discs, newspaper clippings, press kits and more, straight from the collections of Hugh Jones and Alberto Lo Giudice. Having handled a few originals myself, I can vouch for the accuracy of the look of these quality reproductions.

These hidden treasures, more than anything else in the book, make leafing through it a pleasure. The experience is much like discovering the customizable cover art of the Physical Graffiti and Led Zeppelin III album packaging, the Aleister Crowley-inspired inscriptions on the Led Zeppelin III vinyl or the watercolor portion enclosed with In Through the Out Door. That's exactly the kind of reaction Cross says he wanted to inspire.
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Format: Paperback
For those who've been Zep fans for years, many (if not most) of the pictures contained in this book have been seen before now. That's part of why this book seems, to me, to be a rushed release just before the gift giving season. Another reason is that some of the better pix, such as one of the close-ups of Jimmy and Robert on Ceasar's Chariot looking together at something with Jimmy propping a J.D. bottle on his right knee while gesturing as Robert observes, Jimmy's face in the 2-page picture is split in half by the book's spine! I have to spread the book flat just to get a glimpse of both people in the picture, which is unfortunate because the picture's a classic. Yet another reason why this seems rushed is that some of the dates for pictures are wrong, like 2/12/75 in NYC being mistakenly labelled as 2/25/75 in NYC, and even Dave Lewis's text has errors in it. Not a 5 star book by any stretch, and not a 2 because of what's in it. A 3 because of the reasonable price, but definitely not a must have in my humble opinion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The photos in this book take me back to my youth when I'd buy each new Led Zep album (back then they came out on vinyl). The photos are interesting and dramatic, and tell a great story of one of the greatest rock bands in history. I spent an evening enjoying the photos and the interview with a photographer who I envy, or did until I read about how he had to work long hours with very little sleep just to get the film to the lab and have prints for the band the next day, and how it would take him a month to recover from the long hours. Still, I wish I had some of his experience, riding with my favorite rock band for almost their entire existence. After reading this book and savoring the photos, I almost feel like I did just that.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neal Preston's Led Zeppelin Book is a true piece of photographic rock art. In this book Neal manages to capture the band with the eye of a true fan who happens to be a professional. Every picture is amazing and has a human tenderness that is hard to capture with a lense. The heavy, hardcore, wild reputation that Led Zeppelin seems to have appears to be totally fictitious in this book because Preston is able to capture the people that were in LZ. The actual humans, not the legends that they were though of as. Preston presents to us a gift from above. A truly remarkable achievement that chronicles Zeppelin from the beginning to the very end. The book also features and interview with the photographer by Cynthia Fox in which he explains his technique and talks about the band and its entourage (Peter Grant, Cameron Crowe etc.) The book is big and the printing is of very good quality. Shows Led Zeppelin in their most spectacular but also in their most vulnerable and mortal natures.
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Format: Paperback
There's them and there's us. The rock stars on stage, the fans squished below. It would seem that we are forever blocked in climbing from our world to theirs. Until now. This book of spectacular, oversized Led Zeppelin photographs by Neal Preston is the unlikely means. Caught in a shutter click, we can see what we mostly heard before. There have been film documentaries of concerts, but these stills let us stop time and study the camera's subjects in a way we were never before possible.

But that's not all. There is an interview of Preston by Cynthia Fox--a LA radio and TV personality--that links the pages of photos and even better, pulls us directly into the middle of this iconic group, much as the young high-school aged photographer is introduced to the backstage world of pop music. He's a fan but trying to understand what he experiences not in terms of being an aspiring musician, but on a more human level. We learn of his first days with Led Zeppelin. How he had to gain their trust, not just in terms of what he could photograph, but as a member of close knit group of musicians building a legacy we still cherish today.

Led Zeppelin was, of course, the English rock band formed in 1968 by Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin) and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound they are regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. However, the band's individualistic style drew from many sources. Their rock-infused interpretation of the blues and folk genres incorporated rockabilly, reggae, soul, funk, classical, Celtic, Indian, Arabic, pop, Latin and country. The group disbanded following Bonham's death in 1980, but surviving members have since performed in "comeback" concerts.
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