We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin | [Mick Wall]

When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin

They were the last great band of the '60s and the first great band of the '70s. They rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction, and death.
Regular Price:$27.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Led Zeppelin rose to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time. Mick Wall, respected rock writer and former confidant of band members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, unflinchingly tells the story of the band that wrote the rulebook for on-the-road excess and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction, and death.

Wall also recounts, in a series of flashbacks, the life stories of the five individuals that made the dream a reality: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and their infamous manager, Peter Grant.

Finally, the full, shocking story is told from the inside.

©2009 Mick Wall; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"So this is the big one: a fat, juicy biography of the biggest band ever....Mick Wall, the veteran rock journalist, lays it all bare in a book that can only be described as definitive." (Daily Telegraph)
"That Wall can add so much fresh detail to the Led Zep story is in itself an extraordinary achievement. That he manages to humanize these planet-striding giants while doing so puts this book into the 'definitive' category." (Classic Rock magazine)

"Wall painstakingly traces Zeppelin's development and musical pedigree. 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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (141 )
5 star
 (59)
4 star
 (47)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
4.1 (99 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.2 (98 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Paul Roy Burleson Texas 08-30-13
    Paul Roy Burleson Texas 08-30-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a great story"
    What did you love best about When Giants Walked the Earth?

    I have been a fan of Led Zeppelin for over thirty years and I thought I knew the whole story there was so much insight into the lives of each member of the band.


    What other book might you compare When Giants Walked the Earth to and why?

    Iron Man by Toni Iomi these two storys were happing together during the 70s both groups are mentioned in each book


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    John Bonam


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    All that glitters is not gold


    Any additional comments?

    I hope all fans of Led Zeppelin take the time to enjoy this great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil J. Cavanagh New York, NY 05-30-13
    Neil J. Cavanagh New York, NY 05-30-13 Member Since 2011

    cult leader

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Decent Bio"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would remove all the 2nd person stuff. It's off-putting and presumptuous; a lot of unnecessary conjecture and supposition about the inner feelings of the band and those connected to it. It also pulls the reader out of time since these are often flashbacks. I was always pleased when the narrator returned to the main thread.


    What other book might you compare When Giants Walked the Earth to and why?

    I haven't read many of these types of rock bios in recent years, but I listened to Clapton's autobiography and found it similar, in that there were interesting parts when the music being made was great and popular, and then a long epilogue where the author has to gloss over a few boring and repetitive decades subsequent to the peak era.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Thought he did a great job, and I appreciated his shifting accents, even though I did not like the book's choice to use 2nd person perspective in those parts.


    Did When Giants Walked the Earth inspire you to do anything?

    To re-listen to the later Led Zeppelin albums, and Robert Plant's later work.


    Any additional comments?

    I did not think the occult emphasis in the book was out of place, as other reviewers might. Jimmy Page and his ideas/beliefs are the heart of Led Zeppelin's music, so all of that was entirely relevant, as those ideas seemed to shape his life in the 1970s. It was educational and of interest.

    Most of these long bios tend to drag at the end, and while I was looking forward to hearing about the post-breakup period, it did seem to get bogged down and repetitive. The author gets brutally critical of the band members after LZ's peak around 1975, not totally without reason, but it's a bit jarring considering the praise he lavishes on each member before that.

    There's also a tendency in these bios, and this is no exception, to neatly summarize people and their histories as if they are fictional characters instead of complex real people, in a desire to make a book's ending more satisfying. Jimmy Page comes off at the end as someone desperately clinging to the legacy of his band, as if he is "haunted by demons." It's a spooky way to characterize and close out the author's themes, but the real man seems more complex than that. The biographer paints a selfish and controlling picture of Plant by the end, and never seems quite sure how to talk about John Paul Jones, as a great musician who was key to the band, or someone more deluded and inconsequential.

    But regardless, I'm glad I listened, I learned a few things, and the book has a good amount of detail, only regrettably interrupted in terms of chronology by the aforementioned second person accounts.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott USA 01-07-13
    Scott USA 01-07-13 Member Since 2006

    “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    161
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Curse of Midas"
    Any additional comments?

    I thought Mick Wall’s bio of Led Zeppelin was quite good and I burned through the 18 hours very quickly. I have been a Zeppelin fan since junior high and have always been looking for a decent biography of the band but could just never find one. Finally, (many) years later here it is. I’m no Zeppelin aficionado. There are definitely fans out there who know much more about the band than I do but neither am I a casual fan. I was always intrigued by the occult mystique that surrounded the band and Mick Wall goes into great detail trying to shed light on this aspect. I learned a lot of new information about the band and the listen was highly entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damian Portland, OR, United States 01-31-12
    Damian Portland, OR, United States 01-31-12 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating, Flawed Bio with fantastic narration"

    I definitely recommend this audio book for readers/listeners who are interested in the band or in tales of rock and roll history. Much of the book is fascinating and brings a lot of detail about the creative process and the experience of rock and roll. It is also satisfying in the way it follows up into the present day.

    However the book also has it's silly side, especially in the constant harping on satanism, and the repetition--especially in the arty 2nd person flashback scenes to the musicians early lives. These flash backs grow old very very quickly.

    The narrator is brilliant; making this an extremely good audio book experience; making it easy to get past the sillier parts of the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Farmington, CT, United States 04-24-11
    Matthew Farmington, CT, United States 04-24-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Borderline"

    Pros: A decent history of the band full of all the necessary highlights. Cons: The flashback sequences are painfully awkward and all over the place chronologically really messing up the whole flow of the book. I don't feel they added anything, and they all have the same tone as if the 4(+Grant) members were the same person. Also, this is essentially a Jimmy bio through the first 2/3 of the book, the other members are virtually ignored and their contributions feel lessened. Lastly, the book is rather objective until it hits the epilogue where it is full of scathing comments and some very harsh words. The change in style is jarring.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wynn G. Richards Norman, OK 09-24-13
    Wynn G. Richards Norman, OK 09-24-13 Member Since 2013

    Canceling Sirius and getting an Audible subscription was a great move for me. I love to read and now can keep up with all my favorite books while I am working out, driving my car, or as a bedtime story. Sure, I am in my 40’s, but you are never too old for a bedtime story.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Band - Horrible Book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The Narrator was horrible as were the 2nd person references.


    What could Mick Wall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Start over


    How could the performance have been better?

    Accent was off-putting as was the continuous 2nd person reference.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Avoid at all costs.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad Duluth, GA, United States 09-06-12
    Chad Duluth, GA, United States 09-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It was too sexually explicit from the get-go"

    I am a Christian but I have a pretty good tolerance for a little smut here and there but this book starts off too sexually explicit from the get-go and so I bagged it.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chuck Lynnwood, WA, United States 12-12-12
    chuck Lynnwood, WA, United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Somewhat interesting"
    Would you recommend When Giants Walked the Earth to your friends? Why or why not?

    I was one of the first Zeppelin fans when they first found a name for themselves back in the 60's I was really looking forward to the book but I really did not find it that exciting. It was okay and there were some interesting things in it but it wasn't one of those books that you just can't put down.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-18 of 18 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.