• Led Zeppelin

  • The Biography
  • By: Bob Spitz
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 21 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (585 ratings)

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Led Zeppelin  By  cover art

Led Zeppelin

By: Bob Spitz
Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
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Publisher's summary

From the author of the definitive New York Times best-selling history of the Beatles comes the authoritative account of the group many call the greatest rock band of all time, arguably the most successful, and certainly one of the most notorious.

Rock star. Whatever that term means to you, chances are it owes a debt to Led Zeppelin. No one before or since has lived the dream quite like Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham. In Led Zeppelin, Bob Spitz takes their full measure, separating the myth from the reality with his trademark connoisseurship and storytelling flair.

From the opening notes of their first album, the band announced itself as something different, a collision of grand artistic ambition and brute primal force, of English folk music and African American blues. That record sold more than 10 million copies, and it was just the beginning; Led Zeppelin's albums have sold more than 300 million certified copies worldwide, and the dust has never settled.

The band is notoriously guarded, and previous books provided more heat than light. But Spitz's authority is undeniable and irresistible. His feel for the atmosphere, the context - the music, the business, the recording studios, the touring life, the whole ecosystem of popular music - is unparalleled. His account of the melding of Page and Jones, the virtuosic London sophisticates, with Plant and Bonham, the wild men from the Midlands, in a scene dominated by the Beatles and the Stones but changing fast, is in itself a revelation. Spitz takes the music seriously and brings the band's artistic journey to full and vivid life.

The music, however, is only part of the legend: Led Zeppelin is also the story of how the '60s became the '70s, of how playing clubs became playing stadiums, of how innocence became decadence. Led Zeppelin wasn't the first rock band to let loose on the road, but as with everything else, they took it to an entirely new level. Not all the legends are true, but in Spitz's careful accounting, what is true is astonishing and sometimes disturbing.

Led Zeppelin gave no quarter, and neither has Bob Spitz. Led Zeppelin is the full and honest reckoning the band has long awaited and richly deserves.

©2021 Bob Spitz (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"A gossipy, readable account.” - New Yorker

“In this authoritative, unsparing history of the biggest rock group of the 1970s, Spitz delivers inside details and analysis with his well-known gift for storytelling.” - People

“★★★½ out of four . . . The good, the bad and the ugly coexist in the Led Zeppelin story, and Spitz knows well enough to report and tell it all.” - USA Today