If we had to choose one band to define the genre of classic rock, to demonstrate the power that rock and roll could have in the lives of millions of rock and roll fans, to showcase the euphoria of the ultimate live rock and roll concert, there would be no doubt that the band to be chosen. would be Led Zeppelin. Those of us rock fans who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s were incredibly lucky to have experienced buying new Led Zeppelin albums almost on a yearly basis. It’s hard to imagine in the year 2018, but there was a time when we were younger and talking with our friends about Zep’s new record releases. Comparing each album to the last record they released. In 1975, when the band released Physical Graffiti, we stopped comparing the albums. It was such a stunning two record set that we were left speechless.
Led Zeppelin released eight studio albums over just a short ten year period. From 1969 to 1979 there was no band bigger than Led Zeppelin. Not even The legacy of The Beatles and the constant yearning from fans for them to reunite could match Led Zeppelin’s popularity. On the pop stage Elton John was immensely popular, but on the rock and roll stage, it was all Led Zeppelin. Of course there were many other great bands in the 70s like Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and so on. However Led Zeppelin was on an entire different plane.
The Led Zeppelin juggernaut ended with the passing of John Bonham. Many bands continue on with the passing of a member. Led Zeppelin would not have been Led Zeppelin without John Bonham. Robert Plant who had been extremely close with John Bonham would not allow it. Everything that Robert Plant has ever showcased on stage and in the studio has been genuine. Robert Plant was right to not let Led Zeppelin continue on without Bonham.
Over the years Led Zeppelin fans have been teased at times. There were the Plant Page records that were released in the 1990s and the amazing 2007 concert with Jason Bonham on drums. Jimmy Page recognized the cries for more Led Zeppelin material. Over the past ten years, Jimmy Page has released the entire Led Zeppelin Catalog with alternate takes and unreleased gems. More importantly they finally got the CDs to sound good. Thank you Jimmy. Some of the live releases that have been issued have helped ease our pain of losing Led Zeppelin so many years ago.
It’s hard to comprehend that it has now been 50 years since Led Zeppelin first formed. To celebrate their 50 Year Anniversary, the band has released the ultimate hardcover book. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin is the band’s gift to fans. We purchased the book this week and were completely blown away by it. Led Zeppelin always did everything on a grand scale, so why would we expect anything less from them. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin is a monster of a book.
Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin is 400 pages thick. The book is as heavy as their sound weighing six pounds. This is not a book that you flip through sitting in your car. You need two hands and a coffee table to look through this one.
The Led Zeppelin mystic was often fueled by the symbols. Four symbols that obviously represented each member of the band. Most of us had no idea what the symbols meant except that they were cool. There was no internet to research that stuff back then. Those four mysterious symbols grace the cover of Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin.
The book opens with a small table of contents that splits the book chronologically depicting the bands entire career from their first album up until 2018. Each section starts with the cover of the album that was released during that chapters time period. The book also covers the 2007 concert in depth. Opening and closing the book are prologues and epilogues written by each member of the band. At the top of each page that represents a members prologue or epilogue are one of the four symbols that defines each band member.
There is some commentary throughout the book, but it is done sparingly. The book is all about the photographs. The band has released many of their private photos that have never been seen by the public. The photos tell the story of Led Zeppelin. From their incredible youthful photographs from the late 1960s, through the elder statesman shots of the band from 2017, the photographs mesmerize the reader. There are pages of pictures displaying outtakes from photo sessions, many proofs, and of course incredible concert shots from all venues. For Led Zeppelin fans, Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin will become the greatest rock and roll book they ever purchased. The story is told through pictures and it’s done incredibly well, just like everything else the band has ever done in their two short career.
If your a Led Zeppelin fan or married to a Led Zeppelin fan, Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin is the book that should grace your coffee table until the end of time. The book’s photographs are stunning and somehow bring the reader back to those wonderful days when we sat in our bedrooms staring at the vinyl album covers in our hands listening to the music of Led Zeppelin. Music that transformed us, transformed culture, and altered the story of rock and roll in such a grand and mystical fashion.
 Brolan, Dave. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin. London: Reel Art Press, an Imprint of Rare Art Press, 2018.