Led Zeppelin: All The Albums, All The Songs

By Martin Popoff - Book Review

Attempting even the most cursory analysis of a classic band’s output takes time and energy most reviewers wouldn’t expel. To delve into every song on each Led Zeppelin studio album, as music journalist extraordinaire Martin Popoff does in his Led Zeppelin: All The Albums, All The Songs, is a Herculean feat. But Popoff doesn’t merely chronicle the band's nine studio album catalog; he has the brains to investigate the songs that Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham created in such detail, that we get warts-and-all facts about the music so many of us have loved for so long.

As we are all well aware, Led Zeppelin was famous for paying homage to the blues artists who inspired them, but Popoff doesn’t let the foursome off the hook with a fan’s prejudice. He not only indicates tunes that Page and company rerouted as Zeppelin classics — he indicates those that were not, at the time, credited to the original writers of those songs.

This airing of historical music truths is only part of what Popoff reveals about the myth of the mighty Led Zep. What I love especially about this hardcover — beyond the many fantastic pictures herein, many quite rare — is how Popoff puts the musical output here in context to what was happening to the musicians making this music. And when Popoff praises the quartet — which he does plenty — he gives his reasons. nlike too many before him, Popoff doesn’t merely genuflect when he talks about arguably one of the greatest rock bands in history; he tells us why Led Zeppelin was so great.

Fan or casual listener, Martin Popoff’s Led Zeppelin: All The Albums, All The Songs is going to give you more than you will ever need to know about Led Zeppelin’s recorded music.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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