In the introduction to his expanded edition of his book Led Zeppelin: All The Albums, All The Songs, Martin Popoff recalls Eric Wagner’s (lead singer of the band Trouble) recollection of first hearing The Beatles “I Wanna Hold You Hand“ and the way John Lennon’s voice “cuts through, and what he says.” Many, many people had that reaction to the Fab Four.
But not Popoff, who “couldn’t give a damn about the Beatles.” However, he never forgot those words, as they represented “kind of how I feel about Led Zeppelin.” He, like Wagner on the Beatles, “could not believe they were here.” As for me, I really don’t give a damn about Led Zeppelin. Never really did. Oh, I easily and emphatically acknowledge their influence and their importance. As I said in my review of the bio Robert Plant: A Life, they absolutely deserve to be on any kind of rock’n’roll Mt. Olympus. Just not on my turntable, thanks.
So why am I reviewing this at all? Because it’s gorgeous. And loaded with fantastic pictures, memorabilia and ephemera. And if you are a Zep, fan, you’re gonna love this book. Popoff, has become a virtual cottage industry on music books, bios and critiques. All The Albums, All The Songs is the latest series by Popoff, which also includes tomes on Pink Floyd, The Clash, Queen, AC/DC, RUSH, Iron Maiden and…well…you get the idea. Coming soon to a band near and dear to you.
The difference between this one and all the others is that this is pure Popoff. In the other entries, Popoff serves as a moderator, asking questions (as well as offering his take) of musicians, journalists, authors, etc. That’s an interesting format, begging the reader to agree or not agree with any one contributor from time to time, book to book. Here, however Popoff lays it all out there; this is his and only his take on every single song Led Zeppelin released and the backstory behind the genesis of the songs and the recording sessions of them and their host album.
I can’t imagine sitting down and reading any of the books in this series in a single setting, but if you’re a fan, park it on the coffee table or in the bathroom and pick it up and dig in.
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