With almost 8,000 published album reviews, on top of 57 published books, few people have written as much about hard rock, heavy metal or classic rock as veteran music journalist Martin Popoff. The former Editor-in-Chief of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles has also earned his stripes as a regular contractor to Banger Films and a freelancer to Guitar World, Revolver, and Record Collector. With that sort of rock & roll credibility established, there is also little need to dissect a book about music when Martin Popoff's name is on the cover.
In Led Zeppelin: All The Albums, All The Songs, the Canadian author literally goes album by album, track by track, in order of the Led Zeppelin discography. Each song is analyzed over the course of a few pages, with all sorts of graphics in the side-panels. Page 17 alone, for example, has the art from the Japanese single of "Good Times, Bad Times" and what appears to be a print ad for the American "Good Times, Bad Times" single. Pages 186 and 187 show Jimmy Page's guitar setup for the 1977 Day On The Green festival. Thus, lots of eye-candy to go with the history.
What would have made this a solid 10 out of 10 for me -- keeping in mind that I highly recommend this to any fan of Led Zeppelin the way it is -- would be the inclusion of more interviews with band members about these tracks. Beyond that, there are a lot of major musicians that were influenced by Zeppelin, so incorporating some of their praise or commentary into more of the songs that were influential to them would have been a nice treat; surely Dave Grohl, Wolfmother, Greta Van Fleet and The Black Crowes have talked about Zeppelin in interviews over the years. But again, Led Zeppelin: All The Albums, All The Songs is yet another fine literary work from Martin Popoff, and I look forward to seeing which artist he profiles next in long-form.
Written by: Martin Popoff Publisher: Voyageur Press (October 1, 2017) Format/Length: Hardcover, 226 pages
Check out an interview with Martin Popoff about his new book