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The definitive biography of the larger than life Led Zeppelin singer the man who defined the very notion of what it means to be a rock godWith a voice recognized around the world Robert Plant is a living legend frontman of one of the biggest and most influential rock bands of all time Led Zeppelin The sheer scale of Zeppelin's success is extraordinary In the US alone they have sold 70 million records a figure surpassed only by the Beatles while Stairway to Heaven the band's most recognizable song has been played times on American radio than any other track and is freuently referred to as one of the greatest rock 'n' roll songs everBut Plant's legacy stretches far beyond Led Zeppelin and with Robert Plant A Life Paul Rees former Editor of and Kerrang magazines whose professional relationship with Plant spans decades brings the whole picture into focus for the first time From the forces that shaped him as a boy in England's Black Country to the ravaging highs and lows of the Zeppelin years; from his relationship with Jimmy Page and John Bonham to the solo career that today at the age of 62 sees him producing some of the most acclaimed work of his career Rees paints a rich complicated portrait of a man who changed the face of rock 'n' roll at just 19 years oldTold with tenacity emotion and the spark of brilliance that befits such an enigmatic frontman this is the definitive story of a musical icon


10 thoughts on “Robert Plant. A life

  1. says:

    Looking for the down and dirty details of the debauched lifestyles of the members of Led Zeppelin during their infamous reign over all things rock and roll in the 70's?Sorry this is not that bookWhat this unauthorized biography of the band's legendary front man offers is an in depth history of Robert Plant from his humble beginnings in England's Black Country through solo career and beyondI am a big Zeppelin fan so I gobbled every page eagerly and found within the pages the story of a man whose failures often than not eclipsed his shining moments yet whose love and passion for music has continuously driven him to plunge headlong into one musical venture after the other for nearly fifty years Plant is depicted as a man whose future is always wide open and his past where it belongs in the pastGreat bio I would recommend to fans of the Tall Cool One and anyone curious about the ins and outs of the music business as well


  2. says:

    nb I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from the publisher via EdelweissIf there’s one artist ever to have epitomized The Rock God it has to be Robert Plant His bared chest and waving mane of long blond curls combined with powerful charisma and that unmistakable bluesy wail made damned sure every eye in the house was focused on him As Rock’s Golden God Plant prowled the stage as front man for Led Zeppelin the rock band who owned the 1970’s To me it seems like Led Zeppelin was around forever but they really only played together twelve years from 1968 to 1980 For the 1970’s though there was nobody bigger nobody dangerous than Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant was in the spotlight always in the spotlight When the band first started it was guitarist Jimmy Page’s project—he was the producer and arranger the seasoned vet who’d played in The Yardbirds As Zeppelin recorded and toured in the 1970’s Robert Plant began to take control as Page fell back into a self imposed isolation Plant was garrulous and enjoyed attention Page retreated into perpetually dark hotel roomsIn 1980 Led Zeppelin broke up following the death of drummer John Bonham The press release said they couldn’t imagine playing without their dear friend and thus they were dissolving the band And that was thatLed Zeppelin ended but that wasn't the end for Robert Plant Plant didn’t want to stop making music The key for him was always the next album to make the next style to embrace He moved on through a series of solo projects some hugely successful others hugely notThat’s the greatest thing I learned in Paul Rees’s new biography “Robert Plant A Life” There were and still are hugely lucrative offers for Led Zeppelin reunion tours Plant didn’t want to go back For him his journey was about moving forward following the music He has played sold out arena tours supporting his solo projects and he has played in tiny Arctic villages He’s done everything from pop standards to African tinged blues to American roots music Author Paul Rees is a former editor of magazine a sort of edgier British Rolling Stone and he has created a wonderful history of the enigmatic Plant If you’ve ever seen film of Led Zeppelin performing you know Robert Plant didn’t lack self confidence That continues today In fact that’s really what keeps him from doing Led Zeppelin reunion tours—tours that would earn him unimaginable fortunes Led Zeppelin was his past and Plant has always felt a constant need to move forward to embrace new soundsRees draws us into life with Robert Plant During his days Rees and Plant spoke several times both in formal interviews and just running into each other at various events Rees draws from these conversations interviews with Plant’s former friends and colleagues and various other resources to show us this enigmatic artist He takes us along with Plant to exotic ports and desert oases searching for the next sound and he shows us Robert as father husband and friend a man whose career sometimes conflicts with his familial responsibilities “Robert Plant A Life” is excellent book about a complex man In December 2012 Led Zeppelin was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors The last musical performance of their induction tribute was an amazing version of “Stairway to Heaven” featuring Ann Wilson from Heart singing ace musicians an orchestra and a huge gospel choir It was captivating The camera caught Robert Plant wiping away a tear In a shot a minute or so later he looks gratified but ready to ramble on Highly Recommended


  3. says:

    The interesting part for me was the beginning where we read how much effort Plant put in getting started And the last chapters how happy he was with the alison Krauss album which gave him a second career No wonder he would not agree to a reunion tour he now makes hip world music Though a terrific band the days of LZ are in the past The book gives a decent impression of Plant' s life without being excellent


  4. says:

    As big a fan as I am of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin I knew very little about Robert Plant the person I've always liked his singing enough to buy some of his non Zeppelin catalog I feel this book was a good start on getting to know about him; start being the keyword The book is not heavy or in depth about the relationships he's had in and out of the band but it goes through his music categorically and with detail I'm interested in both so I would have liked a bit about his relationship with Page Bonham Jones his parents his wife and children All are mentioned but I shall have to look elsewhere for of an understanding of his love hate relationship with Page etc I truly dislike labeling because it is subjective to only the person doing so but for me I think Led Zeppelin followed closely by Aerosmith may be the two best rock bands in the history of music Aerosmith is still around and Led Zeppelin has never died for me If you want to get a general idea of the person that is Robert Plant I do recommend Paul Rees' biography of him


  5. says:

    I am probably biased because Robert Plant circa 1970 1985 has got to be my biggest crush in the whole wide world but I couldn't put this book down To have the confidence Robert Plant has is something so rare I can't even describe it but Paul Rees sure can Loved it There was the odd thing about ol' Jimmy that I didn't appreciate mostly in the forward but other than that In saying that I know Page isn't the kindest of souls but when you play guitar like that ;


  6. says:

    When I was a teenager Plant was the personification of rock He was beautiful angelic otherworldly and oh how he could sing Plus he dressed like a demented faery All of which is to say I couldn't resist this bookI liked learning about Plant's musical roots and I was pleased to learn that he's an incredible music historian There was less personal life stuff than I'd have liked on the other hand that's better in an autobiography than a biography Rees sticks mainly to the music and the musical stages through which Plant has travelled in his long career I was fascinated throughout


  7. says:

    Robert Plant A Life by Paul Rees is a Harper Collins IT books publication This book was released in October 2013 I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review This is a pretty straightforward account of the life of Robert Plant front man for Led Zeppelin and a solo artist in his own right The book begins with a bit of Robert's background his parents school influences and his attitude during those daysRobert's teen years his discovery of Elvis and the blues his first group how he met Bonzo and the formation of Led ZeppelinOf course the author takes us inside the group's rocky beginnings to the peak of their success as a band to the incredible tragedies that struck one right after anotherOnce the group disbanded Plant found he had a whole second career as a solo artist Then once he found himself walking in the ever present shadow of Led Zeppelin Sometimes Robert gave in to the pressure and sometimes he ran away from many reuest and offers regarding a reformation of the groupBut Robert seems capable of finding a niche for himself repeatedly His work with Alison Kraus is especially impressive As for Robert's personal life I admit I knew very little Robert's personality even as a boy was filled with confidence bordering on cocky As he became successful in his career that part of him became even pronounced Robert's love life has been a little complicated as well Robert' escapades were typical of many rock stars especially on tour but when he was not touring he seemed to have a good solid marriage However there were some rather strange happenings even while he was married that would raise eyebrows even todayRobert still maintains a larger than life personality and may always carry with him a piece of his Rock God status I think now he seems to have found some stability both in his career and in his personal lifeThis was an informative book an entertaining walk down memory lane and an introspective look into the private life of a rock star For me I admire his ability to try new things and to make mistakes His career after Led Zeppelin was up and down but he has had much longevity than many other musicians of that era I think some of that success comes from a willingness to take risk and some of it goes back to all that confidence Yes this book would appeal to all Led Zeppelin fans and there are still many many of you out there But Robert's career and life was so much than just his work with ZeppelinOverall this one gets an A


  8. says:

    45 starsThanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for granting me permission to read this before the publication dateEver since 1970 when a high school boyfriend introduced me to Led Zeppelin I have been fascinated with the band and especially Robert Plant how could a teen girl not be? He had such charisma and such mane of fab hair and were those songs really as dirty as they seemed?? but he has always been such an enigma Then except for noting a few solo albums he released over the years and watching the documentary The Song Remains the Same a few times he went off my radar When he released his album Raising Sand and I saw him in concert with Alison Krauss I realized that even as an old fart his charisma was still intact so I was anxious to read this new biography and devoured it His upbringing was interesting as was how he got his start with music and the band The weakest part may have been the sections that talked about the band as I felt most of it was fairly well known but it picked up steam when he left the band and outlined the ups and downs of his solo career and his intermittent reunions with the band over the yearsThis is one of those books that made me run to iTunes or dig out my CDs to listen to a particular LZ song I also didn't realize how many solo albums he released some good and some not so good and it's been fun to listen to some of the songs I'm especially hooked on KashmirAll in all this was a fascinating read and would recommend to anyone who loves a good rock memoir and is a fan of LZ and RP It's also a good portrait of a very complex man and how he created his music I guess my only criticism is that I still don't feel like I know him but that's not really the fault of the author as Plant has done a good job of keeping his private life well private


  9. says:

    only reason this gets four stars is because of Robert Plant himself I pretty much agree with the review above I remember reading the part about the Watergate break in and what Zeppelin was doing at that time and thought it interesting that the author put the two together yet throughout the book I yearned to know about the man himself Being a long time fan I am interested in what motivates the man Yet Plant does seem down to earth but I thought in particular he came off looking like Steve Jobs in the studio Maybe that was his experience playing into thatMore than anything I found that I related to Plant because he always is looking for a new horizon and wants to achieve greatness in everything he does In creating his art you can see that he is very elouent and passionate and as an artist I think that is what draws me to Robert Plant the passionate artist and creator He is always expressing his inner self in ways I can relate to


  10. says:

    I’ve got so many thoughts running around in my head after finishing Robert Plant A Life by Paul Rees Let me see if I can put them in some order1 It has brought back fond memories of the Robert Plant poster that I had on my bedroom wall as a teenager I studied that poster in great detail I had thoughts about that poster2 It is sort of sad to realize that by the time I was old enough to fall in love with Led Zeppelin’s music they were already imploding3 If I had been asked before I started the book I would have said that I knew a bit about Robert Plant I did not Lots that I didn’t know4 Perhaps most importantly at least to my wallet this book is going to cost me a fortune I’m glad I got some iTunes gift cards for Christmas because I am going to be downloading a lot of musicFirst off I really enjoyed the book The backstory of his young life was fascinating to me The idea that at 15 or 16 years old Plant was running around singing in clubs appearing with a bunch of different bands is remarkable to me I can’t imagine having that kind of ambition and confidence at that age“The story goes that Headmaster Chambers told Plant he would never make anything of himself When I came back to the school in the early ’70s Chambers himself told me that Robert had later turned up at his house in a Rolls Royce and asked the Headmaster if he remembered him”The story of how Led Zeppelin came about how it became arguably the greatest rock band of all time and how it imploded — that all made for great reading Even interesting was the story of what Plant has been doing since Led Zeppelin — so many bands so much music such an interesting life For a music fan even if you weren’t a big Led Zeppelin fan it’s a terrific read The big issue — and it is always an issue with biographies — is that this is really focused on on Plant of course and it definitely paints him in the best light possible That always makes me wonder about how much is true and how much is slanted It’s clear that Rees is a friend of Plant’s so why wouldn’t he want to give this the best spin he could?There were a couple of things I found really interesting First I admire the way that Plant did not get sucked into Led Zeppelin remakes There were some reunion concerts there were some collaborations with Jimmy Page but I imagine that it would have been very easy to fall back into old habits There would have been a fortune to be made there with the Led Zeppelin name and I think it would take a lot of will to pull freeSecond and definitely related Plant seems to have a remarkable ability to walk away After Led Zeppelin he is involved in a number of projects — The Honeydrippers Band of Joy Strange Sensation his collaborations with Jimmy Page and Allison Krauss the Sensational Space Shifters — and when he’s done with them he’s done with them His album with Allison Kraus Raising Sand is haunting and amazing and won a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2008 But that was it – they didn’t work together again There were short tours with Band of Joy but when he decided that had run its course Plant ended it I’m not sure what I think about that; I wondered a lot about his bandmates and what an upheaval it must have been for them but you have to admire such a clear vision and that kind of determination“I once asked Robert how he went about choosing a girl when he was in Led Zeppelin” adds Hossam Ramzy “He told me ‘It was very simple There would be a thousand of them and I’d just go “You you and you – fuck off The rest come with me’ “I also wondered a lot about John Paul Jones Although there were some Led Zeppelin reunions Plant seemed dead set against working with Jones although no specific incident seems to have spurred that at least none that was laid out in the book It made me curiousThe final thing I was curious about was the drug use There is a lot of talk in the book about Page’s heroin addiction and John Bonham’s addictions which ultimately lead to his death There is much less talk however about Plant’s drug use Was he just a casual user as opposed to an addict? Might go along with that sense of determination but it was never really answered at least for meAt any rate an excellent biography lots of great stories and photos plenty of input from friends bandmates and others who knew him It paints a compelling portrait of a man who has led an amazing life and continues to make amazing music“Robert Plant turned 65 in August 2013 In his home country he is now eligible for a bus pass and a state pension”My copy of Robert Plant A Life is an Advanced Reader Copy provided free of charge