Robert Plant: A Life
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Dec. 6, 2013
Robert Plant: A Lifeby Paul Rees
It Books, 368 pp., $28.99
Considering that Robert Plant's been a solo act far longer than he fronted Led Zeppelin, a biography seems overdue. British journalist Paul Rees succeeds in correcting that literary omission, but mainly by virtue of being there first. Rees wastes little time in musical analysis, which sometimes makes him sound disdainful of anything that isn't classic Zeppelin or Plant's Alison Krauss collaboration. Indeed, his workmanlike prose zips through the singer's career quickly, and while that works for Zeppelin, analyzed ad nauseam elsewhere, he gives albums like 1983 breakout The Principle of Moments short shrift as a result. The book grew out of a single interview the author conducted with the famously guarded singer in 2010, and while he takes Plant's career up to his current activities in Austin, he doesn't provide much in the way of insight, most quotes coming from friends and associates who bring nothing new to the table. This lack of any true revelation makes Robert Plant: A Life summary work rather than anything definitive.