Frankly Bonkers — But an Entertaining Take on an Established Classic
These little books are a great idea and make lovely companions to the albums in question. Most readers will have the album already, particularly so for such a monumental classic as Led Zeppelin IV. Thus I think this must have been one of the most difficult ones to write in the series. What else can one say that is not known already? The approach is therefore original, as I think it has to be, and I think it succeeds.
What’s in it? At 177 pages this is possibly the thickest book of the series. The detail is staggering; there’s a bit on the imagery of the cover, the science of recording, an interesting section on the physical concept of an album (as opposed to the digital download), and a lot on Aleister Crowley and Satan, and the obligatory backward messages hidden in “Stairway to Heaven”; we don’t even reach track 1 until page 75 and then the author even discusses the gaps in between the tracks!
It concentrates very much on things magical, pagan, phallic, mythical, and (middle) earthy (even the spelling of author “Erik” conjures up visions of black magic!). Therefore we learn quite a bit about Page and Plant, but not much on the other two. A lot of it is frankly bonkers, but who cares, it is thoroughly entertaining and I devoured it!