Down The Tracks- The Music That Inspired Led Zeppelin (DVD)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Friday, November 14, 2008

Earlier this year Eagle Rock Entertainment released Down the Tracks: The Music That Inspired Bob Dylan, showcasing the various artists that would influence his song writing and style. Now, only a few months later the Down the Tracks series has tackled Led Zeppelin’s roots in a 93 minute documentary. And though the documentary is well put together, this is definitely one of those releases that is truly for the diehard Zeppelin fans only.

Down the Tracks: The Music That Inspired Led Zeppelin explores the various blues and rock ‘n roll acts and other sources that would go on to influence the members of the band to write the music that they did. These included Muddy Waters, Elvis Presley, and even J.R.R Tolkien. Much of the documentary is spent giving historical background on many of the blues and rock ‘n roll artists, with the relationship to Led Zeppelin often seeming like an afterthought. Part of the reason that it seems this way is because when the interview is talking about how the members of the band wrote a particular song based on a style, it doesn’t play the corresponding track to demonstrate how exactly this was done. In fact, there isn’t any real music from Led Zeppelin included in Down the Tracks, making one wonder if this documentary would’ve succeeded had it been marketed as a historical look at blues and rock ‘n roll rather than a feature on a specific band.

Although the documentary itself is well shot and informative, its ties to Led Zeppelin are too lose to keep most viewers’ interest. I could see diehard fans getting something out of seeing how some of the group’s ideas are tied to the artists discussed here (even if the segments are brief), but this feature really would have benefited from some actual Zeppelin music. Keep this in mind before you decide to check it out and if you really want some historical information on this iconic band, definitely look elsewhere.

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