As a critic, Landau wrote for Rolling Stone from its first issue and for other publications. In Volume 1, Number 1 of Rolling Stone, published on 9 November 1967, Landau compared Jimi Hendrix and his debut album, Are You Experienced, to Eric Clapton and Cream's debut album, Fresh Cream (both released months before, and both Jimi and Cream having made huge American splashes as live performers that summer). The next few issues saw Landau staking out more traditional R&B and soul territory with profiles of Aretha Franklin, and Sam and Dave, plus a posthumous Otis Redding appreciation.
Landau's prophetic 1974 article in The Real Paper, wherein he famously claimed, "I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen," is credited by Nick Hornby  and others with fostering Springsteen's popularity. Landau was then hired by Springsteen, and is cited as co-producer on Springsteen studio records from 1975's Born to Run through 1992's Human Touch and Lucky Town. He is considered to have influenced Springsteen artistically as well as professionally.
In 2011, Landau had a growth in his brain surgically removed. The surgery resulted in the loss of sight in one eye.
- Landau, Jon (May 22, 1974). "Growing Young With Rock and Roll". The Real Paper via TheBoots.net. Archived from the original on February 2, 2003. Retrieved October 23, 2012. Writing ahead of a weekly newspaper's May 22, 1974 publication date: "I'm 27 today...."
- "Hendrix and Clapton, p. 18.
- Rolling Stone, 1967.11.23, vol. 1, no.2, "Aretha," p. 16
- Rolling Stone, 1968.01.20, vol. 1, no. 4.
- Hornsby, Nick (2004-05-21). "Rock of Ages". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
- Metcalf, Stephen. "Bruce Springsteen, Bullshitter". Slate.com. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
- Remnick, David. The New Yorker, "We Are Alive," July 30, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Reuters Review of Escovedo's new album Real Animal". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2012-05-01.