Yesterday Jimmy Page turned 75 so I decided to review an album of his to celebrate his birthday. I contemplated opening the seal on a boxset, or reviewing some rare Led Zep bootlegs I recently found, but I wanted to try some lesser known Jimmy. This album never seemed to get much respect so maybe it deserved another listen. It was supposed to be a double album but a so-called friend of Jimmy stole some of his tapes and issued them as bootlegs. Jimmy did the best he could with this album from what was left. This is not Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends Part 2 though. Jimmy would never have done that to his fans. He had some pretty good friends along for the ride. Jason Bonham brings his dads energy, Barrymore Barlow (Jethro Tull) helps out on a few songs, Robert Plant even joins in to sing on one song. Chris Farlow (Atomic Rooster) at times feels like a 60’s blues man, and sometimes like Ian Gillan. John Miles (Alan Parsons Project) provides a late 80’s David Coverdale vibe. Well, here it goes.
Wasting My Time – This song could easily have slipped into Slide It In. If you like Whitesnake, give this one a shot. Tony Franklin (The Firm) handles the bass duty here.
Wanna Make Love – This song could have also fit onto the above albums as well. The guitar work here is pretty awesome. It reminds me of Whitesnake meets Black Crowes. Jimmy does his production magic on this one and the bouncing from left to right channel and back is really cool. His wah pedal must have been worn out at the end of this one too.
Writes Of Winter – A cool instrumental in which Jimmy records numerous guitar riffs and with his producers magic wand he blends them together as if multiple guitarists are playing. Sort of like the Yngwie/Satriani etc. guitar heroes of that time, but not at lightning pace and in a small enough portion as to not overwhelm.
The Only One – More left and right channel switching start this one off. Then guess who’s back. 3/4 of the 2007 Led Zeppelin reunion show complete with Plant, Page and Bonham (jr.). are on this one. It has an 80’s Robert Plant solo feel with better drumming and guitar work.
Liquid Mercury – Another instrumental song with more Jimmy wailing away. Barrymore Barlow joins in on this one and he doesn’t take a back seat to young Bonham here.
Hummingbird – I hear elements of Hendrix, Mark II Deep Purple and Dio era Rainbow. What a sweet combo. Oh, and there’s Jimmy Page.
Emereld Eyes – I hear a little of Ratt’s Back For More. Then the guitar goes off into so many different tones it’s hard to keep track. Finger picking, then wah’s, then more than I can count. I bet Jimmy used a ton of guitars here. Electric, acoustic and synthesizer guitars. Either that or he is just all that. Probably a lot of both.
Prison Blues – A bit of Funk # 49 guitar at the start then it slows down to a 60’s blues chugger. This could easily have been a Buddy Guy or BB King song. It really is that friggin’ good. Oh, and Jimmy has a wicked solo too.
Blues Anthem (If I Cannot Have Your Love) – This reminds me of how Ian Gillan sounds in his later career. Jimmy does a really commendable job here. He uses the synthesizer guitar to make it sound like there is a string quartet in the background. While also mixing in some cool rock riffs. A really nice song to end the album on.
I really would love it if Jimmy found those old tapes and remastered the original 2 LP version he always wanted to make. I hear he’s pretty good at remastering.
Happy Birthday Jimmy. I don’t care what anyone says, this is a pretty damn good album.