Album Review : Jimmy Page- Outrider (1988)

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.

9/10

 

 

 

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Bob Einstein (R.I.P) Top 5

2019 seems to have started where 2018 left off. At least in terms of famous people dying. You may not know the name, but Bob was one of the funniest men to ever grace a television screen. The brother of fellow comedic actor Albert Brooks, he was often a guest on late night talk shows, portrayed Larry Middleman on Arrested Development, Marty Funkhouser on Curb Your Enthusiasm and many characters on Smothers Brothers and Dick Van Dyke. However,  for most Canadians he will always be known as Super Dave Osborne. Super Dave was sort of a half-assed Evil Knievel character that often ended up in a Wile E Coyote type predicament on the tv show Bizarre. I’ll miss you Super Dave. I think I’ll watch some of your re-runs tonight while wearing genuine Saskatchewan seal skin bindings.

 

Remembrance Day 2018

It has been 100 years since the end of World War 1. The war that was to end all wars. Obviously that was not the case, but maybe we can learn from our mistakes. Here is a tribute to my (and my family’s) step-fathers, uncles, cousins, friends and co workers that fought, so that I, and all of us could live in a free society. To all I say Thank You. If you have not done so, buy a poppy, go to a Remembrance Day ceremony, or even just have a moment of silence at 11am.

 

 

Contest Time : Win a free (signed) cd

The cd is unplayed (taken out of shrink) and signed by an awesome Canadian band.

Just guess what the songs have in common, and you win.

The Tragically Hip – At The Hundredth Meridian

Rush – A Passage To Bangkok

Tenacious D – City Hall

Beastie Boys – B Boys Making With The Freak Freak

Dead Kennedys – Stars And Stripes of Corruption

We Lost Gord Downie 1 Year Ago Today

Last Friday I watched the CBC documentary “Finding The Secret Path”. It was a snippet into the last year of Gord Downie’s life. Mostly revolving around his Secret Path album/tour and his relationship with the Wenjack family. It was an hour long, but it left me wanting so much more. One hour (including commercials) of possibly the last footage I may see of my hero is just not enough. I hope you were able to see it, but if not here are a few snippets.

Toronto based musical choir Choir Choir Choir(including 2 special guests) did a show last year to honour Gord.

They followed that up this past week with this.

Starting from the real early days..

After winning numerous Juno awards..

Winning the Order Of Canada..

Being honoured by the AFN (Assembly Of First Nations)

We miss you Gord. We love you Gord. Rest In Peace.

Album Review : Monster Truck- True Rockers (2018 Dine Alone Records exclusive splatter vinyl)

Monster Truck are back with a follow up to the amazing album Sittin’ Heavy (which I gave a 10/10). True Rockers is the name of the album and it suits the band perfectly. They are wonderfully representing the city of Hamilton, and all of Canada as the true rockers in 2018. I had high hopes for this album, and I sent out an email blast to some fellow rockers. I got an instant response that one fan may hold off on this album because he did not like the new single. I had not heard the single yet and wanted to hold off any judgement until I heard the entire album. Thankfully I did is all I can say. Now on to the review.

True Rocker (ft. Dee Snider) – I’m not sure if this is the first time Dee Snider has guested on a Canadian band’s album, but hopefully his inclusion alone will help sell records. The song starts off in sort of a fun-loving, goofy Sammy/Cabo sort of a vein but then morphs right into a hard rocker. A true rocker as it were. The guitar work is unlike any other Monster Truck song, then none other than Dee Snider sounds like the best rock n roll preacher to ever live. Great song to start this one off.

Thundertruck – Wonderful keys, guitars and drumming. This is a wonderful chant that may get as much stadium play as Thunderstruck. “All we want is a real metal ripper. All we want is to thrash our faces off like 1985.”

Evolution – This is the single that another rocker did not like. I get it. It has a Nickelback feel to it. Plus the song starts off with what sounds like electronic drums. Then there are the Adam Levine-like oooo’s. So basically this is a Maroon 5 meets Nickelback song that is trying to become the next crossover into the pop charts. Well maybe…and maybe not. This is the first song (of 3) that uses the production of Gavin Brown with the mixing from Eric Ratz. I respect these guys a ton,  and I will say I was still tapping along to this one. It’s not my favourite song by these lads, but it’s not like some of the filler songs on their earliest stuff either.

Devil Don’t Care – Back to the Monster Truck basics. In fact, this may be even going further back. It almost a mid 70’s Southern Rock feel to it. Mix in some sweet harp playing with some wicked guitar licks and this one smokes.

Being Cool Is Over – A fast, repetitive rocker that has a line that made me do one of those LOL things the hip kids are talking about. “I can’t change, you change, I like who I am. I must have missed the indie rock entrance exam.”

Young City Hearts – Funny enough, this song may actually be Monster Truck’s indie rock entrance exam. It has a bunch of elements of indie rock, plus a few the mid 80’s new wave. This is the 2nd song from Gavin Brown/Eric Ratz. It has elements of Arkells which make sense with Ratz’ involvement. Not that that’s a bad thing. I love Arkells. It just may take long time Monster Truck fans a few listens to adjust.

Undone – This song has a bit of Skynyrd in it. Some Whitesnake too. If David Coverdale was taken over by the spirit of Ronnie Van Zant in 1988, this song would have been the result. It has all of the elements of a slow burning rocker that the bands mentioned put out in their respective heydays.

In My Own World – The guitar work and chants have a bit of an Alice In Chains style. Although the keyboard work makes this one unique.

Denim Danger – I can see the Hamilton sports teams cranking this one out to fire the crowd up. “Whoa this is our town! In this place we wear the crowns! Whoa this is our town! It’s up to us to burn it down!” With that last line it should be popular in Montreal and Vancouver as well. Wait. What? “The corner is where we dive. Beers only run you five. Everyone knows we’re a tribe. Ready to feel alive. Everybody is here tonight. Dressed in clothes that fit real tight. If anyone tries to start a fight. Their future won’t be very bright.” Nope, definitely Hamilton.

Hurricane – The last of 3 songs with Brown/Ratz on board. This one has more of that old rockin’ Monster truck vibe. The drums sound a little Lars Ulriched for my liking, but the song is a good rocker. Now don’t be sad, ’cause one outta three ain’t bad (it kind of is).

The Howlin’ – Wow. This is a wicked song. It has Coverdale elements, sweet harp playing, wicked guitar playing, soft and tender moments and vocal wails. It is one of the best songs this band has ever released, and that says a lot. Wow.

Real hard for a band to follow up a 10/10 album with another perfect score. This one has some more experimentation. I think they followed the direction of the producer/mixer on the 3 tracks noted above, but those guys have a solid rep, so why not. The other 8 tracks were all produced by Dan Weller and mixed by Mike Fraser. They followed the if it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it model and it seems to have worked. Perhaps if the band had done all 11 songs in the same style, some people would have criticized them for doing the same old thing. Who knows?

Not perfect, but really good

8.25/10