Monday, January 21, 2013

Album Review: Coverdale and Page (Eponymous)

I've decided to return to my series that I've unofficially been calling "Jimmy Page Through The Years," or "The Forgotten Years." I do still need to purchase at least one more album, and then I'll have all of the source material. I think in the end, I'm going to need to purchase two.

Continuing with my idea of revisiting much of the work that Jimmy Page has done between Led Zeppelin and "Celebration Day," we arrive at Coverdale and Page. I've never been much of a Whitesnake fan and I've always felt that there have been some similarities between David Coverdale and Robert Plant. I'm not going to say that he was ripping off Mr. Plant, but I think the similarities are too large to ignore. In fact there was a song that I heard over and over on rock radio that I thought was a Zeppelin tune, but it turned out to be a Whitesnake song.

We all know whom Jimmy Page is. I really think he is the most valuable rocker of all time: writer, producer, arranger, musician.  Before I gush too much, let's dig into this record, again with eyes unclouded.

I suppose we can call this a supergroup. Whitesnake was a very successful rock band and Page was in the Yarbirds back in the day.

The album opens up with the first single they released "Shake My Tree." I can vaguely recall hearing this track on FM radio when this album was new. I'm going to out myself a bit here, but I'm relatively certain that I didn't understand the significance of this disc when it hit the shelves, but I do remember feeling underwhelmed.

Listening to this track now, I wonder what was I thinking? "Shake My Tree" really sets the tone of this album. Jimmy Page rattles off a spectacular hybrid picked riff and Coverdale belts it out and this album is off the ground and running.

Over the next 57 minutes of Coverdale and Page, I was treated to all sorts of Jimmy Page guitar acrobatics. The lack of Page's playing was something that really turned me off of the Page and Plant record. His playing on this album is as nimble and inventive as ever. I didn't feel like I was listening to a re-hash of Led Zeppelin songs and I didn't feel like Jimmy Page was a sideman to an overindulgent singer.

There are peaks and valleys to the songs. It's not all songs that start off mellow and stay mellow. Page and Plant's "Walking Into Clarksdale" felt like the soundtrack to an opium den, whereas Coverdale and Page blows off the doors. This is the kind of album that's best played in the car. It's driving music. I kind of feel very silly for not picking this album up sooner.

Coverdale and Page worked quite well together and Page and Plant played "Shake My Tree" on tour. The band is strong and it's a great collaboration between two hard rock giants. You can acquire this album for next to nothing. Check it out again.

Genre: Hard Rock
Year: 1993
Run time: 61:05

1) Shake My Tree
2) Waiting On You
3) Take Me For A Little While
4) Pride And Joy
5) Over Now
6) Feeling Hot
7) Easy Does It
8) Take A Look At Yourself
9) Don't Leave Me This Way
10) Absolution Blues
11) Whisper a Prayer For The Dying

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