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Articles Home » 1993 Articles » Coverdale/Page - 1993 Coverdale/Page
 
Coverdale/Page - 1993 Coverdale/Page



ARTIST: Coverdale/Page
ALBUM: Coverdale/Page
LABEL: Geffen
SERIAL: GEFD-24487
YEAR: 1993
CD REISSUE: 2011, Sony (Japan), SICP-20329

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: David Coverdale - vocals * Jimmy Page - guitar * Joge Casas, Ricky Phillips - bass * Denny Carmassi - drums * Lester Mandel - keyboards * Tommy Funderburk - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shake My Tree * 02 Waiting On You * 03 Take Me For A Little While * 04 Pride And Joy * 05 Over Now * 06 Feeling Hot * 07 Easy Does It * 08 Take A Look At Yourself * 09 Don't Leave Me This Way * 10 Absolution Blues * 11 Whisper A Prayer For The Dying


Background
This unlikely collaboration was formed as both Coverdale and Page were at uncertain points in their careers. Coverdale's Whitesnake had reached their peak commercially and he shelved the band indefinitely after the mammoth tour for 'Slip Of The Tongue' ended in 1991. Page had been in limbo for years, contributing the soundtrack for 'Death Wish II', before forming ill fated The Firm with Paul Rodgers in 1984. After two tepid albums they split and Page recorded a solo affair, 'Outrider' in 1988, a stale blues inspired set that populated a fair amount of baragin bins in its time. Coverdale approached Page about a joint effort in this uncertain period, brushing off rumours of an impending Led Zeppelin reunion. Robert Plant was most slighted, dismissing Coverdale as a poor imitator, conveniently forgetting Coverdale's past with Deep Purple, and that realistically Coverdale was a deep throated vocalist at heart. Despite Plant's protestations 'Coverdale/Page' was a massive success, top five on both sides of the Atlantic, and a tremendous set of rabble rousing hard rock that bettered anything both men had done in years.


The Songs
Listening to anything recorded since by these men individually, it is amazing how they pulled such a vintage performance out of each other. For starters 'Shake My Tree' bosts a massive, raunchy riff that Page hadn't pulled out since Zep's heyday. The production is full, allowing a wall of noise effect similar to Zeppelin and the use of harmonica draws yet more comparisons to the legends. Coverdale sounds at his best during 'Waiting On You', allowing his proper style to shine through, not that he sounded like Plant at his highest to these ears. The acoustic and keyboard dominated 'Take Me For A Little While' is an engaging ballad, with large doses of passion in both Page and Coverdale's efforts. 'Pride And Joy' is what Zeppelin would have sounded like with Coverdale at the helm, typical acoustic intro before a crunchy riff kicks things into gear. Naughty intentions with the sexed up grooves, and Coverdale sounds more at home with the earthy sound than the formularised AOR direction of late 80's Whitesnake. The stunning 'Feeling Hot' provides the heaviest moment, a showcase for Page's most aggressive riffing since perhaps 1976! Coverdale adds suitably daft lyrics, 'the boys are feeling hot tonight, fingers crossed they get it right....pump it up, raise the dead, squeeze it honey 'till it's cherry red...' A white hot rave up. The second half is equally fine, 'Easy Does It' and 'Absolution Blues' the best of the bunch. The latter builds up carefully with an intro like Zeppelin's 1979 'In The Evening', but once in motion goes for broke in the same fashion as 'Feeling Hot'. Page is on fire with his rapid delivery. The 'Kashmir' keyboard riffs of 'Whisper A Prayer For The Dying' are merely a smokescreen for yet more dynamic, riff based hard rock that delivers on all levels.


In Summary
What got into these men here is a question that begs answering. This is every bit as good an album as you would expect from two legends of their craft, considering many assumed they were past their primes in 1993. Subsequently you might wonder if this was recorded in 1976 such is the large quotient of classic rock! The pair performed a few shows in Japan, before aborting a proposed world tour, splitting the brief pairing. Page of course hooked back up with Plant for a couple of dismal albums, his playing never once as inspired as this. Even Coverdale's following albums were poor, both 1997's 'Restless Heart' and 2000's 'Into The Light' were weak, largely soft acoustic material, with none of the verve and attitude of 'Coverdale/Page'. This album improves with each listen. It is perhaps one of the only true rock albums of the 90's that could be readily associated with 70's figures who had shot their bolts. It is doubtful such purpose will ever befall the two again. This is one heavy deal and a monumental achievement.


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Comments
#1 | rostoned on July 30 2008 18:49:20
Very good indeed. Surely Jimmy's best work since LZ daze (The Firm and solo album were so so IMHO) and Coverdale's most inspired since '1987' and after too. Too bad they didn't tour the US or Europe and Jimmy reuniting with Plant in 1994 killed prematurely this alliance.
#2 | george_the_jack on December 13 2011 02:18:42
This record epitomises HARD ROCK music and how it should be played while it is sending... home many of the "so called" hard rockers and bands of the "hair metal" era...
 
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