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Firm, The - 1985 The Firm




ARTIST: Firm, The
ALBUM: The Firm
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7 81239-1 (LP), A2-81239 (CD)
YEAR: 1985

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Paul Rodgers - vocals * Jimmy Page - guitars * Tony Franklin - bass * Chris Slade - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Closer * 02 Make Or Break * 03 Someone To Love * 04 Together * 05 Radioactive * 06 You've Lost That Loving Feeling * 07 Money Can't Buy * 08 Satisfaction Guaranteed * 09 Midnight Moonlight


Background
Lot's of hype over this one and why not? Two of the biggest names in British hard rock; Paul Rodgers formerly of Free and Bad Company and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin pooling their talents together along with Tony Franklin formerly with prog folkie Roy Harper equipped with an enormous hairdo on fretless bass and ex-Uriah Heep Chris Slade on drums, expectations were high. Bad Company's last release 'Rough Diamonds' appeared in 1982 without a follow-up tour and Rodgers 1983 solo album 'Cut Loose' with the cheapest looking cover art I've ever seen wasn't exactly a blockbuster. Page dabbled a bit in soundtrack work but had kept a low profile since John Bonham's untimely death in 1980 so the time was right for two pillars of the 1970's hard rock aristocracy to take a second shot at glory. Or was it?


The Songs
For this reviewer, The Firm's debut is a monument to just how bad the music of the 1980's could be. The opening track complete with annoying horns would have sounded better on a Duran Duran or Power Station album. It gets worse with 'Make Or Break' and 'Together' with Jimmy's guitar sounding down right restrained. Rodger's of course, never fails in the vocal department, but did we really need a cover of the Righteous Brothers 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling'? Horrific, a near tragedy and how much drinking were they doing when they decided to include it? Ok, all is not lost. 'Radioactive' is pretty good and up to what this record should have sounded like with 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' as the icing on this moldy cake. A solid track, slow and sultry with a solo from Page that is as good as anything he had done previously. Alright, maybe not that great but considering the rest of the album's material..


In Summary
For this reviewer, The Firm's debut is a monument to just how bad the music of the 1980's could be. The opening track complete with annoying horns would have sounded better on a Duran Duran or Power Station album. It gets worse with 'Make Or Break' and 'Together' with Jimmy's guitar sounding down right restrained. Rodger's of course, never fails in the vocal department, but did we really need a cover of the Righteous Brothers 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling'? Horrific, a near tragedy and how much drinking were they doing when they decided to include it? Ok, all is not lost. 'Radioactive' is pretty good and up to what this record should have sounded like with 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' as the icing on this moldy cake. A solid track, slow and sultry with a solo from Page that is as good as anything he had done previously. Alright, maybe not that great but considering the rest of the album's material..


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Comments

#1 | super80boy on December 12 2015 23:31:53
The lead off 'Closer' never seems to get its legs underneath it...and yes, oddly enough does sound like a Power Station song. However 'Someone To Love' brings back helpings of melodic rock goodness with its driving rhythms, including a consistent drum attack. 'Money Can't Buy' has a subtle synth arrangement, Jimmy's stellar guitar riffing and Paul's on target vocals, another good track. Their 2nd offering Mean Business wouldn't improve things unfortunately.
#2 | gdazegod on December 12 2015 23:37:24
Agree. Neither are that good actually.

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