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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Page, Jimmy - 1982 Deathwish II (Soundtrack)
Page, Jimmy - 1982 Deathwish II (Soundtrack)

ARTIST: Page, Jimmy
ALBUM: Deathwish II (Soundtrack)
LABEL: Swansong
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1998, East West (Japan), AMCY-2745


LINEUP: Jimmy Page - guitar, synthesizer * Chris Farlowe - vocals * David Paton - bass * Dave Mattacks - drums * Gordon Edwards - vocals, piano * Dave Lawson - piano, synthesizer * David Sinclair Whittaker - piano

TRACK LISTING: 01 Who's To Blame * 02 The Chase * 03 City Sirens * 04 Jam Sandwich * 05 Carole's Theme * 06 The Release * 07 Hotel Rats And Photostats * 08 Shadow In The City * 09 Jill's Theme * 10 Prelude * 11 Big Band, Sax And Violence * 12 Hypnotizing Ways (Oh Mamma)


Following the demise of Led Zeppelin in 1980 Jimmy Page found himself at a career crossroads in 1982. With Robert Plant immediately achieving solo success, Page's first individual project was unexpectedly a soundtrack for the notorious 'Death Wish II' at the behest of director Michael Winner who happened to be Page's neighbour. This wasn't Page's first soundtrack, his previous attempt being for the movie 'Lucifer Rising' which went famously unreleased until 2012 and is pretty dire stuff. Page assembles a seasoned group of veterans for the soundtrack and the results were brilliant if you ask me. He might deny it based on recent interviews, but even as a stone cold junkie Page still had the ability to rustle up some superb compositions. Having seen this movie more times than I can count it's easy to place each piece with the particular scenes, but Page was equal musically to the talent of Charles Bronson ruthlessly dispatching urban scum and Winner's condemned onscreen violence.

The Songs
Chris Farlowe provides gravely vocals for the main title track 'Who's To Blame' although in the movie his vocals aren't present. Farlowe was a veteran of Colosseum in the early 70's and many other projects and gives a good showing in a track which has all the hallmarks of Led Zeppelin's 'In Through The Out Door' and is actually better than 85 percent of that album. It's an underrated performance by Page, with his trademark riffs and licks proving more palatable to me than Plant's rather dull solo work. 'The Chase' is a grinding blues workout with some funk elements to the bass, not to mention overpowering synths. Page throws in a melodic solo which could easily be 1973 in tone and is sadly all too brief. 'City Sirens' is a choice hard rock cut and the second track featuring vocals and again has the style of latter day Led Zeppelin. Another standout is the effortless swagger of 'Jam Sandwich' which flirts with faster tempos but never follows through. Page's riffs here obliterate the competition, something AC/DC would be envious of for example, or even classic period Aerosmith. 'The Release' has a jazz-fusion feel to it, with Page again on fire giving the feeling he had never been better. This would have made a great Zeppelin track. The dominant synth work of 'Hotel Rats And Photostats' is eerie and a perfect companion to the scene where Bronson's legendary Paul Kersey character executes a thug after asking him if he believes in Jesus. This type of bleak atmospheric keyboard tone is also present in 'A Shadow In The City' which has Page written all over it. Page churns out an emotionally tinged blues solo on 'Prelude' with all the virtues of Zeppelin classics like 'Since I've Been Loving You'. It's far briefer though and the cornball 'Big Band, Swing And Violence' mixes swing and hard rock together to great effect and is again too short. Page's riffs sound exquisite combined with horns and sax. This man was a genius. 'Hypnotizing Ways (Oh Mamma) is the third track to feature vocals and is a straight forward hard rocker with all the swagger you'd expect from Page when writing, far superior to anything from The Firm or his solo album 'Outrider'.

In Summary
I've always thought this was an underrated addition to Page's discography and it showed he was as inventive as ever and had regained some of the form that had gone missing at the end of Zeppelin's tenure. It wasn't maintained however and it was hard not be disappointed with some of his resulting work in the 80's. This however is one of his highlights and with considering the company Page was keeping here he couldn't go wrong really could he?

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#1 | gdazegod on January 24 2015 06:19:03
Haha.. I like that line.. 'Do you believe in Jesus'? lol!
#2 | Eric on January 24 2015 15:16:34
I had forgotten about this album. I remember liking it...
#3 | fenton on January 31 2015 02:54:48
Anyone ever see, somewhere on youtube, there's a video of Alex Winter talking about his experience working on Death Wish 3 -- By his account Michael Winner's a scumbag lunatic renowned for his bizarre, drawn-out filming of rape scenes and Charlie had long since checked-out mentally, barely cognizant of the fact they were making a movie! It's the best one in the series but it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that it's the work of un-sane people.
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