So what does Jimmy Page do when Robert Plant does not respond to his "courtship" and does not agree to reunite? He teams up with Planet's biggest foe - David Coverdale, and releases an album that ignites all the fuses of Robert Plant. This album annoyed Robert Plant so much, that he eventually reunite with Jimmy Page, not before "stinging" David Coverdale and calling him in the media the "David Cover-Version."
So this telenovela between the three ego-inflated musicians is related to the album released on March 15, 1993 - the only studio album by the "Coverdale/Page" duo.
It can be said that the story of the album began in 1987 when "Whitesnake" released the album that bears its name known as "1987". On this album, the band led by David Coverdale makes a fundamental and radical change in both lineup and sound. Coverdale replaces all the musicians who have accompanied him on previous albums and simply forms a new band. At the same time, the musical style undergoes a metamorphosis and from Hard Rock/Blues Rock to Heavy Metal/Glam Metal. This fundamental change in the band's sound is also reflected in the singing style of Coverdale, which sometimes sounds like an imitation of Robert Plant, as can be heard in the opening song of the album in his European release "Still Of The Night".
The fact that David Coverdale, suddenly began to sound like an innovative version of Robert Plant, was enough for Jimmy Page. The two met during the winter of 1991-1992 in several locations, on both sides of the ocean, and worked on the materials for the album.
The album cover accurately shows what's going on inside - two roads that blend into one road. Indeed, the musical style of the album is a combination of the strong riffs of "Led Zeppelin" and the slow and heavy Blues-Rock of "Whitesnake".
(Photo: William Hames/Zuma)
This combination can already be heard in the opening song "Shake My Tree" which blends the so-identified rhythms of "Led Zeppelin" with the electrifying blues-rock of "Whitesnake". The song begins quiet and acoustic as the tension builds over the first two verses, until the inevitable explosion in the third verse. The incredible riff of this song was developed by Jimmy Page more than a decade earlier, back in the days of the sessions for Zeppelin's latest album - "In Through The Out Door".This amazing riff proves how accurate the definition of the "Rolling Stone" magazine, which portrayed him as the "pontiff of power riffing".
The album continues with "Waiting On You" another song with a "Led Zeppelin" riff, only unlike the previous song, the style is more appealing towards "Whitesnake", as the rhythm section immediately reveals. The chorus and David Coverdale vocals also correspond more with "1987's" "Whitesnake" than with Plant and "Zeppelin".
And if we are already talking about "Whitesnake", then the blues-rock ballad "Take Me For A Little While" that emerges softly in the third track, could certainly have suited the "Whitesnake" albums of the early 1980s. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and powerful songs on the album, which manages to bring out the best of the duo.
It is interesting to note, that the album features two more powerful blues-rock ballads, "Don't Leave Me This Way" whose guitar solo corresponds with that from the song "Since I've Been Lovin' You", starting at 4:45 and "Whisper a Prayer for the Dying", whose rhythm section, at times, reminds us of another Jimmy Page's lineup from the early 1980s - "The Firm". The three ballads are scattered throughout the album and form its stable anchors. Coverdale sounds amazing in those songs. He is in the comfort zone of his vocal range and he just surpasses himself vocally. Similarly, these songs bring Page back to his blues roots and highlight his incredible ability to take a simple blues riff and improvise on it with short, melodic guitar sentences alongside overwhelming "melting" solos.
The fourth track "Pride and Joy", was chosen to be the first single from the album. This is a distinctly "Led Zeppelin" song. From the opening that combines Jimmy Page's all-too-familiar acoustics with the dulcimer - the strings instrument that Page did not use since "Led Zeppelin III", through the electric riffs that correspond with the original, and to the singing at the end meant to sound exactly Like Plant with the attraction of syllables. Interestingly, the song started from a bluish sketch of a David Coverdale that Page simply broke down and rebuilt as a rocking hard rock song. Jimmy Page is also responsible for the harmonica playing that accompanies the song throughout, including the amazing solo.
We continue with "Over Now" and his "Kashmiri" drumming, combined with the guitar sound that, again, reminds us of Page's previous lineup - "The Firm". This track along with "Easy Does It" are the two weakest songs of the album. They both have quite a bit in common, as they also include a kind of combination of the acoustics from "Led Zeppelin III" with the electric guitar and bass sound of "The Firm", especially from the bass guitar entry at the minute 2:46.
"Feeling Hot" is the fastest on the album and is led by the powerful drumming of Denny Carmassi from "Montrose".
"Take a Look at Yourself" is a distinct eighties Hard Rock ballad. A love song with the obvious influences of David Coverdale and a melodic chorus compatible with "Whitesnake" of the late 1980s. This song proves that Page has not really changed since the days of his "musical loans" from the "Led Zeppelin" days, as the melody of the song and even some of the lyrics are reminiscent of the "Tracks of my Tears" from the "Temptations".
"Absolution Blues" is the closest that Coverdale sounds like Plant on this album. The song's riff is no doubt copied from Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker". However, Coverdale nevertheless left his mark on the song with the sequence of lyrics: "Falling down to wash my tears away" that correspond with the lyrics of the song "Ain't Gonna Cry No More" by "Whitesnake".
Although the album did not leave a significant mark, it is without a doubt a good album with strong compositions and equally good performance. At the same time, the album created a small earthquake whose waves resonated almost until the end of the decade. The antagonism it provoked for Plant along with the relatively poor sales of his "Fate of Nations" album, was the catalyst that would lead to his reunion with Page, initially in a show recorded especially in honor of MTV's unplugged program and released on audio and DVD - "Jimmy Page and Robert Plant - No Quarter ", and later also in an entire studio album with original materials.
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