Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Coverdale/Page ~ Coverdale/Page (aka debut)



(Click heading to visit David Coverdale's official website.)
Style: blues-rock, hard rock
Label: Geffen
Year: 1993
Home: n/a (disbanded)

Members: David Coverdale ~ vocals/rhythm guitar
Jimmy Page ~ lead guitar/bass/harmonica/b. vocals
Denny Carmassi ~ drums
Lester Mendel ~ keyboards/percussion
Jorge Casas ~ bass

Additional: Ricky Phillips ~ bass
John Harris ~ harmonica
Tommy Funderburk, John Sambataro ~ b. vocals



When surviving Led Zeppelin titans Jimmy Page & Robert Plant reunited for their MTV unplugged concert Un-Led-ed: No Quarter it was an event few wanted to miss. It had everything & more. They followed it with Walking Into Clarksdale ... that had everything & less. I couldn't help but want to then turn to the C/P self-titled album, featuring the Deep Purple/Whitesnake singer who sings & looks far too similiar to Plant, & thinking how this is the album I wanted to hear from Page/Plant. Though, ironically I'd bought Coverdale/Page when it was first released thinking it was a Page/Plant reunion. I'd seen the video for "Pride & Joy" & was mezmerized by the instrumentation & arrangement. I was just beginning to get into Led Zeppelin & hard rock. I knew that Page had guested on a Plant album & thought this was it, not knowing who look-alike Coverdale was, & went out & bought Plant's Now & Zen. My disappointment was overwhelming, & though Page is on the album it was nothing close to the acoustic/electric mix of "Pride & Joy". I had to wait for the video to come on again before discovering whose album I actually wanted to buy. Though I've since become a Whitesnake fan & love Jimmy Page's Outrider solo effort, even with all its flaws, I consider C/P a highlight of both their careers post-Zeppelin/Purple. It mixes the best of all worlds, with moody songs to hardcore blues to hard rock with great singing & playing along with basically well-crafted songs. A factor might be that this is the first effort, including Zeppelin, where Page was involved in the lyric writing which in-turn influenced his playing & approach to composing. Some critics said Page joined Coverdale because he couldn't get Plant so an imitator was the next best thing. While Coverdale/Page undoubtedly has strains of later era Zeppelin it's anything but an imitation nor sounds remotely close to Plant or Page's respective solo careers up to this time, nor even Coverdale's music & any eclipses any Zeppelin sounding bands on the scene such as Badlands or Bonham. There's no way to listen to anything Page does without comparison to Zeppelin but that was such an influencial band it's better to not compare. There's only one winner in that equation. Heavy on the blues some of the ballads would be better if they didn't hit the 6 & 7 minute mark. But, the overall product is farther away from the commerical mainstream three minute rock that Coverdale had been writing since leaving Purple so there is great excitement hearing him try new avenues. He also favors a deep throaty call versus his recognizable tenor that is incredibly attractive & a highlight of many songs. When not wallowing in the blues the rest of the album is pure adrenalized hard rock with Page's most enthused & creative playing since Zepplin. His riffs are layered but not cluttered as often plagues his work & partially caused Walking Into Clarksdale to not live up to expectations. The rhythm section is also top notch creating some heavy foundations courtesy of drummer Denny Carmassi, known for his work with Montrose with Sammy Hagar & Heart & would return to Coverdale's side later, & bassist Jorge Casas who provides a heavy low end with a couple songs even featuring a second bassist to provide extra punch. It grounds Page's playing in a way that had hurt both his Outrider & the Firm. Page's riffs & rhythms dominate the songs but he doesn't play anything that hasn't been heard before, his playing languishing with a timeless quality of little growth, often leaving the key to the success of many songs on Coverdale's vocals. Luckily, he's up to the challenge. C/P probably never was going to have life beyond a single album due to the requirements of Whitesnake & quirkiness of Page's career, I've always felt sad that the ensuing tour didn't do so well & the potential of anything more was firmly removed because this is a basically everything anyone could really ask for from a one-off unlikely union.


3 comments:

  1. Ive always loved this CD....despite not liking David, Jimmy is amazing...and he really shines on this album/tour!!

    Love it!!

    http://www.facebook.com/LedZepUFP

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the link anonymous. As for "nobody's fault?" I'm sorry, I don't know what you're referring to.

    ReplyDelete