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juxtiphi   

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/jimmy-page-outrider/

Jimmy Page was a band player before he started Led Zeppelin, and he returned to the group ranks after Zeppelin’s breakup in 1980, starting the Firm with former Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers. But by the late ’80s, he was ready to step out on his own.

The result was Page’s first proper solo release, 1988′s ‘Outrider,’ which found one of rock’s most respected guitarists working with a cast of characters that included former Firm bassist Tony Franklin, Zeppelin drummer John Bonham‘s son Jason, and vocalists John Miles and Chris Farlowe — as well as Led Zep singer Robert Plant, who contributed vocals to one song, ‘The Only One.’

If that description makes ‘Outrider’ sound like a bit of a hodgepodge, there’s good reason. Although Page was initially rumored to be recording an ambitious double-album set whose songs would be grouped according to genre, those plans had to be scaled back after he was forced to start from scratch partway through the demoing process.

“I remember looking around for some demos and sort of wondering where all my tapes were,” he later explained to Brad Tolinski, author of ‘Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page.’ “There was so much going on around my house and in my life at that time, I just figured they’d turn up somewhere. Well, they did turn up — as bootlegs! Someone who was pretending to be a friend stole the tapes.”

That setback put a completely different spin on the ‘Outrider’ recording process — although as Page went on to admit to Tolinski, he might not have made it a double LP anyway. “Because I was shaping ‘Outrider’ as I went along, I put more work into it than any other album I’ve ever worked on,” he claimed. “Consequently, I didn’t fancy doing a double — it would have been a masochistic task.”

Fortunately, Page had the luxury of working within a fairly sophisticated home studio system, which allowed him to build the tracks as he went along without racking up astronomical bills. “There weren’t any demos…Everything was basically made up in the studio, you see,” he explained during an interview with Guitar World. “I just play the guitar, don’t I? That is my characteristic and it’s my identity as you hear it. I suppose as far as this album goes, in a way it’s almost like a back-to-basics album.”

He ended up with a nine-song set comprised of eight originals and a cover of Leon Russell’s ‘Hummingbird,’ with three instrumentals mixed in among the six vocal numbers. Focused on the arrangements, which included a ton of guitar overdubs, Page left responsibility for the lyrics to his singers. As he put it to Guitar World, “I don’t sing, so I think if a guy’s doing the lyrics, he’s gonna sing them with more conviction than if he’s doing yours, so to speak. That was the concept there, anyway.”

Although ‘Outrider’ cracked the Top 30 on both sides of the Atlantic, it wasn’t the sort of critical or commercial success he’d enjoyed with Led Zeppelin — and his former band’s legacy shadowed the new album in more ways than one. As Page later admitted to Tolinski, “When I went to the U.S. to do publicity for the ‘Outrider’ album, all I heard was ‘Robert said this’ and ‘Robert said that.’ It was really bothersome. I continually had to say, ‘Aren’t we supposed to be talking about ‘Outrider’?”

On the other hand, as he told Guitar World, “I started a solo career prob’ly pretty late in the day, possibly.” At the time, he expressed hope that ‘Outrider’ was just “the first projected element” of an ongoing series of solo records, saying, “And then, each album that I do is gonna be different, hopefully. So this was just like … it gave a taste of the different guitar styles that I do.”

As fans know, things didn’t exactly turn out that way; in fact, Page wouldn’t resurface with a new album until 1993, when he returned with the short-lived David Coverdale duo project Coverdale/Page before reuniting with Plant for a pair of recordings in the ’90s. These days, Page’s musical ambitions have taken a back seat to his duties as the Zeppelin archivist, but once the band’s next round of reissues is out of the way, who knows? One of these days, maybe we’ll get to hear a proper follow-up to ‘Outrider.’


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Just wished Page did more solo albums.

Me too. He keeps on saying since 2009 "I'm going to release a solo abum next year!" I bet $ it will be far better than Outrider. If he ever makes it. I think he's been waiting to see if he could reform Led Zeppelin and use those tracks as Zeppelin songs. That's what I think the delay is about. Plus other projects, ect.

Edited by Led Wilde

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Me too. He keeps on saying since 2009 "I'm going to release a solo abum next year!" I bet $ it will be far better than Outrider. If he ever makes it. I think he's been waiting to see if he could reform Led Zeppelin and use those tracks as Zeppelin songs. That's what I think the delay is about. Plus other projects, ect.

I think your right about him want to use the material he has with the remaining members of Zep with Jason on drums and that has caused his delay with solo work... the man misses his band...

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Now that I think about it, the main major difference between the Outrider album and a Led Zeppelin album is the style & quality of musicians Jimmy collaborated with. (Although Jason Bonham is Led Zeppelin worthy these days and was always a good drummer.) Other than that, what is the difference?

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Love Outrider.

Really wish there was another album - I don't understand how you can call it quits without putting out at least two albums >-(

Went to two Firm concerts but was regrettably was out of phase for the Outrider tour.

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Dr Death   

Love Outrider.

Really wish there was another album - I don't understand how you can call it quits without putting out at least two albums >-(

Went to two Firm concerts but was regrettably was out of phase for the Outrider tour.

I don't think that Jimmy "called it quits" after Outrider. If you remember, following that tour he went in and remastered the Zeppelin catalog for Box Set 1 and 2, then in 1991 he hooked up with David Coverdale, shortly after their 1993 tour of Japan he was back with Plant and that took him through all of 1998... I mean most of the 90's he was working and was creating some new music. Even the Unledded album had some new tunes on it, one of which was spectacular. (Wonderful One)

I think the opportunity to work with Coverdale and then Plant was too enticing to start from scratch and search for a vocalist - or vocalists - like he did with Outrider. In fact, Jimmy has said in past interviews that he was going through scores of demo tapes of singers and was finding nothing that inspired him when the call came to meet with Coverdale... so I believe the plan was to follow Outrider with a second album, but the whole task of finding a singer was quite laborious for him... and then suddenly he gets asked to meet David and they hit it off and then started writing immediately - Absolution Blues on the first day - why throw that away to, again, start from scratch and look for a singer???

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"Quits" in terms of a second album(i.e. Outrider 2) with the same ensemble.

Not a fan of anything that came after - that you mentioned...until I guess celebration day

JP OTOH is quite the "achiever". I hope I am half as productive as he is at his age :-)

I liked Honeydrippers, Willie and the poor boys, and Roy Harper....

Edited by riffsofpage

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raytuned   

How about the guitar in baggage claims @ Laguardia airport in NY ,around 1972 .it suddenly disappeared w/o a trace. Someone had a brain in their head!. As for the outrider tour.,their is a DVD from this 1988 tour called Raving Arizona,sept17 ,Mesa Amphitheater, try and get it awesome show!! You will not be disappointed at all.

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12 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

Always great to add Outrider performance reviews to the archive. Thanks, guys!

I have lots, here's a couple more tidbits:

Miami review 9-10-88

1988-miami-outrider-review.jpg

 

Chicago interview 10-30-88

1988-10-30---chicago-interview.jpg

 

 

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Haven't listened to this album in many years.  I recall that I liked Hummingbird,that's the only song that pops into my mind.  "Hummingbird...don't, fly awaaay"  In all honesty, the album never did it for me.  Emerald Eyes I believe was the instrumental that had a good feel to it.

Maybe I will revisit it.  If I had to choose anyone post-Zeppelin it would be Plants work hands down.  Though, post Zeppelin the best created in my opinion was the No Quarter album with both Page and Plant.  Saw them live not long after that release and they did a great job.

Edited by Canadianzepper
grammar

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Strider   

The Outrider tour was much better than the album. It was an emotional night at the Forum when Jimmy brought his show to town.

The Outrider album was okay...for a Mick Ralphs, Steve Hackett or Peter Frampton solo album. But with Jimmy Page, you expected something more...something fierce and seismic...and Outrider always seemed a little to wan and timid to my ears.

You have to remember this was 1988 when Outrider was released. I was immersed in the wild guitar sounds of bands such as Sonic Youth, Jane's Addiction, Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, the Cure, Dinosaur Jr., Flaming Lips, Butthole Surfers...not to mention the hard envelope-busting sounds of the Beastie Boys, N.W.A., and Public Enemy.

Against that backdrop, Outrider was nice but it didn't hold my attention for long. The faceless bland vocals by Farlowe and Miles didn't help. Wish Robert had sang all the vocals.

But the live show smoked...Jimmy's best playing in years. 

 

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12 hours ago, Strider said:

The Outrider tour was much better than the album. It was an emotional night at the Forum when Jimmy brought his show to town.

The Outrider album was okay...for a Mick Ralphs, Steve Hackett or Peter Frampton solo album. But with Jimmy Page, you expected something more...something fierce and seismic...and Outrider always seemed a little to wan and timid to my ears.

You have to remember this was 1988 when Outrider was released. I was immersed in the wild guitar sounds of bands such as Sonic Youth, Jane's Addiction, Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, the Cure, Dinosaur Jr., Flaming Lips, Butthole Surfers...not to mention the hard envelope-busting sounds of the Beastie Boys, N.W.A., and Public Enemy.

Against that backdrop, Outrider was nice but it didn't hold my attention for long. The faceless bland vocals by Farlowe and Miles didn't help. Wish Robert had sang all the vocals.

But the live show smoked...Jimmy's best playing in years. 

 

As I have stated many times we saw his last night of the tour in Manchester. It was fantastic. Couldn't fault it. I recall a few chums turning down the show as they didn't like the album, me included but when i played them a recording of the night, there were many who said "shit what a show" I must dig it out sometime?

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On 11/16/2016 at 8:57 PM, sam_webmaster said:

I have lots, here's a couple more tidbits:

Chicago interview 10-30-88

1988-10-30---chicago-interview.jpg

 

 

^^^

Akron Beacon Journal (Oct 30, 1988) (Akron, OH)

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Brigante   
On ‎16‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 10:50 PM, Strider said:

The faceless bland vocals by Farlowe and Miles didn't help. 

That was the biggest drawback for me. Would've even preferred Jimmy to sing it himself!

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luvlz2   
On 8/30/2014 at 7:44 AM, SteveAJones said:

 

Here's the front cover of the Westwood One Superstars in Concert program, as well as the 8.5" x 11" cue sheet that was originally distributed with it:

 

NEED1988WW1_zpsa56caeb3.jpg

 

NEEDcuesheet_zps0a32a520.jpg

 

 

 

I probably recorded this on cassette off the radio a long time ago but do not have the cassette anymore and forgot about it. i have a good recollection of recording others like The Firm and Page & Plant but not this one.  I love listening to Westwood One radio specials.

Edited by luvlz2

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luvlz2   
On 11/30/2016 at 1:31 AM, Strider said:

Always loved the title of this Outrider tour souvenir.

I have that one, definitely have always loved the title as well.

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