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Coverdale/Page

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You took part in the writing and recording of one of the most underrated rock albums of the past 20 years, Coverdale/Page. At the time of its release in 1993, the industry considered it a commercial failure, but it sold 500,000 copies.

I remember Jimmy pulling me aside during the video shoot for "Pride & Joy" and he said, "Hey I just got together with Robert (Plant) and we're going to work together again." He was very excited. It was then that I knew it was over.

It did sell 500,000+ copies soonafter release, however it was considered a commercial failure because if I recall correctly it only debuted at #3 and then sunk like a stone on the charts after less than a month. This despite Geffen having mounted a MASSIVE publicity campaign and robust FM radio support. Generally speaking this meant those who wanted it ran out and bought upon release but they failed to attract new listeners.

Phillips recollection concerning the 'Pride And Joy' video shoot is either a stunning revelation or historically inaccurate. That video was shot in February 1993 but Jimmy & Robert didn't even have their first discussion concerning a possible collaboration (for the MTV project) until September 1993. Jimmy and Robert did start rehearsing in February 1994 so perhaps he (Phillips) recalls something Jimmy said following his return from Japan with having been said during the video shoot.

Edited by SteveAJones

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It did sell 500,000+ copies soonafter release, however it was considered a commercial failure because if I recall correctly it only debuted at #3 and then sunk like a stone on the charts after less than a month. This despite Geffen having mounted a MASSIVE publicity campaign and robust FM radio support. Generally speaking this meant those who wanted it ran out and bought upon release but they failed to attract new listeners.

Phillips recollection concerning the 'Pride And Joy' video shoot is either a stunning revelation or historically inaccurate. That video was shot in February 1993 but Jimmy & Robert didn't even have their first discussion concerning a possible collaboration (for the MTV project) until September 1993. Jimmy and Robert did start rehearsing in February 1994 so perhaps he (Phillips) recalls something Jimmy said following his return from Japan with having been said during the video shoot.

Keep mind however with no tour, the album never found legs - that was in a time when a successful tour could actually help an album sell.

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Keep mind however with no tour, the album never found legs - that was in a time when a successful tour could actually help an album sell.

This interview with Coverdale just came out. In it he talks about his time with Jimmy, his dislike for Jimmy's manager, and his relationship with Plant. The interview is a bit too long to post on here, great stuff though. The interviewer is quite aggressive with DC and get's him to admit things that have never been revealed before about the CP project.

http://www.jammagazineonline.com/mf201108-whitesnake.aspx

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I really enjoy David's singing and early Whitesnake was terrific, especially Saints and Sinners and Slide it in. IMHO he turned into a total Robert Plant wannabe by 1987. The comments made by Robert in '88 '89 were totally on the mark. How in the world does he think RP was jealous of him in the late 80's? I say more like DC was jealous of RP. He was the ultimate Rock frontman in the 70's and DC wanted to be the 80's version for mtv. Robert could have had huge commercial success if he had gone the hard rock hair band route (alright in '88 he did). He chose the harder path instead with albums like Shaken and Stirred which took incredible courage with it's direction. Granted, Robert probably didn't need the money at this point of his career and David needed a payday so he did what he had to do. I wish DC would just take his medicine, he knew full well what he and the '87 version of Whitesnake were aiming at.

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I really enjoy David's singing and early Whitesnake was terrific, especially Saints and Sinners and Slide it in. IMHO he turned into a total Robert Plant wannabe by 1987. The comments made by Robert in '88 '89 were totally on the mark. How in the world does he think RP was jealous of him in the late 80's? I say more like DC was jealous of RP. He was the ultimate Rock frontman in the 70's and DC wanted to be the 80's version for mtv. Robert could have had huge commercial success if he had gone the hard rock hair band route (alright in '88 he did). He chose the harder path instead with albums like Shaken and Stirred which took incredible courage with it's direction. Granted, Robert probably didn't need the money at this point of his career and David needed a payday so he did what he had to do. I wish DC would just take his medicine, he knew full well what he and the '87 version of Whitesnake were aiming at.

Robert did the music he wanted to do in the 80's, and I'm sure David did too. Does anyone think for a second that David really wanted to do Shaken N Stirred but settled on Whitesnake?

Personally I prefer Robert's music but that's besides the point. I thought Robert diminished himself by going after Coverdale the way he did. Robert's a legend and that was beneath him IMO.

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Wow! I just read the interview and I really can't remember someone contradicting themselves more than Coverdale.

One of the standout contradictions is: "I was going to approach Vai about playing the guitar. I'd had glitter in my eye about working with him since I saw the movie Crossroads, because of the guitar work he'd performed in the film. Only later did I find out the music I heard on the guitar was really all Ry Cooder's doing. He told Vai exactly what to play and how to play it. Being the consummate technician that he is with the guitar, Vai played the music you hear in that movie according to what he was instructed to play, not from his own gut feelings."

And in the same article: "As you very well know, I do my homework on the people I'm interested in associating myself with".

Really? Hey Dave, I could have told you back in '86 that Vai was a shredder, not a blues player, but you knew that,

you just didn't like his attitude.

Lets keep it real. Why didn't you call Ry Cooter?...cause he didn't look like Steve Vai, plain and simple.

And, if it was Page's 'ex' manager that 'suggested' he shouldn't be working with Coverdale, then all I can say is,

that is a man who knew what he was talking about.

I remember when the Coverdale Page record came out, it was a huge dissapointment to me and all my friends mainly due to Coverdale's overwrought vocals and the hideous production value. Sure, Page put some nice stuff down, but lets be honest, the sound they were going for was already dated by a few years,

see the Seattle explosion in 1991.

And, oh yeah Mr. Coverdale, everybody's big in Japan!

Edited by snapper

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Not familiar with comments regarding Coverdale and Vai. Never read them anywhere.

Vai was a hired gun because Vandenburg had joint problems with his hands and couldn't play the guitar. Vai did all the guitar work on that Whitesnake LP and most of the tracks were written by Coverdale and Vandenburg. If Vai wasn't any good, then he wouldn't have gotten the job. Vai was also on the tour that followed. And Vai is a guitar player and can pretty much play anything.

In regards to the reaction to Coverdale/Page, well everyone is entitiled to their own opinion. To me, that lp was Jimmy's best work after Zeppelin. His playing was inspired.

I also believe that Page was tired of trying to get Plant to work with him again and joined Coverdale to 1.) work on new music and 2.) get Plant motivated to call him.

Thanks for posting the Coverdale interview. It was very insightful!

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I remember when the Coverdale Page record came out, it was a huge dissapointment to me and all my friends mainly due to Coverdale's overwrought vocals and the hideous production value. Sure, Page put some nice stuff down, but lets be honest, the sound they were going for was already dated by a few years,

see the Seattle explosion in 1991.

And, oh yeah Mr. Coverdale, everybody's big in Japan!

Agreed. Brutal production. I think it was terrible, those super cannon drums killed it. I thought at the time it would sound more like the grunge/alternative stuff that was out, even with Coverdale there. I've always found that most of Page's best work had more in common with that music than the metal scene.

The same Jimmy Page, recently featured on his site with Nico (alternative), having written that sharp song of hers, having praised the Velvet Underground? Look at his work in the Yardbirds. Sharp, cool, excellent. Hard to reconcile all that with the Coverdale Page project. I don't get his reticence to get away from generic rock. He seemed to avoid it all through Zeppelin. It was a similar instrumental set up sure, but much different results.

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Agreed. Brutal production. I think it was terrible, those super cannon drums killed it. I thought at the time it would sound more like the grunge/alternative stuff that was out, even with Coverdale there. I've always found that most of Page's best work had more in common with that music than the metal scene.

The same Jimmy Page, recently featured on his site with Nico (alternative), having written that sharp song of hers, having praised the Velvet Underground? Look at his work in the Yardbirds. Sharp, cool, excellent. Hard to reconcile all that with the Coverdale Page project. I don't get his reticence to get away from generic rock. He seemed to avoid it all through Zeppelin. It was a similar instrumental set up sure, but much different results.

Why would Jimmy Page want to lower his standards and emulate the grunge/alt crap. This is such a joke that I can hardly contain my laughter. I hate grunge, I don't listen to it. You hate C/P don't listen to it, simple really. If Page called Coverdale and they put out another ass kicking HARD ROCK album, it would only be a short while before Plant would be contacting Page wanting to work with him. Just like the last time, you know it's true.

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The "grunge" artists, particularly Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, where much closer in spirit to Led Zeppelin than the hair metal that ruled the day. Seems like with Steve Albini on board for Walking Into Clarksdale, Page & Plant would have been able to tap into some of that energy but for whatever reason, it just didn't turn out that way.

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The "grunge" artists, particularly Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, where much closer in spirit to Led Zeppelin than the hair metal that ruled the day. Seems like with Steve Albini on board for Walking Into Clarksdale, Page & Plant would have been able to tap into some of that energy but for whatever reason, it just didn't turn out that way.

Your idea of musical energy must be vastly different than mine. Walking Into Clarksdale would have sounded MUCH better if Jimmy Page had produced it. What has Albini ever produced the comes anywhere near having the amount of energy of LZI or LZII?!

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Wow! I just read the interview and I really can't remember someone contradicting themselves more than Coverdale.

One of the standout contradictions is: "I was going to approach Vai about playing the guitar. I'd had glitter in my eye about working with him since I saw the movie Crossroads, because of the guitar work he'd performed in the film. Only later did I find out the music I heard on the guitar was really all Ry Cooder's doing. He told Vai exactly what to play and how to play it. Being the consummate technician that he is with the guitar, Vai played the music you hear in that movie according to what he was instructed to play, not from his own gut feelings."

And in the same article: "As you very well know, I do my homework on the people I'm interested in associating myself with".

Really? Hey Dave, I could have told you back in '86 that Vai was a shredder, not a blues player, but you knew that,

you just didn't like his attitude.

Lets keep it real. Why didn't you call Ry Cooter?...cause he didn't look like Steve Vai, plain and simple.

And, if it was Page's 'ex' manager that 'suggested' he shouldn't be working with Coverdale, then all I can say is,

that is a man who knew what he was talking about.

I remember when the Coverdale Page record came out, it was a huge dissapointment to me and all my friends mainly due to Coverdale's overwrought vocals and the hideous production value. Sure, Page put some nice stuff down, but lets be honest, the sound they were going for was already dated by a few years,

see the Seattle explosion in 1991.

And, oh yeah Mr. Coverdale, everybody's big in Japan!

While most fans of DC consider Slip of the Tongue to be awful (me included) I'm not seeing where DC contradicted himself. Vandenberg was injured and DC got himself a shredder in Steve Vai... interestingly enough David Lee Roth has said similar things about Vai in regards to the Skyscraper album which he said Vai went all "widdley widdley" on him. Which is the truth. Vai is an awesome musician who lacks soul but likes to overdecorate his music. Didn't work for Whitesnake. In fact the record sold 2 million compared to the (now) 14 million worldwide that the previous Whitesnake record sold.

As for the Robert and DC thing....It's my personal opinion that Plant went quite over the top with his comments about Coverdale. Robert lost credibility (to me) with his statements when he denied knowing Coverdale, when anyone who did the simplest amount of research would know that they did, in fact, know each other since the 70's. Whether you agree that Robert's criticisms were valid or not, in my mind he lost his way when it went from media poking to downright cruel and vindictive. I blame an extremely lazy American media who didn't bother to remember that Coverdale was in Deep Purple (several media outlets at the time called Whitesnake a "new" band).

I'm not sure you have to be a fan of DC to understand that it was over the top.

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Your idea of musical energy must be vastly different than mine. Walking Into Clarksdale would have sounded MUCH better if Jimmy Page had produced it. What has Albini ever produced the comes anywhere near having the amount of energy of LZI or LZII?!

I'm not comparing it to either of those two records. I'm referring to the sound of the grunge era in general which owed more to Zeppelin and Sabbath than any of the "lite-metal" bands.

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Wow! I just read the interview and I really can't remember someone contradicting themselves more than Coverdale.

One of the standout contradictions is: "I was going to approach Vai about playing the guitar. I'd had glitter in my eye about working with him since I saw the movie Crossroads, because of the guitar work he'd performed in the film. Only later did I find out the music I heard on the guitar was really all Ry Cooder's doing. He told Vai exactly what to play and how to play it. Being the consummate technician that he is with the guitar, Vai played the music you hear in that movie according to what he was instructed to play, not from his own gut feelings."

And in the same article: "As you very well know, I do my homework on the people I'm interested in associating myself with".

Really? Hey Dave, I could have told you back in '86 that Vai was a shredder, not a blues player, but you knew that,

you just didn't like his attitude.

Lets keep it real. Why didn't you call Ry Cooter?...cause he didn't look like Steve Vai, plain and simple.

And, if it was Page's 'ex' manager that 'suggested' he shouldn't be working with Coverdale, then all I can say is,

that is a man who knew what he was talking about.

I remember when the Coverdale Page record came out, it was a huge dissapointment to me and all my friends mainly due to Coverdale's overwrought vocals and the hideous production value. Sure, Page put some nice stuff down, but lets be honest, the sound they were going for was already dated by a few years,

see the Seattle explosion in 1991.

And, oh yeah Mr. Coverdale, everybody's big in Japan!

This Coverdale bashing is really old, I guess you like what you like, but when the record came out I remember me and all my friends liking it.

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name='jmorton' timestamp='1313798508' post='538161']

While most fans of DC consider Slip of the Tongue to be awful (me included) I'm not seeing where DC contradicted himself. Vandenberg was injured and DC got himself a shredder in Steve Vai... interestingly enough David Lee Roth has said similar things about Vai in regards to the Skyscraper album which he said Vai went all "widdley widdley" on him. Which is the truth. Vai is an awesome musician who lacks soul but likes to overdecorate his music. Didn't work for Whitesnake. In fact the record sold 2 million compared to the (now) 14 million worldwide that the previous Whitesnake record sold.

As for the Robert and DC thing....It's my personal opinion that Plant went quite over the top with his comments about Coverdale. Robert lost credibility (to me) with his statements when he denied knowing Coverdale, when anyone who did the simplest amount of research would know that they did, in fact, know each other since the 70's. Whether you agree that Robert's criticisms were valid or not, in my mind he lost his way when it went from media poking to downright cruel and vindictive. I blame an extremely lazy American media who didn't bother to remember that Coverdale was in Deep Purple (several media outlets at the time called Whitesnake a "new" band).

I'm not sure you have to be a fan of DC to understand that it was over the top.

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After listening to this album after quiet some time, i can honestly say that is one of the best post-zeppelin albums JP did, i absolutley like it. coverdale is awesome too. cant believe it didnt get too much attention, an awesome CD.

Edited by JimmyGun

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After listening to this album after quiet some time, i can honestly say that is one of the best post-zeppelin albums JP did, i absolutley like it. coverdale is awesome too. cant believe it didnt get too much attention, an awesome CD.

Yup.

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Well again, they wanted to emphasize it was a genuine collaboration. Perhaps this interview among many will clear things up:

1993_07HitParader1.jpg

Hit Parader July 1993

Scan courtesy Steve A. Jones Archive

Hi Steve,

does the attached picture belong to this article? I got it without any information and would like to archive it with the right date...

post-17547-0-48801300-1315672524_thumb.j

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Hi Steve,

does the attached picture belong to this article? I got it without any information and would like to archive it with the right date...

That pinup was NOT published in the July 1993 issue of Hit Parader, the one below was. I don't seem to have yours on file as a scan so I shall have to locate the original to confirm it's publication date.

199307HitParader2.jpg

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Wow another great song off that album. Coverdale/Page IMO is one of the better overall offerings any of the guys have done post Zeppelin (JPJ has made some fantastic, if not often over looked material as well). Also I think Jimmys Death Wish 2 has some fantstic gems on it to. :]

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