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Jimmy Page`s Solo Outing Just Leaden Zeppelin Rehashes


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Jimmy Page, Outrider (Geffen): If you thought Robert Plant was just the dumb blond in Led Zeppelin, compare his recent release, ``Now and Zen,`` to former bandmate Jimmy Page`s first solo outing. While Plant seasons the old sound with tasty `80s pop, humor and an occasionally intelligent lyric, Page parodies his past glory with an excruciating collection of leaden Zepp rehashes. The recycled riffs in this nine-song set (including three instrumentals), appearances by Plant and Jason Bonham (the son of Zepp`s late drummer, John) and flagrant imitations of Plant`s singing style by the other guest vocalists are obvious attempts to cash in on the revived interest in hard rock`s most revered group.

Side 1 is a harshly frenetic round that even Plant`s presence (on the appropriately titled ``The Only One``) can`t save. Page slows things down on Side 2 when he drags out the old blues influences. Tellingly, the one track that comes close to justifying his ever-growing guitar hero status, ``Prison Blues,`` is a straightfoward 12-bar blues improvised in the studio and recorded in one take. ``You were pumping iron, while I was pumping irony,`` Plant sings on his own LP. ``Outrider`` is the muscle-bound mess he could have been referring to.

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