81239-1 The Firm
Produced by Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers
Released on March 2, 1985
UK CHART POSITION #15 . . . US CHART POSITION #17
Find it at GEMM
81239-1 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

A pparently the contract read “guitarist in the greatest rock and roll band” and not “the greatest rock and roll guitarist.” Just another reason to bring a lawyer with you when you’re dealing with the devil. If Jimmy Page sold his soul for rock and roll immortality, he sold whatever was left in this unholy alliance with Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers and a rhythm section (Chris Slade, Tony Franklin) of little “L” lemures. Now I love Zeppelin (who doesn’t?), but I lost that loving feeling pretty quick with this album. Paul Rodgers is no Robert Plant, no Lou Gramm, not even a John Wetton, and Chris Slade was booted out of Uriah Heep for goodness sake. That leaves us pretty much with Page, a burned-out waltzer who used to be one hell of a dancer. The mighty riffs and black sheets of rain never arrive, just a light drizzle and an acoustic epic at the end that sounds like “The Rain Song.” That last track, “Midnight Moonlight,” is far and away the closest thing to Zeppelin (I refuse to repackage the same information and tell you that it is) and thus the most likely to please long-suffering Leddites. Otherwise the Zeppelin comparison is slim. Some of the riffs from Page (“Closer,” “Someone to Love”) deliver on a Bled Company union, but unless you thought Billy Squier really rocked you won’t be happy with the results. The hit, “Radioactive,” is probably the best thing about the record, a classic crotch rock song from the 80s (back-handed compliment that it is). The trick to appreciating this record lies in the direction you’re coming from. If you’re following Paul Rodgers, proceed without caution since for him The Firm is an elevated platform. If you’re following Page, there are more interesting chapters in Zeppelin’s archives, from Coda to... well, okay those are some pretty slim archives so better to proceed directly to Pictures.

81239-1 back cover 81239-1 picture sleeve
81239-1 back cover 81239-1 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. CLOSER    (Jimmy Page/Paul Rodgers)    4:55
  2. MAKE OR BREAK    (Paul Rodgers)    4:21
  3. SOMEONE TO LOVE    (Jimmy Page/Paul Rodgers)    4:55
  4. TOGETHER    (Jimmy Page/Paul Rodgers)    3:54
  5. RADIOACTIVE    (Paul Rodgers)    2:49
  6. YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELING    (Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil/Phil Spector)    4:33
  7. MONEY CAN'T BUY    (Paul Rodgers)    3:35
  8. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED    (Jimmy Page/Paul Rodgers)    4:07
  9. MIDNIGHT MOONLIGHT    (Jimmy Page/Paul Rodgers)    9:13

CREDITS

TONY FRANKLIN -- bass, synthesizers, backing vocals
JIMMY PAGE -- electric and acoustic guitars
PAUL RODGERS -- vocals, electric and acoustic guitar
CHRIS SLADE -- drums, percussion
Sam Brown -- backing vocals
Helen Chappelle -- backing vocals
Steve Dawson -- trumpet (1)
Willie Garnett -- tenor sax (1)
Paul Weimar -- baritone sax (1)
Don Weller -- tenor sax solo (1)
Joy Yates -- backing vocals
Stuart Epps -- engineer
Steve Privett -- tape operator
Steve Maher -- cover artwork

return to THE FIRM discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US March 2, 1985 Atlantic LP/CD/CS 81239 picture sleeve
UK/CAN/GER 1985 Atlantic LP/CD/CS 78 12391/2/4 picture sleeve
COL 1985 Atlantic LP 6076  
JPN 1985 Victor LP VIL-6157  
MEX 1985 Atlantic LP LWA-6352  

 

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