24188-2 Outrider
Produced by Jimmy Page
Released on June 19, 1988
UK CHART POSITION #27 . . . US CHART POSITION #26 . . . GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
24188-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

W ell, at least no one had to bring up the soundtrack to Death Wish II in polite conversation any more. Jimmy Page FINALLY released an album of new material that promised to keep the Zeppelin saga alive. Outrider is a latter-day Led Zep album by design: the mighty guitar riffs are there, Jason Bonham inherits his Dad’s place behind the drums, John Miles does a passable Plant imitation and RP even pops in for a cameo, “The Only One.” Does the heart good to see the words “Page/Plant” together again, I tell you. But, of course, you can never really go home. Outrider falls short of the outtakes on Coda and will not even for an instant make you want to trade the present for the past. Despite no shortage of shimmyin’, shakin’ riffage from Jimmy Page, John Miles can’t fill Plant’s pot and the rhythm section of Bonham and rotating bass players isn’t given license to anchor the works in heavy iron like Bonzo and Mr. Jones. “Wasting My Time” and “Wanna Make Love” are fine for what they are--an attempt to resurrect the old ghosts for one more dance--but it’s Page alone who invites the Zeppelin comparisons, and they’re simply too persistent to leave. The Page/Plant reunion is the best thing about Outrider, yet even here Plant sounds a little lost and the lyrics feel unfinished; though I enjoyed it, I’ll take “Ozone Baby” over “The Only One” any day. For the second side of music, Page enlisted the help of veteran R&B singer Chris Farlowe. The closing, vaguely Celtic “Blues Anthem” is all right (unfortunately, Page turned the Cheese knob up to 10 on his guitar synthesizer). However, Farlowe pretty much butchers, pees on, wraps in an American flag and burns Leon Russell’s “Hummingbird” and the (highly) original “Prison Blues.” It’s a near certainty that Page laid down the guitar tracks for “Prison Blues” before Farlowe’s performance, since the man would have otherwise pulled off his guitar strings and used them to sew the singer’s lips shut. With the pitfalls that come with changing voices, the instrumentals bring a sense of stability (“Emerald Eyes” in particular is a winner). Rare as it is to see the words “David Coverdale” and “dramatic improvement” together (at least without the word “needs” between them), David Coverdale proved to be a dramatic improvement over the Miles/Farlowe tandem.

TRACK LISTING

  1. WASTING MY TIME    (Jimmy Page/John Miles)    4:28
  2. WANNA MAKE LOVE    (Jimmy Page/John Miles)    5:20
  3. WRITES OF WINTER    (Jimmy Page)    3:25
  4. THE ONLY ONE    (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)    4:25
  5. LIQUID MERCURY    (Jimmy Page)    3:03
  6. HUMMINGBIRD    (Leon Russell)    5:22
  7. EMERALD EYES    (Jimmy Page)    3:20
  8. PRISON BLUES    (Jimmy Page/Chris Farlow)    7:07
  9. BLUES ANTHEM    (Jimmy Page/Chris Farlow)    3:20

CREDITS

JIMMY PAGE -- electric guitars, synthesizer guitars, acoustic guitars, cover concept
JASON BONHAM -- drums
CHRIS FARLOW (sic) -- vocals
FELIX KRISH -- bass
JOHN MILES -- vocals
Barrymore Barlow -- drums (5,7)
Tony Franklin -- bass (1)
Durban Laverde -- bass
Robert Plant -- vocals (4)
Leif Mases -- engineer, mixing
J.L. (Graphyk) -- artwork and cover co-ordination
Peter Ashworth -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK June 1988 Geffen LP/CS WX-155/C picture sleeve
US June 19, 1988 Geffen LP/CS/CD GHS/M5G-24188/-2 picture sleeve
BRA 1988 Geffen LP 6704 158  
GER 1988 Geffen LP 924 188-1 picture sleeve
JPN 1988 Geffen LP/CD P-8651/25XD-1071  
MEX 1988 Geffen/WEA LP LWB-6735 lyric insert
VEN 1988 Geffen LP 3242  

 

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