Thread: Jimmy Page to Release Chris Farlowe Demos He Produced in 1961

jszfunk - 3/20/2017 at 11:22 AM

Jimmy Page‘s pre-Led Zeppelin career as a studio guitarist has been well-documented. Now, he’s about to show what he did in the control room in those days. A set of demos by Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds that Page produced in 1961 — his first production credit — will be released April 30.

Page met Farlowe at a Thunderbirds gig and convinced him to record a demo album, and they booked RG Jones Sound Studio in Morden, London. The 12 songs on Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds: The Beginning… are mostly R&B chestnuts, like “What’d I Say,” “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Kansas City.” His take on Barrett Strong’s “Money,” cut two years before the Beatles‘ version, is streaming below.

A year after cutting these demos, Farlowe and the Thunderbirds were signed to Decca, and then Columbia. He moved to Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label in 1965 and spent the next few years releasing songs originally recorded by the Rolling Stones and the Small Faces, including “Out of Time,” “Yesterday’s Papers” and “My Way of Giving.” He also charted with the original version of “Handbags and Gladrags” in 1967, two years before Rod Stewart recorded it.

The Beginning… is being sold at Page’s website, featuring liner notes from Page and Farlowe in a one-LP/one-CD Standard Edition, with a limited-run Deluxe Edition that features the signatures of both men.

“I’m really pleased to be able to make this musical document available for the first time to give an idea of the musical cauldron that was going on in London in 1961, a few years before the Chicago blues renaissance and the Beatles,” Page said.

‘Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds: The Beginning…’ Track Listing

1. “Entry of the Slaves”
2. “Spring is Near”
3. “What’d I Say”
4. “Let the Good Times Roll”
5. “Sticks and Stones”
6. “Kansas City”
7. “I’m Moving On”
8. “Just a Dream”
9. “Matchbox”
10. “Money”
11. “Hurtin’ Inside”
12. “Watch Your Step”


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aekdbmoid - 3/20/2017 at 02:09 PM

It would be nice to have an anthology of non-Zep session work by Jimmy, somewhat like the Duane anthologies.




Zambi - 3/20/2017 at 05:13 PM

I just made the connection - same Chris Farlowe that sang lead vox on side 2 of Jimmy's Outrider solo LP from the late 1980s.

quote:
It would be nice to have an anthology of non-Zep session work by Jimmy, somewhat like the Duane anthologies.


I've not heard them, and wasn't even aware of them before today, but there are two compilations of his session work:

Session Man Vol. 1: http://www.allmusic.com/album/session-man-vol-1-mw0000308558

Session Man Vol. 2: http://www.allmusic.com/album/session-man-vol-2-mw0000309168


JimSheridan - 3/20/2017 at 06:39 PM

Yeah, I have those. They are OK; as you'd guess, there is some awful early pop and corny psychedelic stuff in there. I guess the same could be said for the complete "Little Games" sessions too!!

Those "Session Man" discs could stand a re-master, and I think there is also a lot more stuff NOT on them.

There are some blues sessions that Page did that also appear in different formats, some with Clapton, that Clapton was not pleased about being released.

I think it might be interesting to have a compilation of post-Zepp guest appearances that Page did. As I recall, he appeared on some odd stuff, like a Steven Stills album I think, and a Box of Frogs disc.


Zambi - 3/21/2017 at 03:47 PM

quote:
There are some blues sessions that Page did that also appear in different formats, some with Clapton, that Clapton was not pleased about being released.

Back in the late-80s, I picked up two compilations on cassette tapes that were largely redundant. I think I got one or both from either Columbia House or RCA/BMG Music Service, although it's possible I got one of them at like a gas station cut-out bin.

One was called Guitar Boogie and, surprisingly, was on RCA Records. (I might have gotten this one from the RCA Music Service.) I still have the cassette case and J-card, but the cassette disappeared long ago. It is billed as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck. But I don't think Beck and Clapton ever appear together.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_Boogie_(album)

There was another competing version released around the same time that was called White Boy Blues Vol. 1. All same tunes as appeared on the Guitar Boogie release, plus several more tunes that IIRC were even less interesting. The RCA release had better sound quality (slightly) but fewer songs. This WWB was on an independent label and originally released as 2-volume set that was more of a British Blues compilation and included other artists like John Mayall, Albert Lee, Ten Years After, etc. There was a shortened version of Vol. 1 released that only included the tunes with Clapton/Beck/Page and omitted the other British artists. (The Vol. 2 didn't have any Clapton/Beck/Page material at all.) As with the Guitar Boogie tape, Clapton and Beck don't appear on any of the songs together.

http://www.allmusic.com/album/white-boy-blues-vol-1-mw0000650964

quote:
I think it might be interesting to have a compilation of post-Zepp guest appearances that Page did. As I recall, he appeared on some odd stuff, like a Steven Stills album I think, and a Box of Frogs disc.


He also played uncredited on the mid-80s Rolling Stones release Dirty Work. This was right before Mick broke the band up, allegedly due to Keef's heroin problems. I don't know if Keef's condition was the reason Page was involved in the studio sessions, or if it was other reasons. The Box of Frogs was with some (or all?) of the surviving members of the Yardbirds. Beck was involved too.


JimSheridan - 3/21/2017 at 04:33 PM

Good call!

For other 80s Page stuff, I know he was on a few songs on The Honeydrippers EP; he was on 2 songs on Plant's "Now and Zen"; and I think he and Paul Rodgers were on a Bill Wyman Willy & The Poor Boys disc doing "These Arms of Mine."

He was on pretty much every song on Roy Harper's "Whatever Happened to Jugula," but I'm not sure I can recommend that to anyone.


Zambi - 3/21/2017 at 05:17 PM

Yeah, I remember Now & Zen and Plant returned the favor on Page's Outrider. Didn't know about the Bill Wyman collaboration.

He also did the Death Wish movie soundtracks in the early 1980s. And some time between Zeppelin and The Firm he hooked up with some members of Yes. Not sure if that was to do prog-rock or what, but seems like an odd pairing.

The Honeydrippers thing always confused me b/c they were so mysterious about the band and never really talked about it, that I could find anyway. I thought it was an excuse for Plant and Page to get together, as if the band was both of theirs (as opposed to Page contributing to another persons' band). But I'm not sure that is true. And Jeff Beck was also involved, but I don't know to what extent.

The version that recorded that EP is a different group of musicians than Robert Plant's original lineup though. I've also read (or heard?) that Plant formed the band initially for the purpose to play R&B and blues tunes in Europe/UK when he was off-tour and between projects, while his solo career remained focused on 1980s pop-rock. The band that recorded the EP was U.S. based, but also included Page and Beck to some extent.


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