Many Led Zeppelin fans of a certain age remember the Death Wish 2 soundtrack. It was, decidedly, not Zeppelin. Jimmy Page has performed a few songs from this over the years, City Sirens, Who’s To Blame, and Prelude. He’s played them with the Arms Tour, with the Firm (at least Prelude), and on the Outrider tour.
They’re good tracks but there are a couple of others from this album which deserve some love. Jimmy’s choice of Chris Farlowe as vocalist has, in my opinion, limited the appeal of this soundtrack, but this was a very rushed, last minute project, and Chris was a friend with whom Jimmy had recorded before, so I get it. You may recognize Chris’ voice as the singer of Prison Blues on Jimmy’s Outrider album.
Hypnotizing Ways (Oh Mama)
Hypnotizing Ways is a nice rock song. Jimmy doesn’t usually use suspended fourths (music nerd alert), but I like it. If there was another singer on this I think it would have more traction, but I enjoy it.
A nice little instrumental jam. I really dig it. You can hear flashes of the guitar god on the solos. Jimmy made the noble decision to walk away from the Zeppelin catalog (at least until 1988), after the breakup of the band, so hearing some very Zep-like licks is refreshing.
The story of how this project came about is an interesting one, at least as much as the XYZ project, so perhaps I will do a podcast about it. Until that glorious day you will have to make do with these two songs, which have fallen through the cracks.
At this time the only place you can buy this (remastered and expanded) soundtrack is from Jimmy Page himself, on his website. From what I understand it sounds great and the extra tracks are pretty badass.
I posted this video on Youtube years ago, after downloading off of Dimeadozen. I attended the Outrider concert the following night in Worcedeter, MA, but that’s a story for another day.
The Outrider album is… ok. The playing is great which the big thing. After two Firm albums, and a bunch of shaky performances, I was delighted that Jimmy got his chops back and came out swinging.
The Outrider tour was fucking incredible. For the first time since 1980, he was playing Led Zeppelin, along with a couple Firm songs, some Death Wish 2 stuff, and and Yardbirds tune (Train Kept A Rollin). It’s interesting to note that Robert Plant was also touring at this time, and he too was playing Zep tunes for the first time since the breakup.
This is a home shot video with matching audio. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, at all. This is totally something you can listen to in your car as you’re going to work, or at your desk. It’s really really great.
If you’re one of the people who teeth because I do not think the Firm was impressive, watch and listen to this show, and see what impresses me, Jimmy Page-wise.
His touring band was Jason Bonham on drums, Durban Laverde on bass, and John Miles on vocals. John Miles had sung for the Alan Parsons Project (Stereotomy), and he sang ably.
I will do a podcast about the Outrider tour fairly soon, in which I will spend time talking about the whole post Firm timeline, and how Jimmy got his groove back. For now enjoy the amazing document from one of rock’s greatest guitarists.
I first heard this song on Dr. Demento, on WCOZ, in the early 1980’s. I didn’t know it at the time (I was a kid) that this was a satire of the spoken word poem Desiderata (Latin for “Things to be desired”), I only knew it was hilarious. Les Crane released it as a spoken word single which was a hit. I vaguely remember seeing posters with this poem on it, as a child in the 70’s, but I wouldn’t swear by it.
Melissa Manchester is the female singer on this, which is cool. If you know the poem being satired, then this may be funnier, but I think it’s still funny regardless.