One Album Wonders: Coverdale Page – “We were pretty good together…”
This month’s Classic Rock features CR writers choosing their best One Album Wonders – the greatest albums by acts that only ever made one album. We’ve since been inundated by your suggestions on Facebook and Twitter and on this site. If you haven’t given us yours yet, please do.
Here are the rules:
1 Only bands who made one, and only one, studio album during their lifetime count.
2 One-off solo albums by established musicians count, as do albums by supergroups.
3 Live albums, however, don’t count.
4 Nor do posthumous records, remix albums or compilations.
Yesterday we gave you Geoff Barton’s selection (Sledgehammer’s Blood On Their Hands); today here’s Mick Wall’s selection – and what David Coverdale has to say about it today.
The best Led Zeppelin album Robert Plant never made? Mick Wall reckons so.
In 1993 Jimmy Page was a guitarist in desperate need of a singer. I know because his manager had asked me to help find him one. I wish I could say teaming up with David Coverdale was my suggestion, but that brainwave was Geffen executive John Kalodner’s.
The result was exactly what everybody secretly wanted: a Zeppelin album from the band’s earliest, sexed-up days. Opening with blues rock colossus Shake My Tree, it was sheer bombastic bliss, from the mystic blues of Don’t Leave Me This Way to grand finale Whisper A Prayer For The Dying – where Stairway To Heaven met Kashmir, no kidding.
They played a few shows in Japan, before Page put in a call to Robert Plant, leaving this as one of rock’s great ‘What if?’s.
“WE WERE PRETTY GOOD TOGETHER.”
David Coverdale looks back.
Whose idea was it was to make a record together?
The synchronicity was rather special. I’d spoken to a mutual acquaintance, my friend and agent, Rod MacSween, and said that I was taking some time off to recover from four years of non-stop hard work. Around the same time, Jimmy told Rod he wanted to get back to work and could he recommend any singers. That was all the energy that was needed.
What are your memories of making the album?
Working with Jimmy was an utter treat. He was and still is a hero of mine. The album took longer than we’d hoped, but I treasure every aspect. The hardest part for me was losing my mam during the recording, but Jimmy was very gracious and supportive and we put the work on hold so I could be with her. Nothing else came near to being as hard as that time for me.
If you had to put one track from the album in a time capsule for future generations, which would it be? For me it’s Don’t Leave Me This Way. We presented each other with a couple of ideas that we’d both presented to former associates and didn’t get a bite. Mine was Don’t Leave Me This Way, and JPs was the kick-arse riff to Shake My Tree. Soon as I heard that I said: “I’ll have that, thank you very much.”
Why didn’t the two of you make a follow-up?
We started to. The muse was upon us. But Jimmy’s then-manager insisted we call it a day, so we stopped. Though there are a couple of corkers in the can.
If Jimmy Page called you right now and said: “Fancy doing it again?” what would you say?
Fancy doing ‘what’ again? Ha ha! I love Pagey, and would be there for him. I’d love to do an expanded, remixed CP album. I have all the original demos, pre-production and a ton of home video. If it’s meant to be, it will happen.
For more One Album Wonders, buy the new issue of Classic Rock