Jimmy Page – Prison Blues (no label)

Prison Blues (no label)

Hammersmith Odeon, London, England – November 25th, 1988

Disc: 1 (66:15) Who’s To Blame, Prelude, Over The Hills And Far Away, Liquid Mercury/Wanna Make Love, Writes Of Winter, Tear Down The Walls, Emerald Eyes, Midnight Moonlight incl. White Summer/Black Mountain Side & Kashmir, Member Introduction, In My Time Of Dying, City Sirens incl. Drum Solo, Someone To Love

Disc 2: (50:45) Prison Blues, The Chase/Dazed And Confused, Wasting My Time, Blues Anthem, Custard Pie, Incl. Black Dog, Train Kept A Rollin, Stairway To Heaven

On June 19th, 1988 Geffen Records and Jimmy Page released his first solo album’ Outrider. Even though personally I enjoyed the album, it was not a commercial success. The material was originally intended to be a double album release however Jimmy’s house was burglarized and many items were stolen including the demo tapes.

This material was eventually released by various underground labels and sounds quite good. Some of the tracks on this excellent quality live release which I review below came from the Death Wish II soundtrack on Swansong which Jimmy Page put together and was released on February 15th, 1982 and I believe is currently out of print. According to my research, the guitarist was given a deadline of only a few weeks to write and record the material at his Sol studio. We also have some great tunes from Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers The Firm project which released two albums and is another Page era that this collector enjoyed.

This excellent slightly distant release is clear with Page in the front of the mix and opens with two tracks from the movie soundtrack mentioned above “Who’s To Blame” and one of my favorites Chopins’ “Prelude”. John Miles is the vocalist and personally I enjoy some of his performances during this tour including “Wanna Make Love” and “The Firm” material. Also joining Page are Jason Bonham, and Durban Laverde on bass. There’s also a combination of Zeppelin and Outrider tunes on this release that although flopped commercially, are quite enjoyable.

Personally I think this is some of the famous guitarists best live work since the unfortunate death of John Bonham in 1980 and as a result, Zep deciding they could no longer go on.  Other favorites of mine are “Emerald Eyes” which is a beautiful Page solo piece,  “Midnight Moonlight” which includes “White Summer” “Black Mountain Side” and “Kashmir”, and honestly the entire concert.

There are only a few Jimmy Page  “Outrider Tour” silver releases including Emerald Atlanta on Image Quality (IQ 073/074) which is the September 6, 1988 show at the Omni in Atlanta that’s too distorted to really enjoy and also Pure Blues Anthem Tarantura (TCDJP-1-1/2) which is sourced from the October 28th, 1988 Nassau Coliseum performance in Uniondale, New York which I have never heard and have been seeking for several years. 

The only fault I find with this release is either a slight cut or repeat at 2:13 during “In My Time Of Dying,”  The cut bearly distracts the listener from this quite amazing title.  Prison Blues comes package in a double slimline jewel case with dual sided vibrant pictures and is recommended for both casual and hard core Outrider fans. It’s nice to finally see another Page solo release in excellent clear and balanced quality.

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