10 Great Jimmy Page Non-Led Zep Songs

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Photo: Jimmy Page Facebook page

Over the years, Jimmy Page has said that he is going back out on the road for the first time since touring with Robert Plant in 1998. Though fans do still wish he’d Get the Led Out with Plant and John Paul Jones, the classic rock guitar icon has played on numerous memorable tracks beyond Led Zeppelin.

During his early career as a London six-string studio wiz, Page cut sides with the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, The Who, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Herman’s Hermits and David Jones aka Bowie as well as the seemingly incongruous Burt Bacharach, Tom Jones and Petula Clark. Then there’s his work with the Yardbirds, The Firm and other bands, blues legends like Sonny Boy Williamson II and more.

Page was born on January 9, 1944. Here are 10 gems on which he shines.

10) “I’m A Man” by The Yardbirds (1967)

This vintage ’60s clip has a Top of the Pops feel, what with the audience members clapping as they attempt to dance to this Muddy Waters blues. Once Keith Relf – an able vocalist lacking in the harmonica department – puts his harp down and lets J.P. wail on his oddly-reflectively-stickered Telecaster, the Y’birds train gets a-rollin’. Page even brings out his violin bow on the Tele at 4:13. Well, Zep was the New Yardbirds, right?

9) “Stroll On” (“Train Kept A-Rollin'”) by The Yardbirds with Page + Beck on the Blow-Up soundtrack (1966)

Jeff Beck and Page were both in The Yardbirds at the same time, briefly, for a few months in 1966. And that is when the Italian master filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni captured them in this scene from his surreal drama of alienation, high fashion and groupies, Blow-Up, doing a version of the band’s U.K. hit tune on a set that resembled the popular venue in Windsor called The Ricky Tick Club. Watch photographer David Hemmings and what he does with Jeff Beck’s destroyed and abandoned guitar neck.

8) “Miles Road” by Clapton + Page

This cut off a quintessential 1965 Immediate Records collection, Blues Anytime Vol.3 An Anthology of British Blues, is just two bluesmen noodling around and having a good time – except it’s not just two bluesmen, it’s God and the Archangel Michael.. This was one of several jams recorded on a Simon tape recorder (into which you could directly plug electric guitars) when Clapton came to visit at Miles Road, the house in Epsom, Surrey, where Jimmy still lived with his parents. Page let Andrew Loog-Oldham know about the tapes, and that’s how they got released. Reportedly, Clapton was not pleased.

Related: When Page and Steve Miller watched Don Felder perform “Hotel California”

7) “Don’t Send Me No Flowers” with Sonny Boy Williamson II (1965)

Page was deeply affected by the blues and nowhere was this more evident than on this song from an album called Jimmy Page – Special Early Works Featuring Sonny Boy Williamson (Springboard International Records SPB-4038) originally recorded in 1965. Pagey is content to play gentle rhythm behind the master. Do you blame him?

6) Clapton, Beck + Page at ARMS Concert, 12/83, Madison Square Garden

In December of ’83, various Brits of high stature – former Yardbirds Clapton, Beck and Page performing together onstage for the first time with Joe Cocker, Paul Rodgers, Bill Wyman, Kenney Jones and a scene-stealing, frenetic percussionist in the person of Ray Cooper – played Dallas, San Francisco. Los Angeles and New York City to benefit multiple sclerosis research in honor of MS sufferer Ronnie Lane from The Faces/Small Faces. From my position in the front row, it was obvious that the stature of the performers was not the only thing that was high, and while Page in particular was a little bit loosey-goosey on this rundown of Clapton’s “Layla,” it sure did have some balls to it.

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5) “Prison Blues” from his solo Outrider LP (1988)

This is a blues-drenched exemplar of Page at his honeydripping best, and while he professed to leave the Zep behind on his first solo album in 1988, “Prison Blues” is a heavy-breathing shoutout to the blues-metal heyday of the ’70s. Wild and brilliant, absolutely.

4) “Bald Headed Woman” by The Sneekers (1964)

While Pete Townshend has downplayed Page’s presence on “I Can’t Explain,” Roger Daltrey admits that Page played six-string rhythm guitar on the sessions for The Who’s first single, and he also played lead guitar on the B-side “Bald Headed Woman.” Now here’s where it gets interesting. The song was written by producer Shel Talmy, and appears as the B-side of a single recorded in 1964 – “I Just Can’t Go To Sleep” b/w “Bald-Headed Woman” – by The Sneekers, a band from Staines, Middlesex, who supported the early Who a lot, with a younger Jimmy Page playing the guitar on both tracks. The song was also covered by the Kinks and Harry Belafonte. Jimmy Page played guitar on the Kinks’ version as well.

3) “Bye Bye Blackbird” by Joe Cocker (1969)

Pagey kicks in around 1:32 and doesn’t let go. Not only savage licks. but that tone, perfectly matched with the late soul singer’s gravelly voice. From the album With a Little Help From My Friends, Cocker’s debut, the song is a moody, sentimental ballad punctuated by Page’s searing axe work and Chris Stainton’s organ. Fun fact: featured on an episode of Quantico.

2) “Radioactive” by The Firm (1985)

Five years after the breakup of Led Zeppelin, Page created a new brand of sorcery for the ’80s with Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers. This first single from the band’s 1985 eponymous LP hit the charts with a poppy panache, and while the catchy tune was what got it out there to the classic rock public, it was the chemistry of Page and Rodgers that made it wail. Page is really showing off here, and having a good time doing it.

1) “You Shook Me” by Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes

Another seminal Willie Dixon tune that appeared on both Jeff Beck’s 1969 album Truth and Led Zeppelin in the same year. This raunchy, rockin’ version was the result of a pairing that was made in rock’n’roll heaven when Page and Crowes performed this in Los Angeles, released in 2000 on Live At The Greek. Crowe Chris Robinson is a worthy foil for Pagey’s outstanding guitar, with his vocals and funky harmonica. Yow!

Related: The incredible story of how Page got his legendary guitar case back

Noe Gold

21 Comments so far

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  1. chromedreamer
    #1 chromedreamer 17 July, 2016, 14:33

    how about Jimmy’s guitar on Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman”

    Reply this comment
  2. Mike L
    #2 Mike L 15 March, 2017, 02:51

    Wow…some very cool stuff that I didn’t know about. Thanks so much for taking me back to the Arms concert. I was 17 at the time and I’d been to a bunch of shows at MSG by then but the Arms show was so special..even to this day. I was a Beck fanatic at the time and though I loved Zeppelin and Clapton I was most excited for Jeff Beck. It was a great show though all around. The return of Page..I can still remember the excitement of him coming out for his set..Stairway instrumental..if I.remember correctly. You ain’t kidding about the loosey goosey playing on layla..he’s all over the place by the end.
    Blow up is still one of my favorite movies too. Such a cool scene with the yardbirds..but the whole movie is good. Funny..I think Beck can steal anyone’s scene whether it’s on stage or in a movie.

    Reply this comment
  3. Mike L
    #3 Mike L 15 March, 2017, 03:00

    Ps..just gotta add that I’d love to see Page back out touring. Even better if John Paul Jones were to join him since Plant won’t unfortunately. Also, phew man I saw The Firm twice if I’m remembering right..at MSG and they were a kick ass band! That’s something that would be really cool if he were to get that back together. I’m sure Paul Rodgers would do it and damn..great bassist and drummer but their names are escaping me..Tony Thompson perhaps?? Anyone know?

    Reply this comment
    • Tex
      Tex 11 September, 2017, 03:34

      Tony Franklin on bass and Chris Slade (AC/DC’s current and early 90s drummer).

      Reply this comment
  4. Jonathan
    #4 Jonathan 15 March, 2017, 14:02

    I’ve always loved his work with Joe Cocker, and was fortunate enough to have seen him play @ A.R.M.S., The Firm, Plant/Page, Page/Crowes, inducting Jeff Beck into the RnR HoF, & even Zep themselves in both 1985 (LiveAid) 2010 (@ O2 Arena). I do so hope that he gets back on the road again!

    Reply this comment
  5. Sam
    #5 Sam 12 July, 2017, 13:39

    What about Same Old Rock with Roy Harper – awesome acoustic tune.

    Reply this comment
  6. litsi
    #6 litsi 15 December, 2017, 16:10

    Great selection – the performance with the Black Crowes was outstanding

    Reply this comment
  7. svdp19
    #7 svdp19 11 January, 2018, 15:00

    Two more fantastic ones:

    1) The Chase from the Deathwish II Soundtrack. This is a crazy-great instrumental with one huge problem: There is a lousy synthesizer digression in the middle of the song that is hard to listen to. Years ago, I ripped this song from the LP and edited most of the synthesizer break out. The result is a truly stupendous instrumental track.

    2) Burn Up is another great instrumental available on the No Introduction Necessary compilation. Rocks really hard

    Reply this comment
    • SVDP19
      SVDP19 12 January, 2018, 17:34

      Doh! TWO corrections:

      1) The annoying synth is at the end of The Chase so it is easy to edit

      2) There is a vocal in Burn Up, don’t remember who is singing.

      Reply this comment
  8. John Rose
    #8 John Rose 15 September, 2018, 08:43

    Honorable mention to Jimmy’s work on Al Stewart’s looooong rambling track (18:04) about the various chicks in Al’s life and getting laid or trying to — “Love Chronicles” — notable for supposedly the first f-bomb in a pop record. Al had recorded the track with various Fairports but no lead guitar. So the legend goes Jimmy listened to the track once, making a few notes — then played all his guitar parts in one take.

    Reply this comment
  9. DWB
    #9 DWB 10 January, 2021, 02:21

    “One Hit (To the Body)” by the Stones (from Dirty Work) features some amazing Page lead AND (I think) acoustic guitar. Great post-Zep Page.

    Reply this comment
  10. Deke
    #10 Deke 10 January, 2021, 09:12

    No “Hurdy Gurdy Man?” Figured it would be number 1.

    Reply this comment
  11. Cisley
    #11 Cisley 10 January, 2021, 14:10

    I saw Jimmy Page in both The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. Both bands captured my heart although in completely different ways.

    If you have not discovered The Yardbirds, you are really missing out.

    Thanks for posting these videos, I am enjoying them.

    Reply this comment
  12. Blue Lew
    #12 Blue Lew 9 January, 2022, 16:37

    You said “Keith Relf – an able vocalist lacking in the harmonica department” — which is 180* out from the fact/truth that KEITH RELF was a borderline “great harmonica player” who was lacking in the vocalist department…

    Reply this comment
  13. samo
    #13 samo 10 January, 2022, 17:42

    COVERDALE PAGE? Brilliant LP.

    Reply this comment
  14. muddywatersmann
    #14 muddywatersmann 10 January, 2023, 00:29

    I recall from IT MIGHT GET LOUD dvd, that young Page moved into new house w/ family, and apparently prev resident left guitar in house…this was how he got interested in playing! THANK GOD for this! Have to assume he would have become interested otherwise, but what if not? YIKES!

    Reply this comment

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