There are daily discussions in the media and around the 10-foot tall Nespresso machines of the world about who the greatest Rock guitarists are/were: Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix are always mentioned from the era of the dawn of Rock; Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and progressively mammoth guitarists of their ilk arrived next and were followed by back-to-basics Punk guitar pioneers Johnny Thunders and Walter Lure, Steve Jones and Greg Ginn, having come full-circle by updating Mr. Berry’s riffs for the angry kids of their time.
But one guitarist who always ends up in the conversation is Jimmy Page, the former leader, primary songwriter and sole guitarist for the original Heavy Metal powerhouse band Led Zeppelin. The legacy of the the first Heavy Blues/Metal act is well documented, and no doubt even your mother has heard “Stairway To Heaven;” I know mine has. And while Led Zep has been gone since 1980, the songs on the eight official studio albums released during the band’s dynasty live on via radio play, sales, tributes, sharing and memories being passed down to another generation.
When The Orchard acquired TVT Records in 2008, one of the gems of the catalogue was the double live album Live At The Greek by Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes, recorded during the 1999 tour they did together across the United States. Jimmy told Rolling Stone magazine, “I’ve always thought the Crowes were one of the finest Rock bands around, period.” The Black Crowes, of the Blues-Rock mega-hits “Too Hot To Handle” and “She Talks To Angels,” were the perfect foil for Jimmy’s desire to get back on stage with a band and finally play Blues and Led Zeppelin songs again. Singer Chris Robinson summons the Blues as warmly as Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant or early LZ lead singer front runner Terry Reid. At the time of its initial release, it was digital-only — a very big deal in the 20th century. TVT then obtained the physical rights to put out the double CD…
And now it’s finally available on vinyl… On October 22, the triple LP version of this historic live album will be released, on white vinyl. Included are Led Zeppelin favorites “Whole Lotta Love,” “Heartbreaker,” “What Is And What Should Never Be” and “Hey Hey What Can I Do;” Blues classics like Little Walter’s “Mellow Down Easy” and B.B. King’s “Woke Up This Morning;” a simmering version of The Yardbirds “Shapes Of Things” and the early Fleetwood Mac song “Oh Well.” Plus: “Celebration Day,” “Custard Pie,” “Sick Again,” “In My Time Of Dying,” “Your Time Is Gonna Come,” “The Lemon Song,” “You Shook Me,” “Out On The Tiles,” “Shake Your Money Maker” and “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” And that’s not even the entire track listing. So get your Zep on one more time!
And to finish the greatest guitarist argument: what do contenders Johnny Winter, Steve Howe, Dave Davies, Link Wray, Ted Nugent, Jimmy Vaughan, Jeff Healey, J Mascis and Carlos Santana all have in common? Yes, that’s right… they are all represented in the Most Excellent Orchard catalogue.