Folks waiting to hear what a Jimmy Page solo album would sound like, finally got their change when Outrider was released on June 19, 1988. Although not rated well by critics, Page's record reached #26 on the Billboard 200, had a single hit #4 on Billboard, and was certified Gold in the US. It was released right after Robert Plant's Now and Zen, so Zeppelin fever was at a high in the late 1980s. Let's take a closer look at Page's debut by himself.
The album opens with the two songs co-written and sung by John Miles- "Wasting My Time" and "Wanna Make Love." The numbers show Page rocking like the good ol' days, and the sound brings up comparisons to the great AC/DC. Page goes instrumental for "Writes of Winter," which is probably the worst instrumental song, since it sounds so unfinished. Robert Plant co-wrote and sang "The Only One," which gives the listener a taste of the Zeppelin sound, with a spirited number instilled with great Presence-esque guitar riffs. Side One ends with another instrumental, "Liquid Mercury," this time with Barrie Barlow (of Jethro Tull fame) on drums.
The only cover on the record is Leon Russell's "Hummingbird," which really shows Page's skill at soloing over the blues (despite Chris Farlowe's poor attempts at stealing the number). The last instrumental of the trio is "Emerald Eyes," again featuring Barlow in the percussion section. The record ends with two songs co-written and sung by Farlowe-"Prison Blues" and "Blues Anthem." Unfortunately, Page's wailing guitar can't overshadow Farlowe's terrible, melodramatic attempt at singing the blues, whose performance has been described as 'embarrassing' and 'overblown.'