Besides hardcore Led Zeppelin fans, it's a little known fact that Jimmy Page produced and played on a 1970 album by theatrical rocker Screaming Lord Sutch, Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends. In addition to Page's appearance (he also co-penned a few tracks), the other 'friends' included John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Nicky Hopkins, and Noel Redding. Since the album is quite difficult to find nowadays, select tracks have popped up over the years on compilations, such as the 2000 set Rock and Roll Highway. While Sutch's vocals can be quite grating at times, it's interesting to hear songs that come close to approximating the Led Zeppelin sound at the time (namely Led Zeppelin II -- "Wailing Sounds," "Union Jack Car," "Flashing Lights," etc). After a while though, you start to wonder how much better these blues-rock compositions would have been if they included a more capable singer (namely Robert Plant). Also included on Rock and Roll Highway are a few tracks from Page and John Paul Jones' days as session musicians -- "Everything I Do Is Wrong" and "Fabulous." If you're interested in sampling the playing of Page, Jones, and Bonham outside of Led Zeppelin, then Rock and Roll Highway is recommended.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato