Jimmy Page

The Jimmy Page Collection: Have Guitar, Will Travel

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Fuel 2000's 2003 collection The Jimmy Page Collection: Have Guitar Will Travel covers somewhat familiar territory, namely the years prior to Led Zeppelin when Jimmy Page was a roving guitar slinger playing on numerous sessions, sometimes credited, sometimes not. Much of this material falls within the murk of hazy legality, so it's been reissued many, many times (most comprehensively on the 2000 Castle collection Hip Young Guitar Slinger & His Heavy Friends), so it would seem that there's not much need for this 20-track collection -- and, frankly, for many collectors, it probably won't be necessary, since this is all familiar stuff, including various live cuts with the Yardbirds, John Mayall, and Eric Clapton that have shown up numerous times before. However, this does a really nice job of picking the best cuts from these sessions, either in terms of Page's instrumental prowess or simply good sides. The best cuts are here are British Invasion tunes, whether it's a fine reading of the Who's "Circles" by the Fleur de Lys or a deliriously infectious piece of fluff like Sean Buckley's "Everybody Knows," or even Nico's folky "I'm Not Sayin'," which kind of sounds like the roots of Led Zeppelin III. This is where Page's inventiveness is really evident, but the blues jams are bracing in their immediacy. Again, where this really carries an advantage over the other collections is the sharp track selection; it may not be as comprehensive as other collections, but it has the cream of the crop and good notes by Greg Russo, and tells most listeners everything they need to know about Page the session master.

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