Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XXXIV
Date: 97-02-26 06:39:21 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

Welllll, very good (and early) morning to all. It's 3:52 AM my time and here I sit. Just woke up and decided I'd better get this thing out. Wednesday mornings on AOL are impossible to get through because they do some sort of maintenance thing, so here's hoping this goes through all right. Thanks to all who have responded warmly about this Coverdale/Page segment, up to 13 on the tree idea, I think it will definately be a go. When trying to decide what song to do first, the choice became rather obvious. Why not start with the very first song any of us ever heard from this dynamic duo. So it's track four, clocking in at 3:32, "Pride And Joy".

Some friends and I were debating what the first single from Coverdale/Page would be, and the general consensus was that it would be a very rocking track. Kind of a cross between "Whole Lotta Love" and "Still Of The Night". So what does Jimmy do? Release a song that kicks off with acoustic guitar and dulcimers. What a sense of humour. The instant this baby begins it grabs your attention. Very cool melody, easy to hum, whistle, or sing along to. The acoustic guitars ring out beautifully. There are about three guitars playing the main acoustic part here, with David even joining in the fun. I love the one guitar that Jimmy throws in with that bass part, as he slides up to the "D" note.

         "Take me to your river baby
          take me to your sea
          Purify my soul, pour your ocean over me
          Lead me to your chamber
          where you sleep at night
          scratch your name, across my back
          make me feel alright..."

David sounds very at ease here, the rollicking music inspiring him, as he sings, you can feel the good vibes eminating between him and Jimmy. Then, just as you think Jimmy has recorded the follow up to "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp", he unleashes the first of his mighty riffs on this album. Yeah baby, that's the ticket. Riffing like nobody else can, Jimmy lifts the song up to an all out rock-fest. Denny Carmassi keeping pace on the drums, playing with all his might, and David enters with a truly awesome vocal performance.

         "Diamonds on your ankles
          sapphires on your shoes
          your little gems of wisdom
          chase away my blues...
          Mama's little princess
          Daddy's pride and joy
          I'm like a kid at Christmas
          playing with your toys..."

Well this may not be some Tolkien inspired reflection of our exsistence here on earth, or an explanation as to why life is the way it is, but I love these lyrics. He's taken a slightly different approach to the love song, and made it rock. One thing I've noticed about David, is his ability to convey words that reflect the mood of the music on a given song. This up-beat groove is just begging for some sex driven articulation.

         "You shake me in the morning
           I wake up black and blue
          Ooh child you act so wild
           I'll name a hurricane after you
           Scarlett fever kisses
           little miss dynamite
           Youngblood, you look so good
           I'm gonna leave on all the lights..."
          ( So I can see where I'm going baby)

Two classic lines in that section, first, the part about the hurricane, this girl must be down right outta control, and the second is the talked phrase at the end, "So I can see where I'm going baby". As this song flew by the first time, this was the one part that I caught and remembered. It's a cool line, and always brings a smile. A good example of David's humour.

Then the music breaks down to the acoustic part again and David emplores Jimmy to "play that thing". And he ain't talking guitar either. Yes folks, another side to the legendary Jimmy Page, the harmonica solo. A chap named John Harris plays acoustic harmonica on this track, but the electric harmonica is all Jimmy. What a surprise that was.

As the song winds through the solo's, pay attention to the music underneath it all. It's truly amazing, a masterpiece of complexity made simple. Jimmy's riffs are awesome, and certain sections are only heard during this part. You don't notice them because your ear tunes in to the harmonica's, but the music is pure genius. The section I'm referring to kicks in at 2:26. Then, as the music builds up and climaxes, the electric guitars suspend and ring out as the acoustics and dulcimer re-enter. This is just too cool. How the hell does Jimmy do all this, in one song no less?

Back to the acoustic section, and then Jimmy kicks in that riff again. And the race to the finish is quite inspiring. A very awesome ending, with everything coming to a stop at once, leaving the listener begging for more. You can just feel that need for the song to kick back in, and that is something special, when done right, the effect is mind blowing.

"Pride and Joy" was released about a month prior to the release of the album, what a tease that was, to give us this awesome and fun song, with nothing else to satisfy the hunger for another four weeks. By the time the album came out I had this song memorized and could play all the guitar parts. In fact, for that month, I rarely listened to or played on guitar anything else. So many of Jimmy's songs are addictive. Once you start playing it, you don't want to stop.

"Pride..." was very successful as a single. On the rock charts it was number one for at least five weeks, previously I mentioned three weeks. I recall this song dominating the charts when it came out. So nice to see Jimmy's new project doing so well. This was also the first video for Coverdale/Page. A cool production, with Jimmy and David alternating between studio shots and live-action shots with the band. Jimmy premeired his gold DTS Les Paul on this video. At one point toward the end of the video, Jimmy and David are seated on stools, in the studio, and the camera catches David flashing a very huge smile at Jimmy. This little moment in time is very real. The look of complete satisfaction on David's face isn't something you see all the time. It speaks volumes about the partnership these two had.

Q magazine, from England, ran a rather in-depth interview with the two lads and featured a sampler CD that had sixteen songs on it from various artists, including "Pride and Joy". I still have my copy, unopened.

"Pride and Joy" started out as "Barbados Boogie", the pair had relocated there to continue work on the album and David, worn out from all of the vocal workouts Jimmy was putting him through decided to come up with a "tongue in cheek, light barrelhouse, Dr. John kind of number". A chance to take it easy, if only for a spell. Until, that is, Jimmy added that heavy riff, and David had to soar back up to the vocal stratosphere. And this brings up another interesting point, that acoustic intro, it was written by David. Very interesting, because it does sound so Pagey.

I will never forget the first time I heard this song. Driving down the highway when it came on, I had to pull over so I could devote all my attention to this song. It went by in a blur, but hearing how well David and Jimmy blended together was a very good feeling, a wonderful preview of the rest of the album.

David and Jimmy performed this song at all seven of their Japan shows. Included in it was a piano solo played by Brett Tuggle, who also performed the acoustic guitar parts in concert.

So the first offering from Led Snake, and what a great, fun little song this was. And still is. Four years later it still rocks my world. Wonder if Jimmy could talk Robert into doing this one on the next tour?

Sorry to take up so much space, it's now 5:16, and I gotta get to work. Ha! Peace to all, and I'll see ya in a day or two.

Rock on,


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