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Picks and Pans Review: The Firm

updated 03/18/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/18/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Firm

The Firm, the latest "supergroup," is the '80s version of Blind Faith, the shortlived band that featured Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and Ginger Baker in 1969; or Rockpile, the 70s band that included Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds. This time the headliners are Jimmy Page, the extraordinary guitarist for the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, and Paul Rodgers, singer for Free and Bad Company. They are joined by drummer Chris Slade and bass player Tony Franklin. Despite all the talent, the chemistry works only sporadically. Page creates some inventive foundation riffs for Closer and Someone to Love. But on Satisfaction Guaranteed, which seems to have been made for one of his blistering slide guitar breaks, nothing happens. Franklin's burp-gun bass is in fact more prominent on this record than Page's ax. Rodgers displays one of the best voices in rock 'n' roll on a cover of the old Righteous Brothers' hit, You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'. But even Rodgers' dulcet blues touch can't resuscitate drivel like Radioactive. With such preeminent musicians, there's a great deal you'd be willing to forgive the Firm, but their first record strains the outer limits of mercy. (Atlantic)

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