In 1961, when he was still a teenager, Jimmy Page walked into RG Jones Sound Studio in Morden, London, put his guitar aside and took on a brand-new role: producer.
For the first time ever, Page—who would go on to fame with Led Zeppelin (whose albums he produced)—helmed a recording session. In this case, it was for a UK band called Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds.
About a month from now, Page will finally release the historic recordings, now known as The Beginning… . You can see the the complete track list for the 12-song demo below.
The recordings, which will be distributed worldwide April 30 via JimmyPage.com, capture the spirit of adventure and excitement of the London music scene in the early Sixties. To prove it, we invite you to listen to one of the 12 songs, "Money," below.
"When I first heard 'Money' by Barrett Strong, I just flipped out, for to me it's one of the greatest records ever recorded and has been recorded by many of the great artists, including the Beatles," Farlowe tells Rolling Stone. "With the great help and vision of Jimmy Page, I was the first English artist to record it."
“We would play anywhere just for the buzz, and it was at one of these gigs that we met .... Page, who liked my band and my guitarist Bobby Taylor," Farlowe writes in the album's liner notes. "Jimmy suggested that he wanted to record a demo album of the band, so he booked the RG Jones studio, and now after 56 years, it is to see the light of day.”
Page’s satisfaction with what he was able to capture on tape that day is clear.
“The band settled into their recording role immediately and an album was recorded that day," Page writes in the liner notes. "The guitar and bass were recorded by direct injection, and the band listened to their progress via headphones… They adapted really quickly to this method, the individual performance exhibits the style and class that this band had and Chris Farlowe’s performance is absolutely extraordinary.”
These recordings mark the first collaboration between Page and Farlowe, who went on to work together when Page was a session guitarist and Farlowe was recording with Immediate Records. Page is featured on the Farlowe's 1966 hit single, a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Out of Time" (hear it below). In 1982, Farlowe featured on Page’s Death Wish II soundtrack and again when Farlowe made a guest appearance on Page’s 1988 album, Outrider (hear it below).
Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds: The Beginning is available for pre-order at JimmyPage.com.