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Death Wish II: The Original Soundtrack
[Click above for album images]

Though the soundtrack for Death Wish II may not sound like an interesting record on the surface, it is actually a significant release for any number of reasons. For one thing, it was the first album that Jimmy Page recorded and released after the breakup of Led Zeppelin, and the album serves as a fascinating transition from Zeppelin's final studio release, In Through The Out Door, to the work Page would do with his ill-fated supergroup The Firm. In addition to containing Page's work with a full orchestra, there are several pieces that showcase his well-established ability to create eerie, unnerving guitar and synthesizer lines, mainly to serve as accompaniment to the film. Page also delivers three fully composed rock songs, Who's to Blame, Hypnotizing Ways and City Sirens. The songs are appropriately creepy and foreboding, and his playing is just as impressive as it was in the Zeppelin era, but they also showcase the one weakness of the album, which is that Page has chosen fairly uninspired collaborators here. Drummer Dave Mattacks and bassist Dave Paton are competent enough, but neither one threatens to overshadow or even push Page (as John Paul Jones and John Bonham would have), and he turns in sometimes lackluster performances because of it. The real clincher, though, is singer Chris Farlowe, who delivers what has to be the most embarrassing ham-fisted blues singing ever heard on record, and his deep-voiced histrionics destroy whatever mood Page hoped to create with the music. (Thankfully, he ruins only two songs.) Still, though this is hardly the place for Page neophytes to begin, listeners interested in discovering a new, interesting side of him should seek this out.
Statistics

Released:
Feb. 15, 1982 (LP)
Dec. 28, 1999 (CD)

Chart Positions:
#50 (U.S.) #40 (U.K.)

Certified:


Tracks

1982 vinyl edition
1. Who's To Blame
2. The Chase
3. City Sirens
4. Jam Sandwich
5. Carole's Theme
6. The Release
7. Hotel Rats and Photostats
8. A Shadow In The City
9. Jill's Theme
10. Prelude
11. Big Band, Sax and Violence
12. Hypnotizing Ways (Oh Mamma)


2011 Deluxe edition
1. Jill's Orchestral Theme
2. Alternative Jill's Theme
3. 9M1
4. City Sirens
5. Baby I Miss You So
6. Hey Mama - Swinging Sax
7. Carole's Theme - Strings
8. Prelude
9. Country Sandwich
10. A Minor Sketch
Quick Fact

The track Prelude was based on Prelude No. 4 in E minor (Op. 28) by Frédéric Chopin.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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