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After all the accusations of David Coverdale "ripping off" Led Zeppelin in his group, Whitesnake, skeptics continued to raise their eyebrows when founding Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page united with Coverdale during the early ‘90s in the super group, Coverdale/Page.
Although the collaboration was a fleeting one, it did spawn an album (which unsurprisingly, was very Zep derivative), and a smattering of live dates. To recap, Coverdale first came to the attention of rock fans as a replacement for singer Ian Gillan in Deep Purple in 1973, before launching Whitesnake during the late ‘70s. Over the course of quite a few bluesy hard rock albums, Whitesnake built up a substantial following in the U.K., but failed to breakthrough in the U.S. This all changed though in the mid- to late ‘80s, when Coverdale honed in directly on the Zeppelin sound with such hit albums as 1984's Slide It In, 1987's mega-seller Whitesnake, and 1989's Slip of the Tongue. By the dawn of the ‘90s, Coverdale put the group on hold -- opting to step out of the spotlight for a brief spell. As a founding member of Led Zeppelin (and previously a member of the Yardbirds), Jimmy Page became one of rock's premier guitarists and songwriters -- penning countless air guitar classics throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. But with Zeppelin's split in late 1980 (due to drummer John Bonham's death), Page spent the remainder of the decade reappearing on a sporadic basis -- including composing the motion picture soundtrack for Death Wish II, launching a brief union with former Free/Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers in the Firm, and even issuing his first official solo album, Outrider. Rumors continued to swirl about an impending Led Zeppelin reunion through it all, and come the early ‘90s, it appeared as though it would finally come to fruition. However, when former Zep singer Robert Plant began to have cold feet concerning the reunion, the plan was nixed. As a result, Page united with Coverdale (which some felt was Page's way of "getting back" at Plant). The project officially began in 1991, however, no recordings were issued until 1993, when an 11- track debut, Coverdale/Page, was released. Despite alternative rock being all the rage on the charts and radio at the time, the album initially had a strong showing, peaking at number five in the U.S. (and eventually going platinum), while such tracks as "Pride and Joy" and "Shake My Tree" earned a considerable amount of rock radio airplay. Despite its early success, the album eventually sank from sight, and a proposed tour of U.S. arenas was axed. Coverdale/Page did manage to play a series of shows in Japan during December of 1993, however, with a set list that included selections from their debut recording, as well as classics from Whitesnake ("Still of the Night," "Here I Go Again," etc.) and of course, Led Zeppelin ("Rock N' Roll," "Kashmir," "Black Dog," etc.). This would prove to the end of the road for Coverdale/Page, though -- as Page would almost immediately go on to work once more with Plant (as Page & Plant, rather than a full Zep reunion), and Coverdale would reappear from time to time with different Whitesnake lineups. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi