Why “Wasting My Time,” Was Jimmy Page’s Best Post Led Zeppelin Song

Jimmy Page Wasting My Time

Photo: By Dina Regine [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

When Led Zeppelin broke up after John Bonham’s death, Jimmy Page faced the reality that any new vocalist he would ever work with would forever be compared to the legendary Robert Plant. There was simply no way around it. Led Zeppelin’s sound was so unique and powerfully defined by four individuals that the loss of any member would prove too difficult for the band too survive. Robert Plant understood that more than Page and Jones, or at least that is what we have been led to believe. In the post Led Zeppelin era, Jimmy Page continued to release music very sparingly. The most consistent project that Jimmy Page became involved with was with his band The Firm. It was a group that recorded two albums and featured the vocals of Paul Rogers. Any old time Led Zeppelin fan is familiar with The Firm. Led Zeppelin fans salivated for anything Jimmy Page. The albums were enjoyable, but that Paul Rogers vocal sound that lit up the Bad Company and Free records just did not resonate as well with Page.

The Page / Coverdale sessions unleashed another fun record, but the Plant Coverdale comparisons were so ridiculed by many that it was hard to take the union of the two seriously. Robert Plant was known to make fun of Coverdale. The ribbing aside, the Page Coverdale record did feature some great guitar work by Page and some great song hooks.

The one great Jimmy Page record that most Led Zeppelin fans enjoyed was Jimmy Page’s only solo record entitled Outrider. The Outrider album was released in 1988 and featured a mixture of vocal tracks and instrumentals. Robert Plant appeared on the track “My Only One,” while John Miles handled vocal duties on the records other two vocal tracks. The albums opening number “Wasting My Time,” was easily the album’s standout track.  It was also in our opinion, the best rock song Jimmy Page wrote and recorded since the breakup of Led Zeppelin in 1980.

John Miles never hit it big in the United States. However, John Miles enjoyed tremendous success in the United Kingdom. John Miles was a well respected artist with a large catalog of pop rock music that sold very well in Europe. In John Miles, Jimmy Page had found the perfect singer to record with outside of Robert Plant. John Miles was no Robert Plant imitator, yet his vocal range was perfectly suited to match the vocals styling that Jimmy Page utilized during his work with Plant in Led Zeppelin.

“Wasting My Time,” featured a ‘to die for,’ Led Zeppelin style hook that Page repeated brilliantly with minuscule variations throughout the song. Those legendary Jimmy Page guitar slides punctuated the verse changes in true tribute to his work with Zeppelin. John Miles vocals on the track defined a perfect balance of 80’s style bombast with an authentic blues infused phrasing that made listeners wish the singer had sang on more that just two of the album tracks.

Unfortunately, since it had been less than ten years since Led Zeppelin had broken up, anything that Jimmy Page did outside of Led Zeppelin was never really given a chance. There was always a backlash against the work that Jimmy Page did without Robert Plant and so the great track “Wasting My Time,” was often overlooked.Take another listen, if you missed it the first time, give it another chance.

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