Imagine a band with Robert Plant on vocals, and Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Nile Rodgers all on guitar. That’s who The Honeydrippers are. Put together in the early ‘80s by Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegün, this is a very short (17 minutes) collection of five ‘50s R&B covers.
As a standalone album, it’s pretty poor. It suffers from a mid-‘80s production, which takes away any of the smoky ‘50s atmosphere they were aiming for, and replaces it with a crystal-clear sound reminiscent of throwback records of the time. It might have gone down a little better if it had been released a year later, in the wake of the ‘50s nostalgia stemming from 1985’s Back To The Future, but other than a very successful single (Sea Of Love), it seems to have faded into history.
For a Zeppelin fan, it’s a nice little curio – Plant and Page reunited on record for the first time since the death of John Bonham, with Page’s fellow Yardbird Jeff Beck thrown in for good measure. Rounding out the ‘supergroup’ is Nile Rodgers on guitar (and production duties) and Blues Brother Paul Shaffer on keys.
It’s a shame this project was never repeated. I’d have been interested to hear volumes two, three and four. Although maybe they wouldn’t have given the fourth one a title.
Hit: Sea Of Love
Hidden Gem: Rockin’ At Midnight