‘He knew exactly what he wanted': Intimidating moments in the studio with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page

When Mike Fraser took on the rare position of producing a Jimmy Page record, he’d already collaborated with big stars like AC/DC (1990’s The Razor’s Edge), Bryan Adams (1984’s huge hit Reckless) and Aerosmith (on their late-1980s albums Permanent Vacation and Pump. Later, he’d memorably work with Ronnie James Dio on 1994’s Strange Highways. Still, nothing quite compared to Fraser’s time on the boards with the former Led Zeppelin great for Coverdale and Page.

“It was probably a lot more intimidating for me with Jimmy, because he’s such a great producer. It was like, why does he want me to co-produce? And what will I tell him about his guitar playing? ‘That sucks?’ Yeah, right!,” Fraser tells Focus on Metal, laughing.

This 1993 album found Page sharing the spotlight with David Coverdale of Whitesnake and Deep Purple fame, combining two of classic rock’s biggest names. Coverdale and Page would become a Top 5 album in both America and the UK, while its lead single “Pride and Joy” topped Billboard’s album-rock tracks list. Fraser credits Page’s deep experience with that success.

“For me it was probably easier, even though it was more intimidating,” Fraser says. “It was easier with Jimmy, because he knew exactly what he wanted. I was there to free up some of his production brain, so he could be a guitarist and not have to worry about drum sounds. All he had to worry about what the song structure.”

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