The Firm Biography
Hard Rock - Great Britain
The Firm were an English rock supergroup comprising former Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, ex-Uriah Heep and -Manfred Mann's Earth Band drummer Chris Slade and bass player Tony Franklin. Formed in 1984, the band had only mediocre album sales, although they did have sellout tours. Page and Rodgers originally wanted former Yes drummer Bill Bruford and fretless bassist Pino Palladino in the group; however, Bruford was contracted to another label and Palladino had tour commitments with singer Paul Young.
Both Page and Rodgers refused to play any material from their former bands and instead opted for a selection of Firm songs plus tracks from both their solo albums. The new songs were heavily infused with a soulful and more commercially-accessible sound, courtesy of Franklin's fretless bass guitar underpinning and understated song structure. Despite refusing to play old material, the last track from The Firm, "Midnight Moonlight", was originally an unreleased Led Zeppelin song entitled "The Swan Song". This caused some critics to believe that Page had begun to run out of ideas. In subsequent press interviews, Page had indicated that the band was never meant to last more than two albums. After the band split, Page and Rodgers returned to solo work while Chris Slade joined AC/DC and Franklin teamed up with guitarist John Sykes in Blue Murder.