Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
The Firm were a British rock super group comprising former Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, and Manfred Mann's Earth Band and Uriah Heep drummer Chris Slade and bass player Tony Franklin. 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 an 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[who?] 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.
Paul Rodgers - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar
Jimmy Page - lead & rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Tony Franklin - fretless bass, keyboards, synthesizer, backing vocals
Chris Slade - drums, percussion, backing vocals