No doubt about it: Jimmy Page, given his role as composer, arranger, and producer, dominates this B-side by a group you’ve never heard of (i.e., recording career = exactly one 45). This song, I am now discovering, is virtually unknown to American fans of Page’s work, as it has mainly enjoyed release in the UK and Europe — first as a B-side, and later on compilation albums that showcase the daring and original music produced by UK’s renegade indie label, Immediate. Even now, when you search YouTube, the song barely registers: just one lonely audio clip, with a mere 1,707 listens to date.
Will you please tell us the song title already?! “Just Like Anyone Would Do” — the B-side to “Bells of Rhymney” on the one and only single ever released by Fifth Avenue:
Fifth Avenue “Just Like Anyone Would Do” 1965
From the flamenco-style guitar riff that propels the song, to the instrumental bridge with the majestic piano chording, to the ghostly backing vocals that linger after the rest of the mix has faded, there’s something fairly compelling about this song (ditto for another great Jimmy Page production from that same year that unfairly sank without a trace — Nico’s “I’m Not Sayin’“).
I first encountered this haunting track on a double-album anthology of Immediate singles (with album sides devoted to “The Most Obvious”; “The Rarest of the Rare”; “Happy to Be a Part of the Industry of British Blues”; and “Jimmy Page Productions/Sessions”) that was released, oddly enough, by Nashville-based Compleat Records in 1985.
Six years prior, the Led Zeppelin fan club Manchester/UK had gathered this B-side and 29 other tracks for a double album compilation entitled, James Patrick Page — Session Man. In recent years, “Just Like Anyone Would Do” would be reissued on CD in 2000, both in the UK (here and also here) and Germany. 2007 would also find the song included on a European CD release, Your Time Is Gonna Come — The Roots of Led Zeppelin (1964-1968).
The track listing in 2000’s 6-CD box set, The Immediate Singles Collection, provides this sparse bit of text about Fifth Avenue’s sole contribution to popular music history:
45 originally released as Immediate IM 002 — 1965.
Line-up: Denver Gerrard (vcls, gtr), Kenny Rowe (vcls, bs).
Band origin: London.
The original Immediate 45 (which was the second single issued by the label, following “Hang On Sloopy” by The McCoys) does respectable business, according to Popsike, at auction.
Bonus Track! John Paul Jones’ First 45
Would you be startled to learn that John Paul Jones’s career as a solo artist goes as far back as 1964, with the release of his Andrew Loog Oldham-produced Pye 45 “Baja” (Lee Hazlewood‘s brilliant surf hit for The Astronauts) b/w “A Foggy Day in Vietnam“? Sounds like Jones is wielding a 6-string bass on this lush production.
“Baja” John Paul Jones 1964
In 2017, someone would pay $375 for a promo copy of Jones’s debut 45.