Jimmy Page’s 20 Greatest Pre-Zeppelin Session Guitarist Tracks

70 years ago today, James Patrick Page was born into this world…and rock has never been the same. His name would be secure in the history books even if he only penned “Stairway To Heaven,” but that’s just the first step on the journey to appreciating Jimmy Page’s guitar brilliance. 

Long before selling out stadiums in the seventies with Led Zeppelin, Page had already made a name for himself a decade earlier as one of the most sought after session musicians in Britian. He played on literally hundreds (if not thousands) of records from 1963 to 1966, admitting in later years that “At one point I was playing on three sessions a day, six days a week.” 

Known for his diversity as well as his virtuosity, these tracks ran the gamut from hard-edged R&B, easy-listening Burt Bacharach standards, and Top 40 pop like “Downtown” by Petula Clark, and even the James Bond theme “Goldfinger”! Of course, he also played for future legends like the Who, the Kinks, Van Morrison and David Bowie

Page did so many dates that even he has difficulty recalling exactly what he did and who he did it for. As a result, his session-man days have taken on an almost mythical quality, leading diehard fans to endlessly debate which songs have been graced by Jimmy’s strings. In honor of the man’s 70th birthday, we’ve done our very best to separate fact from fiction and sift through hundreds of tracks to bring you our picks for his most badass session work ever. It’s a mix of incredible yet little-heard deep cuts, and beloved classics you probably never knew he had a hand in creating. Read on and rock on, friends!

20. “Once In A While” by The Brooks (1964)

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