Mean Business

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Mean Business
Type Studio album
Artist The Firm
Release Date 3 February 1986
Recorded November - December 1985 at
the Sol Studios, Berkshire
Mixed at the Sol Studios, Berkshire.
Genre Hard rock, rock
Language English
Length 39 minutes 20 seconds
Label Atlantic Records
Catalogue Atlantic 81628-1 (US), Atlantic 781 628-1 (UK)
Producer Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers and Julian Mendelsohn
Engineer Stuart Epps

Mean Business is a studio album by the Firm, released by Atlantic Records on 3 February 1986.


The album's title was intended to have a double meaning: that the music business is a hard one, and that the band was serious about its music ('The Firm mean business'). Mean Business however did not achieve the same level of commercial success as the debut album, and the subsequent tour to promote the album had decreased ticket sales. Jimmy Page continued to experiment with his guitar tone introducing new effects pedals like chorus and volume units as well as his Roland guitar synthesizer. One of the album's tracks, 'Fortune Hunter' is a re-working of an instrumental track from Page's previous XYZ sessions. 'Live in Peace' was first recorded on Paul Rodgers' first solo album, 1983's Cut Loose. The differences between the two versions was that Chris Slade played the drums meno mosso than the Cut Loose version and Page added a bluesy pentatonic guitar solo at the coda. Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers decided to mutually disband the Firm within four months of this album's release. Rodgers explained:

Jimmy [Page] had been off the road and was very keen to get back, so we kind of compromised and said we'll make two albums and tour with them and see how we feel at the end of that time. At the end of the two years it was 'Okay, well, that was great, let's move on.


The album peaked at #22 on the Billboard's Billboard 200 album chart and #46 on the UK Album Chart, and the single 'All the King's Horses' spent four weeks at the top of Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Album information

1986 Track listing:

  • Side 1:
  1. 'Fortune Hunter' (Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers) – 5:00
  2. 'Cadillac' (Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers) – 5:57
  3. 'All the King's Horses' (Paul Rodgers) – 3:16
  4. 'Live in Peace' (Paul Rodgers) – 5:05
  • Side 2:
  1. 'Tear Down the Walls' (Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers) – 4:43
  2. 'Dreaming' (Tony Franklin) – 6:00
  3. 'Free to Live' (Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers) – 4:13
  4. 'Spirit of Love' (Paul Rodgers) – 5:06

1986 Compact disc edition
Same track listing and order as the vinyl release.

Chart positions


Chart (1986) Peak Position
US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart[2] 22
Canadian RPM Top 100 Chart[3] 37
Swedish Albums Chart[4] 43
UK Albums Chart[5] 46


Year Single Chart Position
1986 'All the King's Horses' US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart[6] 1
1986 'All the King's Horses' US Billboard The Billboard Hot 100 Chart[7] 61
1986 'All the King's Horses' US Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart[8] 67
1986 'Live in Peace' US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart[9] 21


  • Musicians:
    • Paul Rodgers - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, producer
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, producer
    • Tony Franklin – bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, backing vocals
    • Chris Slade - drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Production:
    • Julian Mendelsohn - producer
    • Stuart Epps - engineer
    • Steve Privett - tape operator, tea, gin and tonics
    • Barry Diament - mastering
    • Aubrey Powell - cover design


  1. Rosen, Steven (2001). Free at Last: The Story of Free and Bad Company. London: SAF Publishing, 122. ISBN 0-946719-74-8. 
  2. The Billboard 200 - 15 March 1986. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-17.
  3. RPM Albums Chart - 29 March 1986. RPM. Retrieved on 2009-01-17.
  4. Top 60 Albums - 2 April 1986. Retrieved on 2009-01-17.
  5. Top 100 Albums - 5 April 1986. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  6. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks - 22 February 1986. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  7. Hot 100 Chart - 22 March 1986. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  8. Top 100 Singles - 22 March 1986. Cash Box. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  9. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks - 5 April 1986. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-15.