The Firm

Though Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers, to my ears, seemed a bit lost on The Firm (1985), bassist Tony Franklin broke ground, bringing the fretless to the forefront of hard rock for a brief, shining moment. With a massive slicing tone, riveting glissandos, and smart counterpoint, Franklin took fairly pedestrian songs and made them sound a lot better by way of his inventive approach to the genre and the instrument.