Whitesnake – Live At Donington 1990

Whitesnake – Live At Donington 1990 (2011, Frontiers Records)

Disc 1:
1. Slip Of The Tongue … 6:52
2. Slide It In … 5:03
3. Judgement Day … 5:56
4. Slow An’ Easy … 8:12
5. Kitten’s Got Claws … 4:58
6. Adagio For Strato … 3:08
7. Flying Dutchman Boogie … 4:02
8. Is This Love … 4:4
9. Cheap An’ Nasty … 4:31
10. Crying In The Rain … 13:28

Disc 2:
1. Fool For Your Loving … 6:02
2. For The Love Of God … 5:24
3. The Audience Is Listening … 3:02
4. Here I Go Again … 5:43
5. Bad Boys … 6:17
6. Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City … 8:26
7. Still Of The Night … 8:00

Band:
David Coverdale – Vocals
Steve Vai – Guitar
Adrian Vandenberg – Guitar
Rudy Sarzo – Bass
Tommy Aldridge – Drums

Hot on the heels of the excellent Forevermore is the release of live album that was recorded at the 1990 Monsters of Rock at Castle Donington (a show that included Aerosmith, Poison, the Quireboys and Thunder). At that time, Whitesnake was still touring in promotion of Slip of the TongueThere are no less than six tracks from that album played here and while that album is generally regarded as a misstep in the band’s catalog (though I think opinions have begun to mellow), the material seems to go over fairly well with this crowd.

I somewhat find it odd that Coverdale would choose to release this album right after a brand new studio album is released, especially considering he’s the only guy that appears on both albums. I also didn’t realize this show even existed and that there was any demand for it but apparently Whitesnake fans have been clamoring for an official release of this show for quite some time. That’s another thing I thought to be weird — a Slip of the Tongue-era live album? All of these guys are great musicians but that album was so polished I wasn’t sure how the band would come across live.

Sarzo, Vandenberg and Aldridge I have no problem with but Steve Vai? He’s never really seemed like a true ‘snake or a good fit to me and I’m not huge fan of his solo work so I thought maybe this concert would be a bit too flashy and technical, taking away the soul of the band. Happy to say that isn’t the case for the most part. Vai does get to show off with “For the Love of God” and “The Audience Is Listening” from his 1990 solo album Passion and Warfare and I have to say both songs stick out like a sore thumb in this set list despite the crowd’s appreciation for it. I much more prefer Vandenberg’s solo moments on “Adagio for Strato” and “Flying Dutchman Boogie”.

On the whole, this is a much more powerful sounding live performance than I was expecting. Though I never disliked the album, I’m appreciating the Slip of the Tongue songs on this disc a lot more after hearing live incarnations of them. The crowd is absolutely rabid (Whitesnake were the headliners) and they eat up an oldie like “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” (which was done surprisingly well)  just as much as they do “Slip of the Tongue” or “Crying In The Rain”. And of course I have to point out yet again Coverdale’s vocals. The guy is flat out amazing. As powerful as he STILL sounds to this day, he’s even more powerful during this show. A true rock legend and one of rock’s better vocalists of all time.

Though I don’t think this album tops the classic Live… In the Heart of the City from 1980 or Live: In the Shadow of the Blues from 2006, this album stands as a great document of how good the pop-metal era of the band could be and perhaps shows that time frame deserves much more credit than it is given. If you’re a fan of the self-titled/1987 album and Slip of the Tongue, this is well worth picking up.

Highlights: “Slip Of The Tongue”, “Judgement Day”, “Slow An’ Easy”, “Cheap An’ Nasty”, “Crying In The Rain”, “Bad Boys”, “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”, “Still of the Night”

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Buy ‘Live at Donington 1990’ at Amazon.com!

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Posted on May 14, 2011, in Whitesnake and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. metalodyssey

    I really dig “Slip Of The Tongue”… always did. 🙂 “Fool For Your Loving” and “The Deeper The Love” are two Whitesnake songs I uphold… just call me a big ol’ softy I guess. I couldn’t agree with you more on your cool words about David Coverdale too.

    I’ve always liked Steve Vai… saw him play on the “Eat ‘Em And Smile” tour as the guitarist for Diamond Dave. Vandenberg I never shied away from either. That “Slip Of The Tongue” album went multi-platinum too. Do you dig that album? I’m guessing you do… (hope I’m right or I’ll be semi-embarrassed).

  2. I would have rather seen the 1983 show out on DVD, or do what Dio did with 1980, 1983, and 1990, all in one album, anyways the set list looks awesome (well I would have liked to seen Slow An Easy in there cause its my favorite Whitesnake song). I like Steve Vai but I didn’t expect Coverdale would let him play two of his songs, and Coverdale, Dio, and Halford are some of the best examples of rock and metal frontmen who can still sing like they did in their heyday.

  3. I was at this concert and Whitesnake were very good. However, Aerosmith also played at this gig and were better.

  4. Great review and it did what a review is suppose to do, make you want run out and buy the disc.

    This is my version of Whitesnake I cared for the least and while I do think it is a horrible album ‘Slip of the Tongue’ remains IMO the worst album in their discography. It is cool when you see a live show or pick up a live disc and hear songs you might have dismissed earlier and then it hits you when you listen to the band perform them live.

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