Category Archives: Whitesnake

Whitesnake – The Purple Album [Review]

purplealbum

Whitesnake – The Purple Album
2015, Frontiers Records

Buy the album

1. “Burn”
2. “You Fool No One” (interpolating “Itchy Fingers”)
3. “Love Child”
4. “Sail Away” (featuring “Elegy for Jon”)
5. “The Gypsy”
6. “Lady Double Dealer”
7. “Mistreated”
8. “Holy Man”
9. “Might Just Take Your Life”
10. “You Keep On Moving”
11. “Soldier of Fortune”
12. “Lay Down Stay Down”
13. “Stormbringer”
Bonus Tracks:
14. Lady Luck
15. Comin’ Home

Band:
David Coverdale – Lead Vocals
Reb Beach – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Joel Hoekstra – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Michael Devon – Bass, Harmonica, Backing Vocals
Tommy Aldridge – Drums
Derek Hilland – Keyboards

Producers: David Coverdale, Reb Beach & Michael McIntyre

After a steady stream of live releases, I was looking forward to hearing a brand-new Whitesnake studio album. I had known the band had been working on writing & recording tracks for the untitled album but I was assuming what they were going to give us would new and original Whitesnake tracks. Instead, when The Purple Album was announced, to say I was a bit deflated would be an understatement. For whatever reason, David Coverdale decided to have Whitesnake cover songs from his time in Deep Purple. Basically, the sounds have been record with a much beefier sound that’s very in line with what Whitesnake has been doing the last 10 years ago or so and some of the songs have been slightly re-worked.

In theory, I don’t have too much of a problem with any of this. I’ve read some comments online that consider it blasphemous that Whitesnake would record a bunch of Deep Purple songs and plenty of reviewers knocking this album and saying the band didn’t do a good job. Personally, I don’t care if Whitesnake releases an album of Deep Purple covers. But that’s just it. I don’t care. It just seems like a throwaway and irrelevant album to me, no more of less important than the various live albums they’ve released in the last few years. Having said that, being the Whitesnake fan that I am, I was always going to give this album at least one spin.

Now would’ve really made this album interesting is if Coverdale decided to record some songs from the Mark II line-up that featured Ian Gillan on vocals (at least as a fun bonus track). THAT would’ve made for a fascinating listen.

I’m really wondering what happened during all the time that Coverdale said they were working on the new album because I know they were at least writing material when Doug Aldrich was still in the band. What happened to that material? Was he only writing rearrangements for this album? And, oh yeah, Doug Aldrich is gone from the band. I’ve felt he was an essential part of the band since David brought Whitesnake back but the split seems amicable as Doug wanted to move on to new projects. His replacement? Night Ranger’s Joel Hoekstra. Okay. At least Tommy Aldridge has returned to the band and is still a monster on the drums.

While The Purple Album doesn’t seem all that necessary, when you get down to the music, it’s fairly enjoyable. In fact, I can digest some of these tracks much more easily now that they have been updated production-wise. Take Deep Purple songs, give them the production of Whitesnake’s last two studio efforts, Good to Be Bad and Forevermore and that’s The Purple Album. Coverdale’s voice is much more weathered by this point but I think that’s a good thing. He has more soul in his voice than he ever did and I think on some of these tracks it provides for a better vocal performance and feeling than what he could’ve provided in the 1970s.

At the end of the day, while I’m disappointed I’m not listening to new Whitesnake material, The Purple Album has turned out to be a pretty good album in it’s own right.

Highlights: “Burn”, “Love Child”, “Sail Away”, “The Gypsy”, “Lady Double Dealer”, “Mistreated”, “Might Just Take Your Life”, “You Keep On Moving”, “Soldier of Fortune”, “Stormbringer”

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Various Artists – Live and Heavy [Review]

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Various Artists – Live and Heavy
1981, NEMS Records

1. Deep Purple – “Smoke on the Water”
2. Nazareth – “Razamanaz”
3. Motorhead – “White Line Fever”
4. Def Leppard – “Rocks Off”
5. Rainbow – “All Night Long”
6. Status Quo – “Roll Over Lay Down”
7. Whitesnake – “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”
8. UFO – “Lights Out in London”
9. Gillan – “Unchain Your Brain”
10. Black Sabbath – “Paranoid”

What a brutal album cover that totally screams “heavy metal”. I picked this one up on vinyl in great condition for only $1 at a local flea market annex shop called Fort Walton Beach Vintage Records. Live and Heavy is a compilation put out by the British label NEMS that, unsurprisingly, features live tracks by UK rock bands. Had this been released a year or two later, I’m sure it would’ve been full of NWOBHM bands but instead we get bands that are more closely associated with ’70s hard rock and heavy metal.

This compilation has a killer line-up: Gillan-era Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, UFO (“Lights Out” is titled “Lights Out in London” on this release), Ozzy-era Black Sabbath, Motorhead… some of the very best heavy rock bands England has to offer. Even Def Leppard makes an appearance. Pretty good deal for such a new and young band (at the time) to get a track compiled with a number of other legendary bands.

Had this been a compilation of studio tracks, I probably would’ve passed. I’m not big on live album but for a collection of live cuts from these specific bands, I figured it was worth a buck.

The inner sleeve lists the various dates and venues these tracks were recorded. Always good to have that info. I was afraid this was going to be a super low-budget compilation that wouldn’t even bother.

This is a good pick-up for fans of hard rock from the 1970s and early 1980s.

Highlights: “Smoke on the Water”, “All Night Long”, “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”, “Lights Out in London”

Whitesnake – Live in ’84: Back to the Bone [Review]

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Whitesnake – Live in ’84: Back to the Bone
2014, Frontiers Records

Snakeskin Boots: The Best of the Bootlegs
1. Gambler
2. Guilty of Love
3. Love Ain’t No Stranger
4. Slow An’ Easy
5. Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
6. Ready An’ Willing
7. Guitar Solo
8. Crying in the Rain
9. Soldier of Fortune
Super-Rock Japan ’84
10. Love Ain’t No Stranger
11. Ready An’ Willing
12. Slow An’ Easy
Jon Lord’s Final Whitesnake Performance (Medley)
13. Gambler / Guilty of Love / Love Ain’t No Stranger / Ready An’ Willing

Band:
David Coverdale – Vocals
John Sykes – Guitar
Mel Galley – Guitar (Track #13)
Neil Murray – Bass
Cozy Powell – Drums
Jon Lord – Keyboards (Track #13)

Additional Musicians:
Richard Bailey – Keyboards (Tracks #1-12)

Producer: David Coverdale & Michael McIntyre

OH MY GOD. This is the fourth live Whitesnake album in three years. ENOUGH. I love this band, but ENOUGH. Just put out the new studio album already! Truth be told, Live in ’84 was released as a DVD/CD combo package but all I have to go buy is the digital version of the CD. The DVD features more performances than the audio version.

I’m not really sure what’s going on with this release anyway. Did we really need two live versions of “Guilty of Love”, “Slow an’ Easy”and “Gambler” along with THREE live versions of “Love Ain’t No Stranger” and “Ready an’ Willing”? I don’t get it. And there’s not much information about these tracks or this album in general other than they are bootlegs from 1984 that have been cleaned up by David Coverdale & Michael McIntyre.

From what I’ve pieced together by researching online, tracks 1-9 are random bootlegs (presumably the best) that Coverdale was able to track down from various dates of Whitesnake’s 1984 Slide It In world tour. Tracks 10-12 are from August of 1984 at a festival called Super-Rock, which was held in Japan. Bon Jovi, Scorpions, The Michael Schenker Group and Anvil also played at the festival. Tracks 1-12 feature the band as the four-piece of Coverdale, Sykes, Murray and Powell. Guitarist Mel Galley had broken his arm and sat out the rest of the tour while Jon Lord had already left the band. Richard Bailey toured with the band as keyboardist and played off-stage.

Finally, there’s track 13, which is a medley that features Jon Lord’s final performance in the band before rejoining Deep Purple.

This live version of “Crying in the Rain” is particularly notable. Despite the professional bootleg quality, it’s a much stronger sounding song than the studio version. Look, all of the music here is good. Live Whitesnake is always good. I just question their rapid-fire delivery of live albums and the repeating of songs on this DVD/CD. Seems like something more appropriate for a box set. Had the track list varied, I’d look more favorably upon Live in ’84. This is a decent album but I recommend it only to die-hards.

Highlights: “Guilty of Love”, “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, “Slow An’ Easy”, “Crying in the Rain”

Underrated: Five Whitesnake Songs

With Whitesnake’s last two live albums getting released so closely together (read my reviews here and here), I’ve had the band on my mind a bit lately. I got to thinking about some of my favorite Whitesnake songs that never achieved the commercial status or set-list staying power of classics like “Here I Go Again”, “Still of the Night”, “Is This Love”, “Slide It In”, “Don’t Break My Heart Again”, “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, “Slow an’ Easy”, “Slip of the Tongue”, “Fool For Your Loving”, “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues” or “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”.

In no particular order, here’s five Whitesnake songs that I think are pretty swell, yet underrated by the world at large:

Spit It Out
Album: Slide It In (1984)

Spit it out and slide it in! In general, I feel like the Slide It In album is underrated. I say this even though the album was the band’s first taste of success in the U.S. (over 2 million copies sold!) and “Slow an’ Easy”, “Love Ain’t No Stranger” and “Slide It In” are in the set-list rotation to this day fairly regularly. Still, the album seems forgotten whenever Whitesnake is discussed. People like to either focus on the 1987 self-titled mega-hit album or on how much of a polished dud the follow-up (Slip of the Tongue) was.

Okay, there’s probably a very good reason that “Spit It Out” is ignored by fans and the band alike in this day and age. It’s Whitesnake at their hair metal best/worst (depending on your point of view) and it’s a song about, well… it’s pretty easy to figure out. The lyrics are immature, sexist, raunchy, cheesy and done in poor taste. But, it’s still a fun song.

Restless Heart
Album: Restless Heart (1997)

Although the Restless Heart album was intended to be a solo album for David Coverdale, the label intervened and insisted that the Whitesnake name be used. It’s really not that big of a deal because Coverdale is Whitesnake (plus, Adrian Vandenberg played on this album). Also, this album has never been released in the U.S. so it’s no wonder it hasn’t received much recognition! The song “Restless Heart” is my favorite from the album and I think it would be great if the ‘snakes dusted this one off for a live setting.

Dancing Girls
Album: Saints & Sinners (1982)

If only the band was able to break in the United States sooner… maybe this one could’ve become a strip club anthem right alongside “Girls, Girls, Girls”, “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, “Cherry Pie” and “Hot for Teacher”!

Love Hunter
Album: Lovehunter (1979)

To be fair, this one turned up on the band’s first live album. But that was in their earlier days and as the band went on their quest for commercial success, I think this song  (along with most of their early material) fell by the wayside. “Love Hunter” is yet another song I can imagine going down quite well in a live setting in this day and age and with the current line-up of the band.

If You Want Me
Album: Live: In the Shadow of the Blues (2006)

This song is not so old and I had a tough time deciding between this song and “Ready to Rock” from the this album. I think “If You Want Me” best represents the band’s past and present and definitely shows where the band was heading later on with the Good to Be Bad and Forevermore albums. The song was one of four new studio songs added included on the second disc of the band’s third live album. Live: In the Shadows of the Blues is a great live album that came in a bit under the radar itself as it was the first Whitesnake release (not counting the usual money-grubbing compilations put out by the label) in about 8 years.

The reason I’m including “If You Want Me” on this list is because, to my knowledge, the band never played live. Or if they did, it must not have been for a very long time. I think this song, “Ready to Rock” and “Dog” are tracks that are very worthy of being performed live. The band uses Good to Be Bad and Forevermore material so much in their set-list, these songs would fit right in.

Whitesnake – Made In Britain / The World Record [Review]

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Whitesnake – Made In Britain / The World Record
2013, Frontiers Records

Disc 1: Made In Britain
1. Best Years
2. Give Me All Your Love Tonight
3. Love Ain’t No Stranger
4. Is This Love
5. Steal Your Heart Away
6. Forevermore
7. Love Will Set You Free
8. My Evil Ways
9. Fare Thee Well
10. Ain’t No Love In the Heart of the City
11. Fool for Your Loving
12. Here I Go Again
13. Still of the Night

Disc 2: The World Record
1. Bad Boys
2. Slide It In
3. Lay Down Your Love
4. Pistols at Dawn
5. Snake Dance
6. Can You Heart the Wind Blow
7. Fare Thee Well
8. One of These Days
9. The Badger
10. Deeper the Love
11. Soldier of Fortune
12. Burn / Stormbringer

Band:
David Coverdale – Lead Vocals
Doug Aldrich – Guitar
Reb Beach – Guitar
Michael Devin – Bass
Brian Tichy – Drums
Michael Ruedy – Keyboads

Produced by Michael McIntyre, Doug Aldrich and David Coverdale

Whitesnake returns with another double live album! Hmm… seems like I’ve done a similar review before. Oh, yeah. I did: here, here, and here! So this is the second live album that Whitesnake has released in a matter of months. Made In Japan kind of came about as an official release by accident but Made In Britain/The World Record was actually a planned release. Like Made In Japan it too documents the band’s Forevermore tour from 2011. The difference being that album featured performances from Japan and these recordings were done in England (the Made In Britain portion) and internationally (The World Record portion… Get it? It’s a world record.).

This another one of those album titles I’m confused about. The band’s official website lists it as Made In Britain and acknowledges it is a two-disc album. Frontiers Records’ website lists it as Made In Britain – The World Record. Most other music sites refer to it as Made In Britain/The World Record. And the album art above is the only one that’s floating around and you can obviously see it is plainly called Made In Britain.

What can I say that I didn’t already say during my Made In Japan review? Whitesnake is still going strong, putting out great records and great live shows and great live albums. It’s amazing how good the Forevermore material sounds alongside the classics. This is the band’s sixth live album (four of them released in the last 7 years alone!) and while you may not need this album, it stands are as a great representation of the Forevermore era. I would recommend it over Made In Japan.

Highlights: “Steal Your Heart Away”, “Forevermore”, “Love Will Set You Free”, “My Evil Ways”, “Fare Thee Well”, “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”, “Lay Down Your Love”, “One of These Days”

http://www.whitesnake.com/
http://www.facebook.com/Whitesnake.official

Buy the album at Amazon.com

Whitesnake – Made In Japan [Review]

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Whitesnake – Made In Japan
2013, Frontiers Records

Disc 1:
1. 
Best Years
2. Give Me All Your Love Tonight
3. Love Ain’t No Stranger
4. Is This Love
5. Steal Your Heart Away
6. Forevermore
7. Six String Showdown
8. Love Will Set You Free
9. Drum Solo
10. Fool For Your Loving
11. Here I Go Again
12. Still of the Night

Disc 2:
1. Love Will Set You Free
2. Steal Your Heart Away
3. Fare Thee Well [Acoustic Version]
4. One of These Days [Acoustic Version]
5. Lay Down Your Love
6. Evil Ways
7. Good To Be Bad [Acoustic Version]
8. Tell Me How [Acoustic Version]

Band:
David Coverdale – Vocals
Doug Aldrich – Guitar
Reb Beach – Guitar
Michael Devin – Bass
Brian Tichy – Drums
Brian Ruedy – Keyboards

Produced by: Michael McIntyre, David Coverdale & Doug Aldrich

Made In Japan is Whitesnake’s fifth live album. Now, you may say to yourself, “Didn’t they just release a live album a few years ago?” They did. The album you’re thinking of is Live at Donington 1990 but that was an archive release. A “blast from the past”, if you will. Made In Japan is much more current having been recorded in October 2011 at the Loud Park Festival in Saitama City, Japan.

The entire recording was originally meant to be aired only on TV in Japan but Coverdale, Doug Aldrich and Frontiers Records liked what they heard & saw so much, that they decided the show deserved a worldwide CD/DVD/Blu-ray release. You can buy this show in various formats but I’ll be referring to the 2 CD portion only for this review and not the DVD or Blu-ray footage.

Luckily, Coverdale has never been content to live in the past. Sure, it took him a long time to revive Whitesnake, but now that he has, the band has delivered two of their best studio albums to date (Good to Be Bad and Forevermore) in the last few years. So it’s no surprise that Disc 1 (the actual Loud Park performance) pulls a combined four tracks from those two albums. The remaining tracks on Disc 1 are the typical ’80s hits but it’s great that Coverdale does’t tour strictly with a “greatest hits” set list.

The modern Whitesnake songs are so good and sound so much more powerful than anything of old. And I really have to give credit to Doug Aldrich for helping to restore the band to greatness. Actually, the entire band is amazing and really made the mighty ‘snake powerful and muscular again (make your own jokes, please).

Disc 2 is a very good collection of songs the band played during various sound checks while on tour in Japan.

You really can’t go wrong with Whitesnake (live or in the studio), especially when it comes to this era of the band.

http://www.whitesnake.com/
http://www.facebook.com/Whitesnake.official

Buy the album at Amazon.com

DAVID COVERDALE’s coil is ready to STRIKE ‘InTheStudio’ for the 25th anniversary of the 1987 WHITESNAKE album

I usually don’t post press releases but this is Coverdale after all…

Dallas, TX – March 20, 2012. North American syndicated rock radio show InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands celebrates the 25th anniversary of one of the best-selling hard rock albums in history, Whitesnake ’87. After eight studio albums in 10 years Whitesnake had managed to keep hard rock relevant, in an ever- changing ‘80s rock market in the UK, while America had yet to fully embrace the band. Bandleader/singer/songwriter  David Coverdale was sidelined with a potentially career- ending chronic sinus infection midway through this project.  Coverdale reveals to show producer and host Redbeard just how serious his health scare was.

“He (the doctor) put a small flashlight into my mouth… and said, ‘This is the worst sinus infection I’ve ever seen, I’m surprised you could even talk’.  I came back and prepared for surgery and a 50% chance I would never be able to perform again.”

Three million dollars in debt and having just recovered from throat surgery, Coverdale put it all on the line.

“We shot three videos in two weeks, “Still of the Night”, “Here I Go Again”, “Is This Love” and things just went nuts.”

InTheStudio is syndicated on over 50 radio stations throughout North America. The WHITESNAKE/ InTheStudio program will air the week of March 19th.

To STREAM this interview online, visit:
HYPERLINK “http://www.inthestudio.net/this-week-in-the-studio/whitesnake-87

Direct Link to InTheStudio affiliate station list
HYPERLINK “ http://www.inthestudio.net/radio-stations/ “www.inthestudio.net/radio-stations

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”

http://www.whitesnake.com
http://www.facebook.com/Whitesnake.official

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

Whitesnake – Forevermore

Whitesnake – Forevermore [Classic Rock Fan Pack Exclusive Limited Edition] (2011, Classic Rock/Future Publishing)

1. “Steal Your Heart Away” … 5:18
2. “All Out Of Luck” … 5:28
3. “Love Will Set You Free” … 3:52
4. “Easier Said Than Done” … 5:12
5. “Tell Me How” … 4:41
6. “I Need You (Shine A Light)” … 3:49
7. “One Of These Days” … 4:53
8. “Love & Treat Me Right” … 4:14
9. “Dogs In The Street” … 3:48
10. “Fare Thee Well” … 5:18
11. “Whipping Boy Blues” … 5:01
12. “My Evil Ways” … 4:33
13. “Forevermore” …  7:24
BONUS TRACKS
14. “Slide It In (live)” … 5:06
15. “Cheap & Nasty (live)” … 4:35

Band:
David Coverdale – Vocals
Doug Aldrich – Guitar
Reb Beach – Guitar
Michael Devin – Bass
Brian Tichy – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Timothy Drury – Keyboards
Jasper Coverdale – Vocals

Producer: David Coverdale, Doug Aldrich and Michael McIntyre

Always a favorite of mine since the mid-90s, it wasn’t until the last two or three years or so that Whitesnake came to rise to the near top of my list of favorite bands. Of course, KISS is forever and always #1 in my book but David & Co. would be a strong contenders for my Top 3 and definitely make my Top 5. Being a HUGE fan of their last album, Good To Be Bad, I was more than ready for Forevermore to be released.

As often happens in this band, the line-up has changed a bit. Drummer Chris Frazier and bassist Uriah Duffy left the band in 2010 and were replaced Brian Tichy and Michael Devin respectively. Keyboardist Timothy Drury, who had been in the band since Coverdale brought back the Whitesnake name in 2002 also left in 2010 but was around to record the album. In the line notes, he is only credited as a “special guest” and has since been replaced by Brian Ruedy on stage. Though I would love to see Tommy Aldridge come back in on drums (he was a member from ’87-’91 and then ’02-’07), I’m basically happy as long as Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach are on guitars. I think the band has a much beefier guitar sound now with Aldrich and Beach yet they still are able to stay true to the band’s blues-rooted sounds and play the classic ‘snake songs wells.

The Coverdale/Aldrich partnership has proved very fruitful and is definitely one of the best partnerships David has ever had in this band. David has always kept great guitarists in Whitesnake but Aldrich’s time in the band has that something special to it and he has risen to become not only a songwriting partner with Coverdale but also co-producer of this album. I’m sure the day will come when Aldrich moves on to another project, I just hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon.

A bit of info about this particular version: UK’s Classic Rock magazine was offering a “Fan Pack”, also referred to as the “Snake Pack”, which included the album (featuring the alternate cover art you see above) with two bonus live tracks from the upcoming Live at Donington 1990 album, a poster of the band, a Whitesnake “Official Collector’s Pin Badge” and the coup de grace — a special Whitesnake edition of Classic Rock magazine. CR has done similar packages in the past for the release of Slash’s solo disc and Motorhead’s The World Is Yours. I should point out that the various retail editions of this album are available from Frontiers Records.

I haven’t read the magazine yet but I’m pretty anxious to. My favorite magazine putting the spotlight on one of my favorite bands, how could it go wrong? I also want to point out how cool the packaging of the album is. This version of the CD comes in a hardcover case that’s larger than your standard jewel case. Although most of the pages are full of “thanks”, there’s a cool shot of the band and the lyrics to “Forevermore” are included. All in all, it’s a classy package and it’s great to see Whitesnake get this type of treatment.

So what about the music?!? Well, if you’re a fan of Good To Be Bad, then you already like this album. David & Co. continue what they started there– bringing all eras of the band together into one powerful album. If anything, this album brings it back even more to the early Whitesnake days. Tons of the songs sound like pre-pop metal WS… but on steroids. “Steal Your Heart Away”, “I Need You (Shine A Light)”, “Love & Treat Me Right”, “Whipping Boy Blues” and “My Evil Ways” should put a smile on any fan that’s been listening since the early days.

“Love Will Set You Free”, “All Out Of Luck” and “Tell Me How” are perfect modern Whitesnake and would’ve been right at home on Good To Be Bad. “Dogs In The Street” sounds like a Slip of the Tongue-era rocker, it’s kinda generic but not bad. Probably my least favorite song on the album though. Also bringing to mind Slip of the Tongue is the ballad “Easier Said Than Done”. “One Of These Days” and “Fare Thee Well” are great acoustic driven ballads that sound like something off Restless Heart. “One Of These Days” especially has a great 1970s classic rock/country feel to it, reminding me of the Eagles. Then there’s the epic closer “Forevermore”. It has that Led Zeppelin vibe to it the band had during the late ’80s and probably wouldn’t be out of place on their 1987 album.

I really can’t recommend this album enough. I knew it was going to be very good but it has exceeded even my own expectations (which is probably why this review has been so long-winded). I LOVED Good To Be Bad but Forevermore is even better and Coverdale sounds as good as ever!

Highlights: “Steal Your Heart Away”, “Love Will Set You Free”, “Tell Me How”, “I Need You (Shine A Light)”, “One Of These Days”, “Love & Treat Me Right”, “Fare Thee Well, “Forevermore”

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Buy Forevermore (CD/DVD) (DIGIPACK) at Amazon.com

Whitesnake – Live: In the Shadow of the Blues

Whitesnake – Live: In the Shadow of the Blues (2008, Icarus Music – Argentina Import)
Original Release: 2006, SPV Records/Steamhammer Records

Disc One
1. “Bad Boys” … 6:22
2. “Slide It In” … 5:11
3. “Slow An’ Easy” … 6:54
4. “Love Ain’t No Stranger” … 4:31
5. “Judgement Day” … 5:34
6. “Is This Love” … 4:58
7. “Blues for Mylene ’06” … 3:31
8. “Snake Dance ’06” … 2:03
9. “Crying in the Rain” … 5:46
10. “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” … 8:44
11. “Fool for Your Loving” … 4:51
12. “Here I Go Again” … 5:53
13. “Still of the Night” … 8:38

Disc Two
1. “Burn – Stormbringer” … 8:38
2. “Give Me All Your Love” … 4:27
3. “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues” … 5:10
4. “The Deeper the Love” … 4:31
5. “Ready an’ Willing” … 5:41
6. “Don’t Break My Heart Again” … 6:08
7. “Take Me with You” … 7:50
8. “Ready to Rock” … 4:19
9. “If You Want Me” … 4:08
10. “All I Want Is You” … 4:12
11. “Dog” … 3:27

Band:
David Coverdale – Vocals
Doug Aldrich – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Reb Beach – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Uriah Duffy – Bass, Backing Vocals
Tommy Aldridge – Drums
Timothy Drury – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Producer: David Coverdale, Dough Aldrich, Michael McIntyre

Having heard this album shortly after its release, I’ve wanted this album just as long but it seems like this was one of those albums that must’ve had a small pressing because it quickly shot up in price around the internet. Thankfully it was reissued (though I didn’t realize I was buying a reissue at the time) so the price was about $7 or $8 when I finally bought it online.

Though I’ve claimed to be a Whitesnake fan for years, this album along with Good to Be Bad really cemented my status as a fan and quickly catapulted Whitesnake near the top of my favorites list. Since Coverdale reformed the band in 2002, he’s kept amazingly talented musicians in the band and this particular line-up is probably one of the most impressive and powerful versions of the band ever as evidenced on this album. I can even vouch for them in concert because I was lucky enough to see them on the Good to Be Bad Tour (though the awesome Tommy Aldridge was no longer on drums). They have such a powerful, meaty, energetic sound. The Coverdale/Aldrich pairing has really produced some great things and I think this band has rejuvenated David Coverdale.

The only bad thing I can say about a performance here is sometimes Coverdale is straining, not often, but it happens. Which is odd because I don’t remember him sounding like this at all in concert, he sounded phenomenal then. Still, even when not 100% on his game, Coverdale is a better singer than most.

I’m not sure exactly when or where this album was recorded. They album gives credits to the 2005 and 2006 touring production team so I’m guessing these songs were culled from various performances though you can’t tell. If this was meant to give the illusion of being one show (or if it was truly was), the sequencing is weird. Disc One plays like an entire show from beginning to end while Disc Two’s live tracks seem kind of random and surely they wouldn’t end a show with “Take Me With You”! I guess they wanted to fit all the major Whitesnake songs onto the first disc.

Now, as if you can’t guess by now, the live portion of this album is fantastic but here’s the real reason I bought this album: for the four brand new studio songs that showed off this powerful new line-up. “Ready to Rock”, “If You Want Me” and “Dog” are welcome entries into the Whitesnake catalog. Much like the entire Good to Be Bad album, they are an updated take on the old Whitesnake song. Amazing songs. The only one that falls kinda short is “All I Want Is You” which is a ballad that tries to replicate “Is This Love”.

Great live album with some great new studio songs… Definitely an essential Whitesnake album!

Highlights: “Slide It In”, “Slow & Easy”, “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, “Blues for Mylene ’06”, “Crying in the Rain”, “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”, “Still of the Night”, “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues”, “Ready to Rock”, “If You Want Me”, “Dog”

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