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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!

BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY – Music From The Motion Picture

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey – Music From The Motion Picture (1991, Interscope Records)

1. “Shout It Out” – Slaughter … 4:20
2. “Battle Stations” – Winger … 4:02
3. “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll to You II” – KISS … 5:23
4. “Drinking Again” – Neverland … 4:56
5. “Dream of a New Day” – Richie Kotzen … 3:17
6. “The Reaper” – Steve Vai … 3:20
7. “The Perfect Crime” – Faith No More … 4:26
8. “Go to Hell” – Megadeth … 4:36
9. “Tommy the Cat” – Primus … 4:14
10. “Junior’s Gone Wild” – King’s X … 3:09
11. “Showdown” – Love On Ice … 6:20
12. “The Reaper Rap” – Steve Vai … 4:27

Even though I already own “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll to You II” and “Go to Hell” elsewhere, I bought this album basically just because it looked like a fun one and essentially an ’80s hair/heavy metal compilation. Some of these songs were written exclusively for this Bill & Ted sequel (“Go to Hell”, “Battle Stations”, “Shout It Out”, “The Reaper”) while other songs had appeared elsewhere or would be doing so shortly (“Drinking Again”, “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll to You II”, “Tommy the Cat”).

It’s an interesting release that documents some of the final days of hair metal. It’s also interesting because it mixes Slaughter,Winger and KISS with Megadeth, Faith No More and Primus! Winger’s “Battle Stations” and Steve Vai’s “The Reaper” seem to be the two songs that get the most praise from this album and while I don’t necessarily think they are the soundtrack’s best songs, they are very good and definite highlights. Predictably, KISS and Megadeth are the best moments for me.

The title of the movie was originally going to be called Bill & Ted Go to Hell, so the movie studio specifically wanted Megadeth to write a song called “Go to Hell”. Which Dave Mustaine did, but then the title of the movie got changed and some people at the the time thought Dave was ripping off an Alice Cooper title or just plain doing a cover song. I for one thought it was a cover song (which would’ve been really cool) and was slightly disappointed years ago when I found out it was an original. It’s still a good song though. Another note about “Go to Hell” are these spoken words:

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the lord my soul to take

Sound familiar? Metallica would also use these same lines (granted, it’s from a prayer) a few months later for “Enter Sandman”. Dave of course flipped out but who knows? Maybe it was just a coincidence or maybe “Enter Sandman” was recorded first. Lyrics aside, I think the song even starts out similar sounding to “Enter Sandman”.

Overall, this is a decent disc to spin if you’re a fan of this type of ’80s rock/metal. Definitely worth the $0.79 or so I paid for it!

Highlights: “Battle Stations”, “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll to You II”, “Drinking Again”, “The Reaper”, “Go to Hell”

WHITESNAKE – Slip of the Tongue

Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (1989, Geffen Records)

1. “Slip of the Tongue” … 5:20
2. “Cheap an’ Nasty” … 3:28
3. “Fool for Your Loving” … 4:11
4. “Now You’re Gone” … 4:12
5. “Kittens Got Claws” … 5:02
6. “Wings of the Storm” … 5:01
7. “The Deeper the Love” … 4:22
8. “Judgment Day” … 5:16
9. “Slow Poke Music” … 3:59
10. “Sailing Ships” … 6:02

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

Producer: Mike Clink & Keith Olsen

Holy cow, what a line-up David gathered for this release! Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai (David Lee Roth),  Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot) and Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy, Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers Band). I left out guitarist Adrian Vandenberg because while he was still technically a member of the band, a wrist injury prevented him from taking part in the recording sessions (the liner notes mention this while still crediting him and Vai). Vai had replaced Vivian Campbell, who was fired in 1988 for a “negative attitude”, but I think Vivian made out okay finding a home with Def Leppard in 1992.

I’m not sure how much touring Vandenberg was able to for this album, but I was thinking Vai and Vandenberg would’ve made for an awesome guitar duo… Until while doing research for this album I read Vandenberg didn’t appreciate Steve’s flashy style, which he feels damaged this album.

I’ve wanted this one on CD for years, but kept putting it off because I know it by heart as I had the cassette for a long time. I know there’s remastered/20th Anniversary/DVD edition but why pay $20 for that when I can just get the original for $6? I don’t need any fancy fixin’s! The album isn’t that good.

But I will say this, I’m probably a bit more positive on this one than most people. It’s the culmination of the band’s pop metal years with the bluesy hard rock now totally stripped away but there’s still some good songs here. Tongue-in-cheek numbers like “Slip of the Tongue”, “Cheap An’ Nasty” and “Slow Poke Music” are classic Coverdale, in my opinion. It is really the ballads like “Now You’re Gone” and “Sailing Ships” that hike up the pop-metallic cheese level. Guilty pleasures for sure.

“Fool For Your Loving” is yet another old Whitesnake song David dusted off. The original song appeared on 1980’s Ready an’ Willing.

Not the first Whitesnake one should own, but I recommend it for anyone who is a fan of Slide It In and their 1987 self-titled release.

Highlights: “Slip of the Tongue”, “Cheap an’ Nasty”, “Fool for Your Loving”, “Now You’re Gone”, “The Deeper the Love”, “Judgment Day”

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ALICE COOPER – Hey Stoopid

Alice Cooper – Hey Stoopid (1991, Epic Records)

1. “Hey Stoopid” … 4:34
2. “Love’s a Loaded Gun” … 4:12
3. “Snakebite” … 4:33
4. “Burning Our Bed” … 4:35
5. “Dangerous Tonight” … 4:41
6. “Might as Well Be on Mars” … 7:10
7. “Feed My Frankenstein” … 4:44
8. “Hurricane Years” … 3:58
9. “Little by Little” … 4:34
10. “Die for You” … 4:17
11. “Dirty Dreams” … 3:30
12. “Wind-Up Toy” … 5:27

Band:
Alice Cooper – Vocals, Harmonica
Mickey Curry – Drums
Stef Burns – Guitar
Hugh McDonald – Bass
Derek Sherinian – Keyboards

Additional Musicians:
Ozzy Osbourne – Backing Vocals
Slash – Guitar
Joe Satriani – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Steve Vai – Guitar
Mick Mars – Guitar
Vinnie Moore – Guitar
Nikki Sixx – Bass

Produced by: Peter Collins

Though many people have derided Alice’s pop metal years, I absolutely love them. Trash and this album are two of my favorite Alice albums.

Though the guiding hands of Jon Bon Jovi & Trash producer Desmond Child may be gone (Desmond did co-write “Dangerous Tonight” and “Might as Well Be on Mars” though), Alice, with his team of co-writers, manages to deliver another slick pop metal gem. There’s also another impressive lineup of guest musicians as well.

This album didn’t sell nearly as well as Trash did and didn’t have a big hit like “Poison” was, and that’s a real shame because this album might even be better than Trash. 1991 was getting to be a rough time to sell commercial metal though…

Highlights: “Hey Stoopid”, “Love’s a Loaded Gun”, “Burning Our Bed”, “Might as Well Be on Mars”, “Feed My Frankenstein”, “Little by Little”, “Die For You”

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