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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”

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”

Metal Excess Awards 2013

2013 was an interesting year for rock/metal. Some bands delivered more than I expected them to (Stryper, Bon Jovi, Mike Tramp), a few disappointed me (Megadeth, Avenged Sevenfold, De La Cruz) and some confirmed my suspicions that they shouldn’t have released an album at all (Black Sabbath… okay, it was good but it seemed derivative of their past works).

Overall, it was a bit of a slow year for me as I focused a lot on listening to old favorites rather than having an interest in checking out and reviewing some of the latest releases.

Best Albums of 2013
1. Buckcherry – Confessions
2. Stryper – No More Hell to Pay
3. Bon Jovi – What About Now
4. Tom Keifer – The Way Life Goes
5. The Poodles – Tour de Force
6. Avantasia – The Mystery of Time
7. Reckless Love – Spirit
8. Megadeth – Super Collider
9. Jorn – Traveller
10. Mike Tramp – Cobblestone Street

Best Live Albums
1. Whitesnake – Made In Britain / The World Record
2. Dio – Finding the Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986
3. Def Leppard – Viva! Hysteria
4. Whitesnake – Made In Japan
5. Great White – 30 Years: Live from the Sunset Strip

Best EPs
1. Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington – High Rise
2. The 69 Eyes – Love Runs Away
3. Skid Row – United World Rebellion: Chapter One

Best Compilation/Cover Albums
1. Stryper – Second Coming
2. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped in Red
3. Buckcherry – The Best of Buckcherry
4. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Upon the Winter Solstice
5. Jorn – Symphonic

Most Anticipated New Releases for 2014
Alice Cooper
Judas Priest
Motley Crue
Sebastian Bach
Whitesnake

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

Snakecharmer [Review]

SNAKECHARMER cover

Snakecharmer
2013, Frontiers Records

1. My Angel
2. Accident Prone
3. To The Rescue
4. Falling Leaves
5. A Little Rock & Roll
6. Turn Of The Screw
7. Smoking Gun
8. Stand Up
9. Guilty As Charged
10. Nothing To Lose
11. Cover Me In You

Band:
Chris Ousey – Lead Vocals
Micky Moody – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Laurie Wisefield – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Neil Murray – Bass
Harry James – Drums, Backing Vocals
Adam Wakeman – Keyboards, Vocals

Produced by: Snakecharmer

Snakecharmer is next in the line in a number of groups that have been put together by small number of former members of Whitesnake. First there was The Snakes, which was started up by former Whitesnake guitarists Bernie Marsden & Micky Moody. Then that became The Company of Snakes featuring Marsden and Moody with the addition of former ‘snake bassist Neil Murray. Then that became known as M3. Now, Moody & Murray have started up Snakecharmer with other notable musicians such as Monroe/Heartland vocalist Chris Ousey, Wishbone Ash guitarist Laurie Wisefield, Magnum/Thunder drummer Harry James and current Ozzy/Black Sabbath keyboardist Adam Wakeman (son of Rick Wakeman).

Given all of the names involved, Snakecharmer is what you’d expect: melodic & bluesy classic rock. If you enjoyed what Marsden, Moody and/or Murray were doing in their previous Whitesnake-inspired bands, you’ll like Snakecharmer. That said, Chris Ousey (as good as he is) is no David Coverdale. A number of tracks definitely sound like early Whitesnake though. “A Little Rock and Roll” and “To The Rescue” are shining examples of songs that could’ve been recorded by that band’s earliest line-up. Another standout is “Stand Up”, which kind of reminds me of something Rainbow would’ve done during their more commercial years.

Snakecharmer is a solid album full of professionals who have faithfully been playing in this style for decades. Though it openly draws comparison to them, this album is not on the same level with Whitesnake earliest releases. What it is is an enjoyable release and fine stand-in for anyone who wishes Coverdale would take Whitesnake back to their earliest & simplest sound.

Highlights: “My Angel”, “Accident Prone”, “Falling Leaves”, “A Little Rock and Roll”, “Stand Up”, “Nothing to Lose”

http://www.snakecharmer.org/
http://www.facebook.com/QEDG.snakecharmer

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

The Metal Excess Awards: 2011 Edition

Last year I said 2010 was a better year for music than 2009 was. I went on to wonder how 2011 could even begin to top it. Well, guess what… 2011 did indeed top 2010! I’m looking back at my Top 25 list for 2010 and while those albums are all still good, this year’s Top 25 list is much stronger top to bottom.

2011 was a great year that saw classic rock/metal acts like Whitesnake, Warrant, Riot, Alice Cooper, Journey, Black N’ Blue and King Kobra deliver some of the best albums of their career while younger acts like Steel Panther, Reckless Love, Savage Messiah, Evile (who missed the list by this much) and Black Veil Brides have shown that they are more than capable of carrying rock & metal into the future.

Top 25 Albums of 2011

1. Whitesnake – Forevermore
2. Sixx:A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt
3. Riot – Immortal Soul
4. Warrant – Rockaholic
5. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
6. Steel Panther – Balls Out
7. Megadeth – Thirteen
8. Anthrax – Worship Music
9. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming
10. Reckless Love – Animal Attraction
11. Edguy – Age of the Joker
12. Hurtsmile – s/t
13. Journey – Eclipse
14. Chickenfoot – III
15. Mike Tramp & The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz – Stand Your Ground
16. Black Country Communion – 2
17. The Poodles – Performocracy
18. House of Lords – Big Money
19. King Kobra – s/t
20. Saliva – Under Your Skin
21. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
22. Black N’ Blue – Hell Yeah!
22. Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscience
24. George Lynch – Kill All Control
25. Joe Bonamassa – Dust Bowl

Best E.P./Single
In light of a few non-album singles being released this year, I’ve decided to make this a hybrid category.

1. Sixx:A.M. – 7
2. Black Veil Brides – Rebels
3. Who Cares – Out of My Mind / Holy Water
4. Wildstreet – II …Faster …Louder!
5. The Last Vegas – The Other Side E.P.

Best Compilation/Cover/Live/Reissue Albums
Kind of a catch-all category this year. Instead of listing each category individually, I decided to lump them all into one list and rank them that way.

1. Black Sabbath – Born Again [Deluxe Edition]
2. Stryper – The Covering
3. Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped
4. Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990
5. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11
6. Hell – Human Remains
7. Scorpions – Comeblack
8. Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More
9. Eric Carr – Unfinished Business
10. Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer [Deluxe Edition]

Want to read more about the year in music? Check out some of the fine sites & blogs listed below! And be sure to keep checking back for more Year-End posts here at Metal Excess!

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

The Crash Pad of Ray Van Horn, Jr. – http://www.rayvanhornjr2.blogspot.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.com

Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/

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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