The album that broke Whitesnake in the US finally gets its ‘Ultimate Special Edition release celebrating 35 years as the original UK album was released in 1984. 35 years is crazy to think about. In those 35 years, this album only gets better.
This special edition consists of 6 CDs, 1 DVD, 1 Book, 1 Tour Program replica and 1 Album Cover Poster. And it has over 100 tracks amongst all the discs. Here is everything you get.
Now of course that 100+ tracks is misleading and this set is truly for the ultimate fan. Why? Because the set repeats the songs a lot. Because the set repeats the songs a lot. Yes, I wrote that twice on purpose.
Let me explain by jumping in to the album right away and we will talk about the first 3 discs as they go together.
Disc 1: The US Mix
Disc 2: The UK Mix
Disc 3: The Special 35th Anniversary US Remix
The album was first released in 1984 in the UK and the album consisted of 10 tracks which are the same 10 tracks on the US release only different track order. Okay, that isn’t the only differences. The band had signed with Geffen records and before it was released in the US, Geffen wanted the album to be re-mixed as it sounded too European for the US Audience. Of course, according to David he stated that “well, I am European”.
David agreed to the change, but had a stipulation. Since the band had a line-up change since the original UK album was released, he wanted their two new members to be on the album. So, guitarist John Sykes and bassist Neil Murray re-recorded the parts and they are the ones playing on the album. You can hear the differences even though sometimes they are not noticeable, other times there is a distinct difference. I won’t point them out as you should hear for yourself.
The UK disc in this set also has a few bonus tracks that were not on the original releases. They are a B-Side and two remixes of songs on the album. Now for the 35th Anniversary Set, they did a completely new and modern mix of the US album. And is it different? Yes, the biggest change is the overall sound. It is so full and rich and actually louder.
What I did was go to my Apple Music account and created a playlist of the first 3 albums in this set. I put the songs in order of the US album and put each song as the US mix, UK mix and the New US Mix one after the other. This really let me explore the songs together and pinpoint the differences. And what I noticed most was that the New US Mix was so much louder and fuller than the the other two. I actually really enjoyed it. I am not saying it is better, but it didn’t suck.
Disc 4: Monitor Mixes & Intros, September 1983
The fourth disc had the whole album again, but this time there were some intros added from David Coverdale himself and the tracks were mixes taken straight from the monitor back in 1983. This would now be the fourth time you get the album. As I said, a lot of repeats on this set and that is why it is truly for hardcore fans.
The disc also boasts keyboardist, Jon Lord’s last Whitesnake show from Sweden on April 16th, 1984. Each song chosen you can hear Lord and remember what a stellar organist/keyboardist he was and how crucial he was to that early Whitesnake sound. Some great live tracks.
Disc 5: Live in Glasgow, Scotland, March 1st, 1984
What every Special Edition box set should have is a live show from a tour for that album. This is a previously unreleased show and it is spectacular. It is raw, rough at times and overall sensational. It is great to hear John Sykes completely kill it on these songs and his solos are amazing. You also get a wonderful Keyboard solo from Jon Lord and see what a beast he is with that instrument.
If you are a fan of the 1987 Whitesnake album, you get the early versions of “Here I Go Again”, “Crying in the Rain” and “Fool For Your Loving” from ‘Slip of the Tongue’. Of course, the casual fan might not know that all 3 of these songs had appeared on early Whitesnake albums before the releases in those future albums. The overall setlist is fantastic and I am glad to have, yet another, live show.
Disc 6: Early Ruff Mixes, Original Demos & Obscurities
And here is the GEM of the whole set. I love how David goes deep into his archives and pulls out the little nuggets that only true fans want and love to hear. These are some early versions of the songs with different lyrics, different mixes and sounds and just plain ruff at times. David even put together a track called Wheezy Interludes that is David and company goofing off during takes and letting loose. There sounds like a lot of alcohol was involved and a lot of drugs based on all the snorting (they say it was them fighting a cold…I call bullshit!!!)
You get the original demos of the songs from the album and then you get the Unfinished Symphonies. Songs and demos that were not finished at the time but they might have later seen the light of day in one form or fashion. For example, the first track called “Body Heat” sounds a lot like it became “In the Still of the Night”. It was also great to hear an early version of “Whisper a Prayer for the Dying”. This is my favorite disc of the 6.
Disc 7: DVD Videos
The DVD consisted of 4 music videos, a song from Pop of the Tops, a Promo video, a song from the “Live…In the Still of the Night” DVD and a song from “Live at Donington”. The videos were great as I hadn’t actually seen a couple of them. You also get the videos for the Jon Lord last show from Sweden that I mentioned earlier on Disc 4.
The last little bit on the DVD was an interview with Davide Coverdale discussing various topics related the band and the album. I won’t spoil it for you, you will need to watch for yourself.
60 Page Book:
As with all his box sets, David compiled another great book with loads of pictures of the band, articles about the band, magazine covers, essays on the band, reviews of the album and loads of band material. You get track by track information of each disc, line-up information and everything you need to know including info on the model on the cover. It is fantastic.
Slide It In Replica Tour Book:
You also get a mini-replica of the tour program from 1984. It is full of pictures and everything include in that original book. It is compact and awesome. Here is the centerfold…
And lastly, you get a wall poster of the album cover. Excuse all the lines as it was folded in the box set and will always be. This might be the last time I see it as I won’t display it and will keep it stored in the Box Set itself for safekeeping.
That is everything…wow. I am exhausted. What a blast it was exploring this album and deep diving in to everything. I didn’t go track by track as if you bought this you know the songs and this isn’t really a review of the album. That will come some day. This was a review of the Box Set. And as a score, it is another home run. David always does it right for these sets and this is no different. Other artist please take note on this and make sure you do something that provides as much for your money as David does. I will give this one a score of 4.25 out of 5.00 Stars. It does repeat the songs over and over, but the nuggets, the gems and the live show all put it over the top. Thanks again David. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for future releases.
Thanks for hanging around to the end. If you want to check out my reviews of other Whitesnake Box Sets, click below: