The Deep Purple tour for the album, ‘Come Taste the Band’ ended in March of 1976. After that tour, we saw the end of Deep Purple as the band called it quits (at least until the early 80’s). David Coverdale was now without a band, but music was still in his blood and new music was ready to come out. In August of that year, David entered the studio and recorded his debut solo album called ‘White Snake’.
Hmmm…that name rings a bell. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, the album name would become the inspiration for his band name which would come a couple years later. For now, we will focus on the album, ‘Whitesnake’.
The album was released on February 9, 1977 and the album cover featured David on the cover with a “white” snake curled up behind him ready to strike. The album I have is actually a 1988 release consisting of a 2LP set with both ‘Whitesnake’ and David’s follow-up solo album ‘Northwinds’ which we will discuss later. The package was a gatefold and consisted of commentary by Mark Rutherford.
The album was produced by ex-Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover which is a cool Purple connection. But as we know with David, he likes to attract great guitarists and use them to help him write the songs. On this album, that guitarists was Micky Moody formerly of the band Juicy Lucy. Moody and Coverdale wrote 4 of the 9 songs together and this pattern of finding great guitarists would continue on until today (2019).
The band featured as mentioned earlier, guitarist Micky Moody along with keyboardist Tim Hinckley, bassist De Lisle Harper, and drummer Simon Phillips. The album also includes some great background singers such as Liza Strike, Helen Chappelle, and Barry St. John. The band was complete and the album was ready. So, let us not waste any more time and get to the songs.
The album kicks off with the song “Lady” which is more of an R&B infused rocker. It doesn’t jump out at you like the Purple albums did with “Burn” and “Stormbringer”, but this isn’t Deep Purple anymore. You get Moody’s guitar parts sliding in and out along with a horn section to help with the R&B feel. It is a decent opening track and lets you know David has his own direction he wants to go.
“Blindman” is up next and brings us one of the best songs on the album. The song is a blues track that really highlights vocal talents. It sounds like early Whitesnake and could even be a Bad Company song. It has a slow burn at first before igniting into a scorcher of a song.
David sticks with the bluesy and R&B feel with “Goldies Place” which even throws in a lot of funked up bass which he probably picked up from Glenn Hughes influence. The song is interesting and that is all I can say. It didn’t connect with the me at all and I am not sure what he was trying to do with it as it meandered on and on not really going anywhere.
One of the cheesiest songs on the album is also one of my favorites and it is the title track “Whitesnake”. It is a straight-up rocker filled with sexual innuendos and would fit in nicely with any late 80’s Whitesnake songs. It was a preview of things to come. This became the blueprint of Whitesnake and not a bad place to start.
Side Two kicks off with “Time on My Side”. It starts off with a quiet piano before a cool Moody guitar riff and becoming more uptempo keyboard piece. I think I read that this was written for ‘Come Taste the Band’, glad it wasn’t included as it didn’t really fit with that one It isn’t a bad song, it feels a little all over the place kinda like the whole album.
“Peace Lovin’ Man” is another highlight of Coverdale’s vocals. It seems to be a little gospel influenced with the keyboard and background singers. But it is David singing and not screaming…a nice change. I even love the saxophone towards the end. Very different and very cool.
Up next is “Sunny Days” which seems to be about the good times in his Purple years although brief. It is upbeat and more melodic than the rest. The piano tempo keeps with the title and making you feel sunny. Full of horns and background singers, it is a fun time had by all. Moody has a solo which is fairly understated like most of the album is as it doesn’t feel like a guitar heavy album.
“Hole in the Sky” is a piano ballad and we all know how David loves his ballads. It is soulful in delivery and a fine vocal performance. It was released as a single, but didn’t do anything and probably disappeared as quick. I can see why, it isn’t his best ballad as he seems to be trying too hard to come across as being heartfelt.
The final track is called “Celebration”. An uptempo jazz infused song coming at you with all the funk it can muster. I am not sure if it is Kool & the Gang or David Coverdale. Totally crazy song to end the album with as it completely doesn’t fit on the album. Not a bad song…but maybe more of bonus track.
- Lady – Keeper
- Blindman – Keeper
- Goldies Place – Delete
- Whitesnake – Keeper
- Time on My Side – Keeper
- Peace Lovin’ Man – Keeper
- Sunny Days – Keeper
- Hole in the Sky – Delete
- Celebration – Delete
The track score is 6 out 9 or 67% which isn’t a bad score. The album was a little all over the place in styles and it seemed David didn’t really know what direction he wanted to take. He was still discovering who he was as a songwriter and a singer. Musically, the album was understated as I said earlier. The music was there as a background and no real highlights or stand out moments.
There were some fantastic songs such as “Blindman”, “Whitesnake” and “Peace Lovin’ Man” which I think hold up even today. It was a pretty decent first effort and a hint at was to come. This will get listened to again and as a result, I will give it a 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars. It is always cool to see where an artist began and this is a good starting point for David. It makes me excited to venture in to the next chapters of his career.
Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think and I hope you come back again for the next one in the series.
Up next…Deep Purple – ‘Last Concert in Japan’.
The David Coverdale Series:
- Deep Purple – Burn
- Deep Purple – Stormbringer
- Deep Purple – Come Taste the Band
- Deep Purple – Made in Europe
- David Coverdale – Whitesnake
Other David Coverdale Albums reviewed – (Box Sets and Bootlegs):
- Whitesnake – 1987 (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Slide It In (35th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Unzipped – Box Set
- Whitesnake (Snake) – Still of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987 (Bootleg)