Recording of the ‘Slide it Album started some time in 1983 and this time around Eddie Kramer was on hand to handle productions duties. And let’s just say things did not go well, but was it a band problem (as there were ton of those) or a producer problem, I don’t know. But Eddie was replaced with longtime Snake producer Martin Birch.
The band problems were many on this record and for this tour. Micky Moody was back and recorded the album, but things did not go well on tour and David became an ass to Micky and he had enough and quit after the European tour and his last gig was in October 1983, prior to the release of ‘Slide It In’. His replacement was John Sykes who was the guitar player for Thin Lizzy at the time.
At the same time Sykes was brought on board, Colin Hodgkinson was let go as the bass player and former Whitesnake bass player Neil Murray was brought back in to the fold. Cozy Powell was now the drummer as Ian Paice had left after the last album and then Jon Lord left in 1984 to go reform Deep Purple so Richard Bailey was brought in to fill in. The band was in complete disarray during this time. It is amazing anything got done.
The album was released in the UK in January 1984 and did really well going to #9, but the album wasn’t out in the US. They signed a deal with Geffen Records and David Geffen didn’t like the mix of the album. As a result, he had it remixed for US audiences and as a result again, John Sykes re-recorded all the guitar parts and even changed up some solos. Neil Murray redid the bass parts and keyboardist, Bill Cuomo, added some more keyboard parts. The song order was changed and the keyboards and bass sound were lowered a little so the guitar and drums could be more at the front of the mix. Thanks to Keith Olsen, the mix was updated and then released in the US in March 1984.
The album would only hit #40 on the Billboard charts, but when the next album, ‘1987’ came out, this album soon went double platinum shortly thereafter. It finally got the appreciation it deserved. The album we will discuss here is the US Mix of the album since that is the one I have on vinyl.
The opening riff on “Slide it In” had a whole AC/DC vibe to it and then David comes in and attacks the song with a soulful, blues filled vocal and immediately the album grabs hold and won’t let go. The UK version started with “Gambler” and “Slide it In” is the much better choice for me. The song fit the time and is no holds bar rocking rack.
Then right on its heels is “Slow An’ Easy” which is an even bluesier track that just feels so dirty and nasty. The guitar riff is a classic now and so easily recognizable. This the only song written with David and Micky Moody and probably the best on the album. David is at his finest with his vocals and his delivery is so precise and fits his blues vocals perfectly. However, it is Powell’s drum fills and that kick drum beat that really takes this song to the next level. At this point in my reviews with Whitesnake, this might be the song they have done. The song went to #17 in the US and Whitesnake finally had their big hit in the US. Now the biggest difference between the US mix and the UK mix is there is a little more echo in the US mix.
And if that wasn’t enough, we now go in to “Love Ain’t No Stranger”. This song is the closest we will get to a power ballad on the album. It opens with Jon Lord on the keyboards playing softly and the David comes in with a lot of emotion in his vocals before an acoustic guitar. It starts off slow, but kicks in hard and heavy and blows out your speakers. It goes back and forth a couple times between the soft and hard, but to me is really a rocking track and not really a ballad. This song hit #34 in the US giving them two Top 40 hits.
“All or Nothing” comes at you with some heavy riffs and reminds of Rainbow. It it one of the heaviest songs on the album and is really a ballbuster. David attacks it vocally and the band is really having a good time with this one.
The first side ends with the UK’s opening track, “The Gambler”. The biggest difference between the two is that the UK’s version has echo after every line David sings. The US version does not. The song showcases Jon Lord and a great rhythm section of Powell and Murray for my version. It is driving song as it feels it is pushing forward in motion. It has duel solos with Lord and Galley and David sounds on point and seems to get better as he goes. A perfect end to a perfect Side One!
Side two starts with a band with “Guilty of Love” which is a bombastic thrill ride. It is the only song produced by Eddie Kramer. It is a fun ride, a little repetitive, but still a rocking track. The UK version has a dual guitar solo, but the US version is all John Sykes. This song is different than anything on the first side, but it works on so many levels.
“Hungry for Love” is back to the more blues rock sound and some great guitar playing. It is a straight ahead rocker and David’s vocals are meant to sing this type of song. A simple tune that plays well and fits nicely in to the mix.
“Give Me More Time” kicks off with some fine guitar work and has great playing throughout as well as some brilliant drumming by Cozy Powell. It is very melodic and fits in David’s wheelhouse. This one will get a special edition all its own next week.
Whitesnake has always been criticized for their sleazy lyrics full of womanizing references and this next song does nothing to dispel that feeling. “Spit It Out” is as sleazy as they come. Sometimes that sleaziness is over the top and it doesn’t work, but this works with flying colors and another favorite on the album. The guitar playing is sensational and Powell’s drumming is great yet again. It is an all around blast of a song.
The album ends with “Standing in the Shadows” which is a little darker in tone and might be one of David’s best songs. I love the chorus with the backing vocals, it is nicely done. It has a driving rhythm section and the songs moves forward with ease and a wonderful melody. A fine song to end the album.
- Slide It In – Keeper
- Slow An’ Easy – Keeper
- Love Ain’t No Stranger – Keeper
- All Or Nothing – Keeper
- Gambler – Keeper
- Guilty of Love – Keeper
- Hungry For Love – Keeper
- Give Me More Time – Keeper
- Spit It Out – Keeper
- Standing in the Shadow – Keeper
The track score on this album is a perfect 10 out 10 for a 100% score. Will that correlate to a perfect 5.0 score? Why yes it will. I will rate the overall album a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars. This is the strongest album the band has done to date and there is nothing wrong with any of it. Yes, Side One is stronger, but Side Two is still filled with fantastic, rocking songs. Whitesnake found its groove despite the turmoil within the band. And that turmoil will continue for a little while longer.
Up next…Bonus Edition – Whitesnake – ‘Give Me More Time” – 12″ Single.
The David Coverdale Series:
- Deep Purple – Burn
- Deep Purple – Stormbringer
- Deep Purple – Come Taste the Band
- Deep Purple – Made in Europe
- David Coverdale – Whitesnake
- Deep Purple – Last Concert in Japan
- David Coverdale – Northwinds
- David Coverdale’s Whitesnake – Snakebite
- Whitesnake – Trouble
- Whitesnake – Lovehunter
- Whitesnake – Ready an’ Willing
- Whitesnake – Live…in the Heart of the City
- Whitesnake – Come An’ Get it
- Deep Purple – Live in London
- Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners
- Whitesnake – Slide It In
- Whitesnake – “Give Me More Time” 12″ Single (Bonus Review)
- Whitesnake – ‘The Best of Whitesnake (Bonus Review – 1982 release)
- Whitesnake – Whitesnake (1987)
- Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue
- David Coverdale – “The Last Note of Freedom” – Single Review
- Coverdale/Page – Coverdale/Page
- Coverdale/Page – “Take Me For A Little While 12” Single (Bonus Review)
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 – Slip of the Tongue (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake (Snake) – Still of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987 (Bootleg)