In the last few years, David Coverdale has been quite busy rehashing old material, but in a good way. He has brought us deluxe box sets for albums such as ‘Slide It In’, ‘1987’, ‘Slip of the Tongue’ and even ‘Unzipped’ the all acoustic box set. And thid year in 2021, we are supposed to get ‘Restless Heart’. But for now, he is rehashing old material yet again.
This time it is a series called ‘Red, White & Blue’ Trilogy. The Rock Album (White) was up first and then we got the Love Songs (Red) and now it is time for the The Blues Album (Blue, duh) which is our 40th Review in the David Coverdale Series. Crazy! Each album is really a glorified greatest hits album with its own theme and the titles give you those themes quite nicely. The big difference on these albums is more than just a remastering. The songs have been tinkered with and given a little touch-up with some re-mixing and even a little touch-up on arrangements and other little surprises. The songs aren’t completely re-imagined, thankfully it is no Bon Jovi “This Left Feels Right”. The songs are still very much recognizable, just enhanced ever so slightly.
This time around we get 14 Tracks and because of that, we aren’t going in to full detail song by song. We will highlight them as we go. The thing about these albums is they only cover a certain period of the band from 1984’s ‘Slide it In’ up to 2011’s ‘Forevermore’. Nothing off their latest album, 2019’s ‘Flesh & Blood” and strangely, this time there is nothing off 1989’s ‘Slip of the Tongue’ which is quite baffling. We do get a song from the bonus tracks on ‘Live in the Shadow of the Blues’ which is a nice treat. The biggest difference from this release and the other two are that there are NO new tracks on this one like the others. I’m a little disappointed by that aspect. There are also two tracks that appear on the other two which is another disappoint. Granted they are still a different mix than those other albums, but still.
The theme of the album is Blues so all the songs are sonically blues in nature…some more so than others. We do get some songs that are more rock and then blues, but there are hints of it in the guitar. One of the more rocking tracks is the opening song “Steal Your Heart Away” which is a beast and completely rocks out with the exception of the guitar has hints of Jimmy Page that blues sound he had. The mix on this brings those guitar to the forefront and cleans them up nicely. “Good to Be Bad” is more metal than blues, but Dave’s vocals seem to be enhanced to give them a more blues tone. “Give Me All Your Love” seems to only have been tweaked to give John Sykes guitars a little more punch.
The one track that was tweaked the most was “Take Me Back Again” which had Whitesnake current guitarists, Joel Hoekstra, adding a solo and keyboardist Derek Sherinian adding his own flair to the song as well. This is the most blues track so far and is plain killer. Side Two kicks off with the dirtiest, most awesome song, “Slow & Easy” seems to have an improved drum sound as damn, Cozy Powell is killing it and then “Too Many Tears” which was on the Love album prior, but here now sounds like more of a country & blues track with the guitar sound. The final track on the first LP is “Lay Down Your Love” and that opening sounds cleaner and doesn’t have the annoying echo opening as the original, a vast improvement and then that guitar comes in dang near blows the roof off this joint.
The second LP kicks up the blues with the opening track “The River Song” and is really what this album is about. The blues guitar playing is exceptional throughout especially that opening picking. And then to go in to “Whipping Boy Blues” is magical especially with the brand new opening with the frog and nature sounds. Takes you down to the swamp and really makes you feel the blues. Then we get the bonus track from “In the Shadow of the Blues” called “If You Want Me” and another brutally rocking track. The vocals have been improved with added textures and flavors. And lastly on this side we get “A Fool In Love” which is David doing the Blues the best. This side of the album has been what this album is all about. Perfection filled Blues Rock!!
The final side kicks off with the foot-stomping “Woman Trouble Blues” which has added come guitar to boost the song, but I have always loved the harmonica playing in the song which really adds that extra blues flair. It is all stellar. They slow things down with 1987’s “Looking for Love” which seems to have Sykes guitar cleaned up and clearer which no one would complain about. The final track is the classic “Crying in the Rain” which seems to have a slightly new beginning, some added guitar parts and a new ending that fades out with an echo added.
And there you have it. I think I like every track on here and the changes to the mix are all subtle and yet effective. Nothing strays far from the original and it is only enhancing the flavors of the song to give us the desired taste we are salivating over. He tweaked a pinch here and a dash there and gave us the best of the three albums in the trilogy. I will give it a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars only because no new tracks and two repeated songs from the other albums (although a different mix). I know for sure that this one and the Rock one will get played again and again depending on my mood as to which one. The Love album is good, but too much on the ballad side. I still think you need to pick up all three…why not!!!
The Red, White & Blue Trilogy is now complete. The Love Album, The Rock Album and now the Blues Album. What a thing of beauty…
Now we are waiting on the announcement of The Restless Heart Super Deluxe Box Set and now rumors are running rampant that David Coverdale and Jimmy Page are working on a Deluxe Edition of Coverdale/Page…ooooh!!! That would be awesome. And in the liner notes of the Blues Album he even talks about a Box Set for Good to Be Bad!!! Some interesting stuff coming the David Coverdale world. Until next time…
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 – “Is This Love” 12″ Promo (Bonus Review)
- 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)
- David Coverdale & Whitesnake – Restless Heart
- Whitesnake – Starkers in Tokyo
- David Coverdale – Into the Night
- Whitesnake – Live…In the Still of the Night (DVD)
- Whitesnake – Live…In the Shadow of the Blues
- Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
- Whitesnake – Forevermore
- Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990: Monsters of Rock
- Whitesnake – The Purple Album
- Whitesnake – The Purple Tour (Live)
- Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood
- Whitesnake – The Rock Album
- Whitesnake – Love Songs
- Whitesnake – The Blues Album
- Whitesnake – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
- David Coverdale – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
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)