Whitesnake – ‘Live at Hammersmith’ (1980) – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

I was watching Tim’s Vinyl Confessions a few week’s back and they were going through their Whitesnake vinyl and one of the guys had a Japanese Edition of Whitesnake’s ‘Live at Hammersmith’ and I don’t think I had seen it before. So, after the show ended, I went to Discogs and bought it from someone in Japan. I received a week later…yes, only a week from Japan. Heck, I can’t get things from the next town over that fast. And it lived up to expectations and then some. I mean just look at the cover with the deep rich green snake and the back cover is just as cool. This might be my favorite Whitesnake cover ever! It is so awesome.

‘Live at Hammersmith’ was recorded on November 23, 1978 at The Hammersmith Odeon in London. The album was only released in Japan back in November 1980 as a single disc vinyl. I say single disc vinyl, because this album is actually the 2nd LP on the 2LP edition of ‘Live…in the Heart of the City’. I don’t have the two LP version of that album. I have the single version which is the 1st LP which was recored in 1980 on June 23/24 at The Hammersmith Odeon in London as well. You can read that review at the links at the bottom of the page.

The version I received was in pretty great condition with minor wear & tear on the cover around the edges, but otherwise it is pristine. It comes with everything that came with it when it was originally sold back in 1980. It still has the OBI strip and even a red sticker on top of that as you can see below. It comes with the lyric sheet with one side in Japanese and the other in English as you can see from above. The hard to get thing sometimes is the Whitesnake sticker that came with it and at first I didn’t see it, but deep down inside the album jacket, there it was and you can see that further down as well. But the coolest thing that came that wasn’t part of the original packaging is that the seller threw in a Japanese single from this young lady, a Pokeman card and another little sticker (see that way down below). Totally unexpected and a really cool surprise.

But the music is why I really bought it as I didn’t have this show and I needed it. Early Whitesnake live is really awesome. The line up is made up of David Coverdale (of course), Micky Moody, Bernie Marsden, Neil Murray, Dave “Duck” Dowle and Jon Lord as the back album cover shows. The sticker below though has Ian Paice, but he didn’t really join until around 1979. So, enough talk about the band and the album itself, let us get to the music as we only have 6 songs to get through.

The album opens with “Come On” which is from the 1978 ‘Snakebite’ album and the band opens in grand fashion with rocking drums, duel guitars and Jon Lord on keyboard. The song is great and I love the two Deep Purple references in the song with “soldier of fortune” and “gypsy”. The guitar playing is great as you’d expect with this duo and Coverdale is prime form back in 1978, still young and very hungry. They go straight in to the Deep Purple song “Might Just Take Your Life” which sees both David and Bernie singing together. The song is from David’s time in Deep Purple from the ‘Burn’ album so no surprise they whip this one out. Sit back and enjoy that Jon Lord organ solo…damn that man can play!!

Then from the album ‘Trouble’ we get the upbeat, fast paced blast of a rocker “Lie Down” and David’s quick interaction would be so cancelled today!! But back then, the crowd ate it up. The song is a fun sexual romp and done like only Whitesnake can do. One of my favorite Whitesnake live songs isn’t a Whitesnake song. It is the Bobby Bland cover of “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”and was from the ‘Snakebite’ E.P. as well. It is soulful, bluesy and damn near perfection. It is a slow burner and the playing by everyone is so damn good. The guitar work on here is worth the price of admission alone. David is at his best in this style and he doesn’t disappoint as he garners all the emotion the song brings with it.

We flip things over and get right in to “Trouble”…not trouble as we did something wrong…but “Trouble” the song from the album of the same name. The solo on this one goes to Marsden and it is fantastic. He lays down some riffs that have great melody and you could sing along with it if you sing your solos…I do every so often. The song feels a little like Purple’s “Mistreated” or at least in the same realm of comparability for style and form. Which is funny because the next song on here is the epic “Mistreated” and we get over 10 minutes of bliss with the long instrumental breaks. And I will go on record and say I love David’s time with Deep Purple so anytime they play one of his tracks from that band is well worth it. It is a bluesy track with a slow grinding groove and then as the song moves along, it starts to build up to a climax.  Then the band goes in to a long, dynamic and fascinating instrumental break before seeing David come back in and losing his mind some more. The guitar work gets faster and louder, the drums pound a little more and the keyboard and bass pace picks up to a frenzy and then crashes with David’s final line of “I’ve been losing my mind”. DAMN!!

This show is fantastic even if it is only 6 tracks. It is old school Whitesnake when they were more a blues rock band then what came in the late 80’s (which wasn’t bad either. The guitar work of Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden were unmatched at the time and you throw in Jon Lord’s keyboard playing you get quite the powerhouse band. No one can touch Lord’s playing. And then Coverdale’s vocals were so fresh, yet gritty and bluesy and worked perfectly for this style. This is a showcase of greatness. My Overall Score is 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars easily…especially since it still has the OBI, the lyric sheet and the sticker! A fine set all around.

The David Coverdale Series:

  1. Deep Purple – Burn
  2. Deep Purple – Stormbringer
  3. Deep Purple – Come Taste the Band
  4. Deep Purple – Made in Europe
  5. David Coverdale – Whitesnake
  6. Deep Purple – Last Concert in Japan
  7. David Coverdale – Northwinds
  8. David Coverdale’s Whitesnake – Snakebite
  9. Whitesnake – Trouble
  10. Whitesnake – Lovehunter
  11. Whitesnake – Ready an’ Willing
  12. Whitesnake – “Fool For Your Loving” 7″ Single (Bonus Review)
  13. Whitesnake – Live at Hammersmith
  14. Whitesnake – Live…in the Heart of the City
  15. Whitesnake – Come An’ Get it
  16. Deep Purple – Live in London
  17. Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners
  18. Whitesnake – Slide It In
  19. Whitesnake – “Give Me More Time” 12″ Single (Bonus Review)
  20. Whitesnake – ‘The Best of Whitesnake (Bonus Review – 1982 release)
  21. Whitesnake – Whitesnake (1987)
  22. Whitesnake – “Is This Love” 12″ Promo (Bonus Review)
  23. Whitesnake – ‘Best’ (Greece Version)
  24. Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue
  25. David Coverdale – “The Last Note of Freedom” – Single Review
  26. Coverdale/Page – Coverdale/Page
  27. Coverdale/Page – “Take Me For A Little While 12” Single (Bonus Review)
  28. David Coverdale & Whitesnake – Restless Heart
  29. Whitesnake – Starkers in Tokyo
  30. David Coverdale – Into the Night
  31. Whitesnake – Live…In the Still of the Night (DVD)
  32. Whitesnake – Live…In the Shadow of the Blues
  33. Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
  34. Whitesnake – Forevermore
  35. Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990: Monsters of Rock
  36. Whitesnake – The Purple Album
  37. Whitesnake – The Purple Tour (Live)
  38. Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood
  39. Whitesnake – The Rock Album
  40. Whitesnake – Love Songs
  41. Whitesnake – The Blues Album
  42. Whitesnake – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
  43. David Coverdale – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Other David Coverdale Albums reviewed – (Box Sets and Bootlegs):

  1. Whitesnake – 1987 (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
  2. Whitesnake – Slide It In (35th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
  3. Whitesnake – Unzipped – Box Set
  4. Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
  5. Whitesnake (Snake) – Still of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987 (Bootleg)

12 thoughts on “Whitesnake – ‘Live at Hammersmith’ (1980) – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

  1. Great mail service from Japan! Now this is a cool score. Whitesnake 78 was a band of hippies by that pic included. lol. You really can’t beat Come On as a concert opener now can ya? Such a killer track. Awesome writeup Sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice find. The cover is really cool.

    It’s too bad No love in the heart of the city is a cover. Coverdale and co. do such a good job with that song.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel kind of dumb since I was looking forward to this post, but as I was reading I was like “wait…I have this already.” It’s in a CD box set of the old stuff I have and I just totally forgot about it. But the Japanese LP is a very nice score regardless, and it looks like you’re also ready to school some kids on the battlefield of Pokemon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Don’t feel dumb, there was a I time I didn’t realize that was the same album. I actually want the CD box set you are talking about. That will complete my Whitesnake CD collection. And I don’t even know what Pokeman really is. Never played.


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