Whitesnake – ‘The Purple Tour (Live)’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

We are now to the final Live album I will be reviewing for the band.  Since their reunion back in 2003, Whitesnake has overloaded the general public with Live albums.  Seven to be exact!!  Now, those seven do cover several eras of the band, but still Seven!!  The Purple Tour Live album is the latest and it covers an era of the band I have yet reviewed for a live album…the Joel Hoekstra era.  Yes, I define my eras by the lead guitarists.  I know Reb is still one of those guitarists, but this is Joel’s first.

And interesting note, do you know who the longest running member of Whitesnake is aside from David, of course?  That is right, it is Reb Beach.  He has been with the band for 18 years.  Then Tommy Aldridge would be a close second although his years were not consistent years like Reb, he was in and out 3 times.  The current line-up is as follows:

  • David Coverdale – vocals
  • Reb Beach – guitar
  • Joel Hoestra – guitar
  • Tommy Aldridge – drums
  • Michelle Luppi – keyboards
  • Michael Devin – bass

And it is a pretty solid line-up.

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Tuesday’s Memes – The Grateful Dead

I was working from home due to Covid-19 and I was going through a bunch of old vinyl in a crate I picked up about a year ago and hadn’t been through them all. There was a Grateful Dead album in there so I popped it on.  It skipped like a mother-fucker so I had to trash it.  Oh well!  But it got me to thinking, I haven’t done a Grateful Dead memes collection yet.  So here you go, here a handful I found on the internet and pieced together for you.  I hope you enjoy them.  If not, smoke a few and maybe that will help!!

Political…

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Truthful…

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Religious…

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High!!!

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Pooh High…

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Jerry…

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Phil…

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The Rules…

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Rat…

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And the Cat…

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There you are my friends…peace out!

The Original vs. The Cover – “It’s My Life”

For this episode of ‘The Original vs. The Cover”, we are discussing the song “It’s My Life” by the band Talk Talk and the cover by No Doubt.  Both were big hits for the respective bands with Talk Talk’s version going to #31 on the Billboard Charts while the No Doubt version went as high as #10 and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal…they didn’t win.

“It’s My Life” came about due to Mark Hollis’ wanting to assert his independence from his record label and because he didn’t want to be swayed by the popular public opinion.  He wanted to do things his own way.  The song was his manifesto that it is his life and he will do what he wants to know, not what anyone tells him to do.  The song performed well enough in the states that it actually earned him enough freedom to do things his way going forward.  And I don’t remember them doing much else in the States after this.  How’d that work out for you Mark???

No Doubt was on a slight break as Gwen was recording here debut solo album, but they wanted to get some material out so they thought of putting out a greatest hits album.  They wanted to a new song on it, but didn’t want to take time to write a new song.  So they narrowed the prospects of 100’s of songs down to “It’s My Life” and the INXS song “Don’t Change”…we see which one won out or we wouldn’t be discussing this song right now would we.  Let’ get to the music.

TALK TALK

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Talk Talk’s song “It’s My Life” is a heavy synthesizer song as that is what type of music they played.  They were part of the New Wave of music that was going on in the early 80’s along with band’s like Duran Duran and other two name bands.  It is not a real happy, upbeat song.  It has a slow groove driven by a bass riff and electronic drum beats bathed in synth sounds including some synth horns. It is not meant to be a pure dance song as it is expressing a person’s independence.  It has a serious feel to the song, a warmth.

Mark Hollis doesn’t sing with gusto or scream out the lyrics, he sings with a darkness to his vocals.  His delivery is a little monotone at times and a little dreary, an almost dreamlike state as he spews his thoughts and feelings out about how this is his life and don’t you forget it.  It is an interesting delivery which evokes power and I think quite effective.

NO DOUBT

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No Doubt doesn’t change too much on the song.  The song still is a lot of electronic synths with just a more updated sound for the 21st Century.  It seems to be a little more uptempo.  The high pitched blips and beeps of the original are not here, but there is more cool electronic bass riff on occasion and the drum beats are so simple and yet just what the song needs.  They keep the darker feel to the song and it still has that serious vibe that they have something important to say.

Gwen’s vocal delivery is quite different, mainly as she is a woman, but she sings with a little more gusto, especially on the chorus.  She has an almost whiny, slight nasally sound to her vocals.  The is ‘no doubt’ that Gwen has the chops to turn the song in to a song that feels like it is No Doubt while being so true and honest to the original.

THE VERDICT

This was a tough choice as I’m really not a fan of either song.  I don’t own any Talk Talk album and as far as No Doubt, once I heard “Hellagood” and “Hey Baby”, there was nothing from them that would be remotely as good.  But since I picked this song to discuss, I will pick a best song of the two. I am going to go with Mark Hollis’ version with his band Talk Talk.  The reason is the song meant something to them.  It was a manifesto.  They wanted to do things their way and not be force fed instructions from a label.  No Doubt already had that so the heart wasn’t there.  So Talk Talk and the Original win out this go round.

I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs.  Let me know which version you like the best and why.  Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

“It’s My Life”

Funny how I find myself in love with you
If I could buy my reasoning I’d pay to lose
One half won’t do
I’ve asked myself, how much do you
Commit yourself

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
It’s my life
It never ends (it never ends)

Funny how I blind myself, I never knew
If I was sometimes played upon, afraid to lose
I’d tell myself, what good do you do
Convince myself

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
It’s my life
It never ends (it never ends)

I’ve asked myself, how much do you
Commit yourself?

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
Caught in the crowd
It never ends

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
Caught in the crowd
It never ends

It’s my life
Don’t you forget
Caught in the crowd
It never ends
 
Written by Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene

My Sunday Song – “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” by Whitesnake

For My Sunday Song #201, we are kicking off the next set of 10 songs with this batch from Whitesnake to celebrate as I am coming to the end of my David Coverdale Review Series which started back last August.  To kick it off we are going all the way back to the first release of the band on the album ‘Snakebite’ with the song “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City”.

One of the first songs Whitesnake did was actually a cover song.  It was a cover of Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” written by Michael Price and Dan Wise.  The song is now a signature Whitesnake classic as they are still known to pull this one out and play it live all thanks to the live version from ‘Live…in the Heart of the City’, but this is about the studio version recorded a few years earlier.  Before Whitesnake became this hair metal giant, they were more a rock & soul band that loved the blues.  This was a shining example of that passion.

This love song is down and dirty, a blues infused rock song slowed down into a beautiful ballad full of soul.  Between Micky Moody’s hook that is filled with sorrow and along with a little funk filled groove from Bernie Marsden’s guitar and Neil Murray’s bass you are treated to what made early Whitesnake so magical.   Oh, and the solo…wow!  It fit the song so well and pulled out even more emotion if that was even possible.  Now, let’s not forget David Coverdale’s vocals as the tone he is able to pull out as he sings is so well suited for some soulful blues. There is just enough character and maturity to grasp the emotional feel of the song and give you everything the song needs.

R-2034464-1275467801.jpeg Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” by Whitesnake”

Friday New Releases – June 19th, 2020

Welcome back, you made it through another week and you should be proud as who knows what the world threw at us this week as each week it seems to be something worse than the last.  But at least the world is giving us some new music and that makes it all better.  There are a handful of new music I am looking forward to getting and those are marked in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in, if anything, and tell me what I missed.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

  • 81Lc7IrBXqL._SX522_  Whitesnake – The ROCK Album (2020 Remix) – (Saltburn / Rhino):  In the first of 3 albums in a new series by Whitesnake, the Rock album is a bunch of remixes of old songs with one new one I believe.  The other two will be out later in the year and in to next year are The Love Album and The Blues Album.  I am glad the Rock starts it all off.  This will finish up my David Coverdale Review series nicely until the other albums come out that is.

  • download-12  Switchfoot – Covers E.P. – (Fantasy Records / Concord):  Ah, I love me some Switchfoot and although not an album of new material, we get a small collection of cover songs.  At least these aren’t your standard fare. You get a cover from Frank Ocean, The Chainsmokers, Vampire Weekend and more.  Should be interesting.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – June 19th, 2020”

Kiss – ‘Hotter Than Hell’ (1974) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

After the poor sales of the debut Kiss album and the fact that Casablanca was bleeding money on the tour, Neil Bogart wanted the band to get back in to the studio to record their next album.  While on Los Angeles for a show in August of 1974, Kiss started recording their follow-up.  The band’s line-up was unchanged and the producers were unchanged as Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise were behind the boards again.  And yes, they are to blame for the awful sonics on this record, especially the dull drum sound.

Let me tell you, the band was not thrilled with doing this album in L.A.  These guys are New York guys and this whole new environment was foreign to them and not home.  Put that along side the fact they have had zero time to write new songs, they weren’t being setup to succeed.  They plowed through and by October 22, 1974, the album was released and actually performed worse than the debut album which is no easy feat as that one did poorly.

Before we go in to the music, can we talk about that cover?  Of course we can, it’s my blog.  I remember seeing this cover as kid of maybe 7 or 8 and thinking how cool this was with all the Japanese writing (now not sure I really knew it was Japanese, but it was still cool).  The album concept was done to mimic the look of Japanese comics and if you notice that little character at the bottom…

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That character stands for the word “Chikara” and if you know that then you know that is the name of a greatest hits package by the band that was only released in Japan in 1988.  It is on my grail list to get a copy.  If you are interested, “Chikara” means power. And there were other Japanese lettering on the album cover. The lettering in the top right corner of the album actually means “the shout of hell” which isn’t the same as “hotter than hell”, but not sure if that was the intent or not. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Hotter Than Hell’ (1974) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Whitesnake – ‘The Purple Album’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After too many live albums released, the band finally decided to do another album.  Before that could happen, they needed a replacement guitarist as Doug Aldrich left the band on May 9th of 2014 after more than 10 years with the band.  One of the longest stretches of any guitarist.  I believe he left to go play with The Dead Daisies and do his own thing.

A replacement now needed to be found and it was about 3-4 months later that Joel Hoekstra was tagged as the replacement guitarist.  Joel had been playing with Night Ranger previously and he figured this was a higher profit (I mean higher profile) band and he is not wrong about that.  Joel is fantastic and he has his own solo stuff as well as playing with Cher and TSO for their Christmas Tours.  The rest of the line-up is as follows:

  • David Coverdale – vocals
  • Reb Beach – guitar
  • Tommy Aldridge – drums
  • Michael Devin – bass
  • Joel Hoekstra – guitar

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Now that the band was fully staffed again, a new album was in the works.  This time around, thankfully not a live album, but it was only a covers album.  Not just any covers album, no that had been done a million times, this one focused on only one band.  Deep Purple!  David decided he wanted to record a Deep Purple collection of the best songs from his era of that famous band.  The funny thing about this is that David tried so hard to not mention or play anything from Purple while being Whitesnake from the eaerly 90’s and back.  You never heard a song by Purple in the setlist.  That changed in the late 90’s when a song or two would show up.  Now, David wanted to pay tribute and an homage to that wonderful time in his life.  Continue reading “Whitesnake – ‘The Purple Album’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)”

Tuesday’s Memes – Radiohead

I will admit, I know nothing about Radiohead.  Maybe I’m not smart enough to get them, or actually, maybe I’m too smart to get them…who know.  Either way, I guess they deserve a meme’s collection just as much as the next band even if I could care less about them.  I have no idea if any of these are funny or what they really mean, because as I said earlier, I’m not a fan.  Let me know if these were any good.

The albums…

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tumblr_ot1l2m5dTi1wucjj9o1_1280 Continue reading “Tuesday’s Memes – Radiohead”

Train – ‘California 37’ – Album Review

With working at home during the Covid-19 lockdowns, I have pulled out a lot of my vinyl and gave it a spin.  This was one I hadn’t listened to in a couple years and when I did, I remembered that this was the last great album Train had done.  At this point, Train was down to only 3 members, Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood.  My wife and I had met them a couple years earlier on the ‘Save Me, San Francisco’ Tour and they were super nice and they are kind of “our” band.  They were anyway, now it is the Pat Monahan show as he is the only original member left, but that is another story for another day.

What we loved about the band is really the songs.  Lyrically, Pat is a master at slipping in pop culture references in to the lyrics and the band can write some hooks and pretty damn catchy choruses.  It is wonderful, pop music.  And this album, the band outdid themselves with all of the above.  They did bring in some outside writers, but Pat was still the driving force behind them as they are usually very personal songs to him.  He spent three years writing the album while on tour for the previous items and they all reflect pieces of his life in some way or fashion.

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The album is called “California 37” which is a State Highway in Northern San Francisco which the band seems to call home.  The road was often used to get to gigs and they even broke down on it and what band hasn’t done that on the way to a gig.  The album has this light, California vibe to it and it makes you feel good as you listen.  From the opening track, “This’ll Be My Year” you know you are in for a treat. The song travels through his years in life and is a bio of his life and completely filled with Pop Culture references so you can put the year’s in to perspective.  It is brilliant.  It has the classic line…”I stopped believing, although Journey told me don’t”. Continue reading “Train – ‘California 37’ – Album Review”

My Sunday Song – “Livin’ On A Prayer” – Bon Jovi

For My  Sunday Song #200 and the final in the Bon Jovi set of 10 songs, we are discussing the classic song, “Livin’ On A Prayer”.  The song is off the band’s mulit-platinum selling album ‘Slippery When Wet’.  The song was the second single off the album and the second to go all the way to #1. The song and the album put Bon Jovi in to super star status and nothing would be the same afterwards.

The song was written by Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi with a lot of help from songwriter Desmond Child who was brought in by the record label to help the boys finish the album and work on some songs.  The song is loosely based on Desmond and his girl-friend as she worked in a Diner, but he was a taxi driver and not working at the docks.  It was that Blue Collar feel to the song that made it resonate with so many people.  It was a time when Bon Jovi actually wrote songs that told a story that connected with people and not try to write just to make a hit.

However, after recording it, Jon didn’t really like the song and wanted to leave it off the album.  Richie thought it was great and convinced Jon to re-work the song.  It was much improved by changing the bass line and recording with Hugh McDonald and not Alec John Such.  Funny thing, Hugh would become a band member less than 10 years later (unofficially of course).  Richie also added a talk box to the guitar to give it that extra boost in the same way Peter Frampton used it and made it famous.  The song was turned in to a complete masterpiece.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Livin’ On A Prayer” – Bon Jovi”