David Coverdale & Whitesnake – ‘Restless Heart’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

Whitesnake remained dormant for quite a while.  But in 1994, the band released a greatest hits album and ended up doing a short tour that included David Coverdale, Adrian Vandenberg, Warren DeMartini (RATT), Denny Carmassi (Coverdale/Page) and Rudy Sarzo.  The tour was short and the band disappeared again shortly there after.

I know I am skipping a Deep Purple live album that came out between ‘Coverdale/Page’ and ‘Restless Heart’, but I am trying to not repeat live shows with the same line up.  The  Purple release ‘California Jammin’ was released in 1996 and has the Mark III line-up which I covered on ‘Made in Europe’ so I don’t feel the need to cover them again. I hope you are okay with that choice…I know I am.

Now on to the next Whitesnake album.  Okay, not really.  This isn’t a Whitesnake album.  It is a David Coverdale solo album that the record company made him add the Whitesnake name in to the title and that is why it reads David Coverdale & Whitesnake.  When you hear it, you will agree, this isn’t Whitesnake.

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The new album does have Adrian Vandenberg and we finally get an album that he actually plays on with David.  But it is not what you expect.  The dual guitars of Whitesnake are not there.  The playing is very understated on most of the songs and it is not a guitar heavy album at all.  No sir.  It is back to the early R&B and Blues roots for this one.

 

Adrian and David wrote most of the album together and the band for this album included Carmassi on drums and then added Guy Pratt on bass and Brett Tuggle on keyboards.  The band had a label in Europe and Japan, but the U.S. market never had an official release of this album. After the tour of this album, Whitesnake would end yet again.  David decided to shelve the band one more time and it would be 10 years before we got another Studio album from the band.  I don’t know what happened, but it can’t be good for David to hang it up so fast.  He wasn’t happy at all with the turnout of the album and tour.

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It was a very hard album for me to wrap my head around and I am not positive I am fully there yet, but it is time to write the review as I have spent the last 2-3 weeks trying to absorb this album.  And on that sour note, let’s get to the music.

From the opening song, “Don’t Fade Away” you knew this was going to be different.  It was soft, full of keyboards, a soft drum beat and it was a ballad. An opening track as a ballad…baffling.  It is a nice song though, it is evident that the bombast of the last 3 releases is over.  David is putting that behind him.  This one isn’t a complete throwback to the earlier Snake sound,  but is in that direction.  Adrian pulls out a nice solo to keep the “Power” in power ballad and David sounds quite pleasant with his emotive vocals.

Then comes “All in the Name of Love” which has a mixture of 80’s/90’s pop soul sound.  A little blues vibe as well in the guitar sound, but the song falls flat for me.  It is too generic and familiar sounding and not in a good way.  There is no good hook to grab you and I felt empty.

The title track, “Restless Heart”, finally brings life to the album.  Great opening guitar riff and the song has some punch.  David’s soulful-filled vocals on the opening lyrics turn into the David we love throughout the rest.  The song is more of what we are used to hearing from the band, and honestly what I love the most.  This song gave me some hope in the album.

Then it was immediately back to the ballad with “Too Many Tears”.  This tune had a great blues guitar sound and harkened back to days of old with the band and is actually a welcome sound.  Adrian throws these little bits throughout that really add to the song and feel and his solo helps make the song as well.  And let’s not forget David as this is one of his best performances on the album.  He digs deep and goes so soulful and feels right at home.  The album is a little full of ballad type songs, but this one is worth it.  It was the lead off single, so the band felt that way as well.

“Crying” takes us full on blues and David gets down and dirty as does Adrian’s badass riff.  The grit in David’s vocals and Adrian’s playing is so gritty and sleazy that it makes me feel like I need a shower and I loved it.  This song feels like it could be on Slide It In or anything earlier.  A total kick ass song.

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Next up is a cover of Lorraine Ellison’s song “Stay With Me” (written by Jerry Ragovoy and George David Weiss).  The original is a soul song from 1966 and David captures the feel and essence of the song with the vocals and tones of the song.  It starts off a little slow with a nice groove and as it builds in volume and tempo, David adds some gravelly bits to the vocals to get the emotion across.  The band nails this song.

“Can’t Go On” was yet another blues and ballad song.  A slow groove and nothing flamboyant, just a simple song.  There is something catchy about it despite its simplicity.  Maybe that is it.  There isn’t much here, but a low toned guitar solo by Adrian and David’s vocals and that is enough.

We get a little pick me up with “You’re So Fine” and it is a happy tune which a few and far between on this album.  Being 1997, this song feels like an 80’s track that seems to be pop and rock mixed together. Maybe a sounds a little like John Parr.  A little of David’s womanizing songs that might have been a left over off any of the 3 previous Whitesnake albums.  It isn’t a bad song, but not over-the-top great either.  Just fun.

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“Your Precious Love” slows it back down and by this time, I am tired of the ballads.  This one is generic and boring and very skippable.  So enough said about it.

Things don’t pick up tempo wise with “Take Me Back Again”.  It is a pure blues track and David ends up screaming a few verses and Adrian’s playing is nasty at times as he shows off his blues playing.  The tempo picks up a little and David is giving it his all on vocals and saves the song.  I didn’t want another slow song, but this one turned out okay with Adrian’s playing and David’s vocals…mostly Adrian’s playing.

And the album is completely saved with the final track “Woman Trouble Blues”. This song sounds like it was a leftover from Coverdale Page with the Page-like guitar sound and the electric harmonica played by Elk Thunder (yes, that is his name).  It feels so Zeppelin like and Adrian captures Page’s essence.  Might be my favorite song on the album so what a way to go out.  Even David sounds like he did on that album.  Now I want to go back and hear Coverdale Page again!!

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Fade Away – Keeper
  2. All in the Name of Love – Delete
  3. Restless Heart – Keeper
  4. Too Many Tears – Keeper
  5. Crying – Keeper
  6. Stay With me – Keeper
  7. Can’t Go On – Delete
  8. You’re So Fine – Keeper
  9. Your Precious Love – Delete
  10. Take Me Back Again – Keeper
  11. Woman Trouble Blues – Keeper

The track score is 8 out of 11 tracks or 73%.  The album does take me back to the early blues and R&B Whitesnake albums, but still keeps a little of the modern sound.  The album had too many slow tracks which would be my biggest complaint.  It won’t be one I go back to a lot, but it still has some memorable tracks that are essential to the Whitesnake family such as Woman Trouble Blues, Restless Heart and Too Many Tears to name a few.  Overall my rating is going to be a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars.  Maybe not the best, but still enough on the bone to give it a try.

Up next…Whitesnake – ‘Starkers in Tokyo’

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 – Live…in the Heart of the City
  13. Whitesnake – Come An’ Get it
  14. Deep Purple – Live in London
  15. Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners
  16. Whitesnake – Slide It In
  17. Whitesnake – “Give Me More Time” 12″ Single (Bonus Review)
  18. Whitesnake – ‘The Best of Whitesnake (Bonus Review – 1982 release)
  19. Whitesnake – Whitesnake (1987)
  20. Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue
  21. David Coverdale – “The Last Note of Freedom” – Single Review
  22. Coverdale/Page – Coverdale/Page
  23. Coverdale/Page – “Take Me For A Little While 12” Single (Bonus Review)
  24. David Coverdale & Whitesnake – Restless Heart

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)

Friday New Releases – March 27th

What a crazy month March has been and thank good it is almost over.  If you are still home cooped up from this whole virus thing, then here are some new releases you can get to help pass the time as I am sure you will need it.  Some good stuff for me this week, but don’t know about you.  Hopefully and if so, let me know what you want to hear, buy or don’t care about.  Also, let me know what I might have missed that people should know about.  My choices are in blue.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

  • 815RjVdY3AL._AC_UL115_  Pearl Jam – Gigaton – (Monkeywrench/Republic/UMG):  I was never a huge Pearl Jam fan, I’m not afraid to admit it.  But it doesn’t mean I don’t like them.  I heard the first song off this and I have to say it is pretty great.  I think I will try out the whole thing.  It is nice to see one of those 90’s Grunge bands still be kicking and Eddie is the only singer left and we are thankful for that.

  • 81RpqUX-rZL._SS500_  Tesla – Five Man London Jam (Live at Abbey Road Studios 6/12/19) – (Universal Music): Okay, Tesla had huge success with an acoustic album like 30 years ago.  Are they hoping to recapture that magic?  Who knows, but I will give it a listen like I do everything they put out.  Buying it?  We will have to wait and see.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – March 27th”

H.E.A.T. – ‘H.E.A.T. II’ – Album Review

Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T. are now on their sixth studio album simply titled ‘II’.  The band unapologetically deliver a melodic rock album that is a throwback to the 80’s hard rock scene while moving straight into the new decade of 2020. 

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They check off every box in a hard rock style I grew up with and loved…

  • Blistering guitar driven songs – “Dangerous Ground”
  • Anthemic Rock songs – “Adrenaline”
  • Beautiful Ballads – “Nothing to Say”
  • Epic sounding songs – “We are Gods”
  • Glorious melodic songs – “Heaven Must Have Won An Angel”
  • Sexed up synths – “Rock Your Body”

Continue reading “H.E.A.T. – ‘H.E.A.T. II’ – Album Review”

Def Leppard – ‘The Early Years 78-81’ Box Set – Album Review

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the bands debut album, Def Leppard put together quite an impressive box set.  The debut album was ‘On Through the Night’ which arrived in 1980.  The band didn’t stop with that album to commemorate, they decided to cover the 4 years of major transition from the band.  They are gong back to their humble beginnings of 1978 and up through 1981 and the album ‘High & Dry”. The last album  before the band blew up in to major Rock Star status.  And man they were huge.

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This set is 5 CDs.  And they consist of the following:

  1. ‘On Through the Night’ (Remastered)
  2. ‘High ‘N Dry’ (Remastered)
  3. When the Walls Came Tumbling Down (Live at the New Theatre, Oxford – 1980)
  4. Too Many Jitterbugs (Rare and bonus tracks)
  5. Raw (Early BBC Recordings)

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It is over 4 1/2 hours of music.  And believe it or not, there are some things on here I did not have which is why I bought the whole set.  The packaging is pretty sweet.  The box it comes in looks like a box to hold a collection of 45’s and the front and back covers even show the wear of records being included which is a nice touch. The CD’s themselves come in a tri-fold cardboard folder that is pretty durable and it looks like this… Continue reading “Def Leppard – ‘The Early Years 78-81’ Box Set – Album Review”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 12 of 15 – The Bonus Disk)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on the Bonus Disk and the final disk in the set.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

I will try and keep some consistency between each disk.  I will go through each song and mention who wrote, who played on it and what I think about the song. I won’t go through all the stories as you should get the vault to get all the information.  I will grade each song (ranking 1 to 5, 5 being best) and then take an average of the grades for the score of the disk.  I know most of these are demos, so I won’t be taking quality of the sound in to play that much because I know what I am getting and I am more interested in the overall song.

At the end of all the reviews, we will average the score of each review and come up with an overall ‘The Vault’ score which I hope will be a fair representation of the whole package.  I am going to do my best to do one a week, but as I said before, life sometimes gets in the way so I am not going to promise one a week.  Plus, this is 11 disks to digest and that is a lot as I am also doing the David Coverdale Series at the same time.  That is a bunch of music to go through.

The songs aren’t in chronological order.  Gene states each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be one of celebration.  Not with all the music being upbeat and party, no not at all.  But a celebration of Gene’s writing.  There are some of his earliest songs on here and Gene is giving us a taste of everything style he has done…almost.

Well, are you ready?  Then let’s get right to it.

The CD comes with one of Gene standing with The Vault.  Plain and simple, yet effective.

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Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Ordinary Man’ – Album Review

It has been 10 years since Ozzy’s last studio album and yet somehow, the man is still relevant.  How relevant, so relevant in fact that Post Malone had him guest on one of his songs. So there is a whole new generation of people discovering Ozzy.  And better late than never.

Now, it might be 10 years since his last studio album, but the last studio album I bought was 1987’s ‘The Ultimate Sin’ and the last Ozzy album I bought was 1997’s ‘The Ozzman Cometh’ so it has been a lot longer for me.

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With the sad news of Ozzy’s Parkinson diagnosis and hearing that Post Malone song, I thought I would give this album a try as I figured it might be his last (thankfully, it isn’t as he is already working on another).  To my surprise, I was completely blown away by this album.  The album is full of hooks, melodies, great guitar solos and Ozzy hasn’t sounded better.  The album is so accessible and harkens back for me to ‘The Ultimate Sin’ in catchiness and how radio friendly it is.  Some fans might not like that, but I couldn’t be happier.

The guests on this album are immense.  The main rhythm section is Duff McKagan on bass (GNR) and Chad Smith on drums (Red Hot Chili Peppers), but that isn’t all.  You get Slash, Tom Morello, Elton John, Charlie Puth, Post Malone, Travis Scott, Andrew Watt and even daughter Kelly Osbourne on backing vocals.  A mix of old and new with the musicians and it comes across in the music. Continue reading “Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Ordinary Man’ – Album Review”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 11 of 15 – Disk 10)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on Disk 10.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

I will try and keep some consistency between each disk.  I will go through each song and mention who wrote, who played on it and what I think about the song. I won’t go through all the stories as you should get the vault to get all the information.  I will grade each song (ranking 1 to 5, 5 being best) and then take an average of the grades for the score of the disk.  I know most of these are demos, so I won’t be taking quality of the sound in to play that much because I know what I am getting and I am more interested in the overall song.

At the end of all the reviews, we will average the score of each review and come up with an overall ‘The Vault’ score which I hope will be a fair representation of the whole package.  I am going to do my best to do one a week, but as I said before, life sometimes gets in the way so I am not going to promise one a week.  Plus, this is 11 disks to digest and that is a lot as I am also doing the David Coverdale Series at the same time.  That is a bunch of music to go through.

The songs aren’t in chronological order.  Gene states each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be a little all over the place.  I had a hard time getting in to this one.  Let’s see what the result was.

Well, are you ready?  Then let’s get right to it.

The CD comes with a picture of one of Gene’s very first bands…

IMG_1816 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 11 of 15 – Disk 10)”

Coverdale-Page – ‘Coverdale-Page’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After the Whitesnake tour supporting the album, ‘Slip of the Tongue’, David was done.  He had had enough of Whitesnake and called it quits.  He put the band on the back burner and started searching for the next big thing.  In the meantime, Jimmy Page was not getting back  with his former band Led Zeppelin so he was in limbo as well.  Then in 1991, shortly after the tour, A&R guy, John Kalodner, suggested David and Jimmy Page get together and cut an album.  That is funny for one very big reason.  David had been told by critics for years that he was a Robert Plant wannabe…a poor man’s Zeppelin if you will.  Heck, when Robert Plant heard about this project, he called the pairing David Cover”Version”…ouch!

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That didn’t stop them though and thankfully for us they plowed ahead.  The album was recorded at the end of 1991 and in to 1992.  However, for reasons I can’t find, the album was delayed until March 1993 when it finally was released. The album had pretty decent success as it definitely went platinum and reached #5 on the Billboard Charts and #4 in the UK. In 1993, a blues tinged rock album to do this good in a landscape that was pretty much grunge at the time, I would say it did more than pretty decent.

IMG_1814 Continue reading “Coverdale-Page – ‘Coverdale-Page’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 10 of 15 – Disk 9)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on Disk 9.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

I will try and keep some consistency between each disk.  I will go through each song and mention who wrote, who played on it and what I think about the song. I won’t go through all the stories as you should get the vault to get all the information.  I will grade each song (ranking 1 to 5, 5 being best) and then take an average of the grades for the score of the disk.  I know most of these are demos, so I won’t be taking quality of the sound in to play that much because I know what I am getting and I am more interested in the overall song.

At the end of all the reviews, we will average the score of each review and come up with an overall ‘The Vault’ score which I hope will be a fair representation of the whole package.  I am going to do my best to do one a week, but as I said before, life sometimes gets in the way so I am not going to promise one a week.  Plus, this is 11 disks to digest and that is a lot as I am also doing the David Coverdale Series at the same time.  That is a bunch of music to go through.

The songs aren’t in chronological order.  Gene states each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be a little all over the place.  However, there are only a handful of songs that ended up on Kiss albums or solo albums which is nice.  It is an interesting set of tracks.

Well, are you ready?  Then let’s get right to it.

The CD comes in a picture of Gene in full make-up with his Axe…

IMG_1796 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 10 of 15 – Disk 9)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 9 of 15 – Disk 8)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on Disk 8.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

I will try and keep some consistency between each disk.  I will go through each song and mention who wrote, who played on it and what I think about the song. I won’t go through all the stories as you should get the vault to get all the information.  I will grade each song (ranking 1 to 5, 5 being best) and then take an average of the grades for the score of the disk.  I know most of these are demos, so I won’t be taking quality of the sound in to play that much because I know what I am getting and I am more interested in the overall song.

At the end of all the reviews, we will average the score of each review and come up with an overall ‘The Vault’ score which I hope will be a fair representation of the whole package.  I am going to do my best to do one a week, but as I said before, life sometimes gets in the way so I am not going to promise one a week.  Plus, this is 11 disks to digest and that is a lot as I am also doing the David Coverdale Series at the same time.  That is a bunch of music to go through.

The songs aren’t in chronological order.  Gene states each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be Rock & Roll.  These are Gene songs plain and simple.  When you think of the Demon, you would imagine him singing these type of songs.

Well, are you ready?  Then let’s get right to it.

The CD comes with a picture of Gene’s rendering of the lights on an early 80’s tour.  It is pretty cool…

IMG_1780 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 9 of 15 – Disk 8)”