It is hard to believe it has been 30 years since the release of Whitesnake’s breakthrough album. The album was simply titled ‘Whitesnake’, but has since become known as ’87. Whitesnake decided to celebrate this album with an exceptional Super Deluxe Edition that was a must have for my collection. Like Def Leppard did with Hysteria, Whitesnake has done the same with ’87. They have packed it full of songs and collectibles that are a must for the real fans.
What all does it have? Well, check it out…
Whitesnake definitely has delivered on the goods. And I have to say for me, it was a bargain. I paid only $36 for all of this. And it was worth every dime, especially one disc which was worth that price alone, but I will get to that later.
’87 – Remastered Original Album:
First up is the remastered version of the original album. Funny enough, I did a review on this album about 4 months ago which was probably prior to me finding out about the Anniversary release. So, as a result, I will not do a song-by-song review of the album because you can check that out by clicking on the following – Whitesnake Album Review!
The CD came in a nice gatefold cardboard cover. Actually all the CDs and the DVD came in the same type of packaging. It is not the original jewel case which is okay, but would have been nice to have that plus the booklet.
Snakeskin Boots: Live on Tour 1987-1988
The second CD was a live show from Tokyo during the tour for the album. The track listing mostly covers the ’87 album and ‘Slide it In’. The track listing is as follows:
The concert is great, but as these were hired hands after the band the created the album were fired, it is lacking the punch of what you hear on the album. John Sykes, more specifically, is missing. I am going to repeat what Deke said on his post for the album, that Adrian Vandenberg and Vivian Campbell are both great guitarists, but can’t muster the same feel as John Sykes did. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to have a live set from that era and if you release a special edition of an album, you must do just that. It is still a great setlist and David does sound great, I just wanted to point out what was missing.
If you remember earlier, I mentioned there was a disc that was worth the price of the set by itself. This is the disc. The third disc in the set is the demos. The name of the disc is “Evolutions” and these songs are just that. The songs each showcase the evolution of the song from beginning to almost the end (you have the end on the first disc). The demos seamlessly blend different stages of the song into one long song. It is truly an amazing way to present that songs and now is my standard of what I want when you release a demo. It is brilliant.
The highlight of all these demos is John Sykes. The guitar work throughout is incredible. I especially love “Still of the Night” and “Crying in the Rain”. It is riff after riff and not all of it ended up on the song. I can’t for the life of me understand why he was fired because he and David Coverdale did some great things together. Their personalities just didn’t mesh.
The final CD in the set is my least favorite. It is alternative remixes of the hit songs from the album. Some are new mixes and some are the radio edits, but I like the album versions. It is not a total loss because there is the 1987 Versions Japan Mini-Album that is worth having.
The Videos (DVD):
The final disc in the set is a DVD featuring the classic music videos now in 5.1 Surround Sound. The nice part of this piece was the put in a lot of behind the scenes footage between the songs which was a nice touch. The videos themselves are really great and lets remember who the real star of these videos was…Tawny Kitaen. She was definitely some great eye candy for a teenage boy. In the credits for the videos, I did catch that Paula Abdul was the choreographer for one of the videos.
The disc also includes a 30 minute documentary on the making of the album. The documentary is the plus hear as we get new interviews with David Coverdale, but sadly nothing new from John Sykes (Yes, I am going to keep bringing that up!). Now David did speak very highly of his guitar and singing talent and never bad mouthed him…by name. There were some interesting things that came out in the documentary, but I will only mention that Claudia Schiffer was originally cast in the role for the videos. She wanted more money and the band said no. The video director met Tawny, who was dating David at the time and immediately wanted her to be in the video. I am glad he did.
You also get a PurpleSnake Video Jam of “Here I Go Again” which contains a lot of tour footage which was cool to see and lastly some ’87 Tour Bootlegs of 2 songs and the band intros. If they would have shown this entire show for the DVD that would have been awesome, but we will take what we can get.
60 Page Hardbound Book:
You also get a very nice hardbound book that contains rare photos and includes interviews with David Coverdale from various sources and quotes on reviews from various magazines. David does talk about John Sykes and the firing of the band right after completion of the album. He does really praise Sykes guitar playing and singing, he just can’t stand him personally. It is a very nice book with a lot of great pictures. Even my daughter looked at it and said “This is nice!”.
The set also includes a lyric book with all the lyrics of the songs including some handwritten lyrics by David Coverdale himself. It is a nice little plus to have in the collection.
The last item in the set is a poster of the album cover and is actually my featured picture at the top of the post.
And that is the set! It is sensational and another great piece in my collection. It is actually the 4th time I have bought this album. I had a cassette, a CD, I bought the vinyl this past year and now this. Crazy how much I like this album. This set might be a lot for a casual fan, but for a super fan, this is a must have in your collection. Christmas is coming, so ask Santa for it or run out and get it now. Of if you need it right now, you can get the digital album by clicking on the link below.