For My Sunday Song #206, we are discussing “Don’t Break My Heart Again” by Whitesnake off their 1981 album ‘Come And Get It’. The first single off the album and it reached #17 on the UK Charts. The album did really well in the UK hitting #2 and was their highest charting album at that time. Sadly, still absent from the states for the most part due to contractual issues.
The song is very personal and emotional song from David Coverdale. It is about the ending of David’s first marriage (and I think “Fool For Your Loving” is as well too). David delivers some emotional and heavy lyrics. There is a darker overtone with the subject matter and David sounds a little heartbroken. It is a different side of him and Whitesnake as normally they throw the “cock rock” in your fact as they do in numerous other songs on the album.
It opens with the amazing Jon Lord on his Hammond Organ. Neil Murray’s throbbing bass is mixed in and accompanied by Ian Paice with a hard driving drum beat. The song has that great drum beat throughout and then the guitars are added with a cool riff. Bernie Marsden delivers the solo that fits perfectly for the vibe of the song. It is also one of David’s finest vocal performances on this album as he puts enough emotion into his vocals to get the message across loud and clear. It is such a stellar track.
For My Sunday Song #203, we are going with a song of ‘Ready an’ Willing’ with the track “Blindman”. This is a deep cut and not a single and one of the songs that is the reason I love the early Whitesnake sound so much. Okay, actually this song is not originally a Whitesnake song, but a David Coverdale song as it was released on his solo album back in 1977 called…well…’White Snake’. So, I can use for this set of Whitesnake songs, I am covering the cover version he did with his band. I don’t think that is cheating.
The song is a pure blues rock track. Think Free or Bad Company as it has that same killer vibe. It starts off as slow burner and builds slow until it becomes a full on scorcher. Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody both hammer it home on the guitar and Bernie’s solo helps make the song such a classic song. You can’t forget the ryhthm section of Ian Paice on drums and Neil Murray on bass either. They keep the pace and groove going perfectly. And listen closely to the beautiful keyboard playing of Jon Lord. They all standout in their little moments. However, the highlight is that sultry David Coverdale vocal style. His vocal talent lies perfectly fit for the blues rock sound. With this more of a slow song, David exudes all the heart he needs to give the song the powerful, emotive feel it needs.
After the album ‘Come an’ Get It’, the band was starting to crack. Issues were developing, tensions were rising. They started to work on the album during 1981, but it wasn’t a smooth ride. In December 1981, Micky Moody left the band. Then in early 1982, David Coverdale put the band on the back burner and took some time off to be with his daughter who had become ill.
The sick daughter wasn’t the only reason Coverdale put things on hold. The band was having financial troubles and he couldn’t understand where the money was going. During the hiatus, he parted with his management and Coverdale started to handle the business side of things. Also during this time, three other members left the band (or were fired). They would be Ian Paice, Bernie Marsden and Neil Murray. Jon Lord was the only one to stay in the band with David. And of course Martin Birch still produced. He hadn’t left yet either.
As a result, David needed a new band. Not to finish the album because it was basically done, but to tour with. David found guitarist Mel Galley from Trapeze and Cozy Powell on drums from Rainbow and lastly, Colin Hodgkinson on bass. The band was complete. However, the album still had some backing vocals needed so Micky came back briefly to finish the backing vocals along with Galley. Galley is the only new player to appear on the album.
In 1982, Deep Purple didn’t exist, no new music was coming for a few more years, but the world needed a brand new Live album by the band. Or at least that is what the record company thought. This live album was really not new, it was only newly released. It was recorded back in 1974 with the Mark III line-up of the following:
Richie Blackmore – guitar
David Coverdale – lead vocals
Glenn Hughes – Bass and vocals
Jon Lord – keyboards
Ian Paice – drums
The album was recorded on May 22, 1974 at the Gaumont State Theatre in London, England and was used a BBC Radio Broadcast but never actually saw the light of day on a physical release until 8 years later. The tour was for the album “Burn” which is where a majority of the songs will come from.
Like with most Deep Purple Live albums, there are only a handful of songs as some of the songs last an eternity. You get 6 whole songs on the original release and when they do the re-issues years later you are blessed with getting a whole other song that adds over 30 minutes to the time…yep…one song at 30 minutes. Wow!!
We are now in 1981 and the band is on their 4th album. Whitesnake has started to gain some traction with the album’s ‘Ready an’ Willing’ along with the live album ‘Live…in the Heart of the City’. When ‘Come an’ Get It’ arrives, it goes to #2 on the chart and barely misses #1 thanks to Adam and the Ants’ ‘King of the Wild Frontier’. Yes, an Ant kicked a Snake’s ass!!!
The band’s line-up is unchanged, the producer, Martin Birch, is unchanged and they follow the successful formula of ‘Ready an’ Willing on this album to rather great success (on the charts).
David Coverdale – vocals
Micky Moody – Guitar
Bernie Marsden – Guitar
Neil Murray – Bass
Jon Lord – Keyboards
Ian Paice – Drums
I know this is a favorite Snake album for a lot of people and even a favorite of David Coverdale’s; however, it isn’t one of my top albums. I have spent the longest with this album in hopes that it would grow on me and it has to some extent, but not overall. This was a hard beast for me to get through, well Side Two was. Side One kicks some major ass.
Towards the end of 1980, Whitesnake released their first live album called ‘Live…in the Heart of the City’. It was released on November 3rd, 1980 and was originally released as a double LP with 2 different shows. The first being from June 1980 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and the second show as from November 23rd, 1978 at the same place. This review, however, is only on the LP version that I have which is only a single LP version with only the 1980 Hammersmith show and missing one song the original had (“Ready an’ Willing”).
The tour recorded for this one is the ‘Ready ‘n’ Willing’ Tour that features new drummer, former Deep Purple master Ian Paice. And it caught the band at a time when they were starting to finally come into their own. The track list of the single LP is as follows:
Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
AIn’t No Love in the Heart of the City
Fool For Your Loving
Take Me With You
It is short at only 7 songs, but one is 11 minutes long and 2 are over 6 minutes each and all a blast.
Side one opens with the screamer “Come On” from the ‘Snakebite’ E.P. and what a fantastic way to open the show. A high energy romp that gets everyone on their feet and in to the groove of what is to come. The band is on fire and David sounds in top form. The band glides effortlessly in to “Sweet Talker” from ‘Ready an’ Willing’ with loads of Micky Moody’s slide guitar and let me tell you the guitars on here are killer. The tempo of the song is ramped up to 10 and the fly through this one at warp speed. And don’t forget the Jon Lord keyboard solo in this one that goes right in to Micky’s guitar solo…hell yeah baby! Keep it coming!
The band goes in to two straight ‘Lovehunter’ songs starting with the blues song “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues”. Bernie Marsden takes over the lead on the guitar work in this one accompanied by the great Lord on keyboards. Ian supplying just the right amount of drum fills and as he Neil Murray on bass lay down that all essential groove. But it is the song “Love Hunter” that is the showcase on this side. At 11 minutes, including a Micky Moody showcase of his slide guitar work, the live version takes the song in to so many different directions and is what I love about live shows. David singing here is great as well as he isn’t trying to over sing it and he has seem to found his comfort zone.
“Aint’ No Love in the Heart of the City” opens up Side Two and gives us the name to the album. It is a bluesy track that keeps a slow groove and let me tell you that the guitar work Moody does is sensational. The crowd takes over with Murray’s bass thumping away in the background along with Paice keeping time.
And then we get David’s favorite concert saying “Here’s a Song for You” as he does it a lot. They go in to the classic “Fool For Your Loving” from ‘Ready an’ Willing’. The song is a little punchier then the album version, it actually reminds me a little more of what was to come with the song in the late 80’s and I am okay with that. It is a rocking good song.
The last song is the only song from the album ‘Trouble’, “Take Me With You”. The band is amped up on something as they speed this one up to an exhausting tempo that would leave a lesser band spent. They feed off the energy and everyone gets a moment to shine with Jon Lord’s blistering keyboard solo, Bernie’s raging guitar solo, a little of Murray’s bass, and Moody blasting through some riffs. David and company brought all home on this one.
And that is the album. It is a great live set that I thoroughly enjoyed. Short and sweet and captures some great moments. The band was really cooking at this time and they boiled over some fine work with this release. The first of many live albums to come with Whitesnake and this one started it off right. I will give it a 4.0 out of 5.0 Starsmainly for not giving me the whole show. This one is a must grab if you find it out in the wild. Don’t let it slip past you.
A couple months after releasing ‘Lovehunter’ in October 1979, the band was back in the studio by December to start recording the follow-up, ‘Ready an’ Willing’. The band finished up recording in February under the hand of returning producer Martin Birch who has handled all the Snake albums up to this point.
By the time they were back in the studio, drummer Duck Dowle was out and former David Coverdale and Jon Lord bandmate, Ian Paice, was in the band. That now made 1/2 of the band as former Deep Purple members. And if I am not mistaken, the press played that up which didn’t quite sit well with a couple of the band members.
The album cover for this one was a much more toned-down cover after the controversy the band received for the naked woman straddling a snake (side note: one of my favorites). This was a simple black & white drawing of the band with the Whitesnake logo. Nothing fancy and quite bland. Now, that wasn’t the only controversy the band had. Their lyrics were blasted as well for their whole “cock rock” style and womanizing. And I am not sure this album would not help them in that matter. Oh well.
The inner album sleeve gave us the songs from each side along with the lyrics. It also included who had each solo on the songs which I love that fact. There was no winding snake from one side to the other, instead we get pictures of the band with Coverdale, Lord and Murray on the front and Marsden, Moody and Paice on the back.
The album was the first one to see any real success for the band. They reached #6 in the UK and actually finally charted in the US at #90 thanks in part to the first single which we will discuss shortly. The band was finally starting to break outside the UK which is what they wanted, but it would still be a few more years before they became one of the top acts in the world.
The band’s first single and first hit outside the UK was the song “Fool For Your Loving”. Yes, Whitesnake fans that came on board in the late 80’s know this song from the album ‘Slip of the Tongue’. However, this was the original and first release of the song which went to #13 in the UK and #53 in the US. The song was written by Marsden (who had the riffs and the verses), Moody (who wrote the bridge) and Coverdale (who did the lyrics). The funny thing about the song is that it was originally written for BB King, however, they soon realized the song was too good to pass up…and they were right.
This version of the song is more bluesy and has a nice groove and not as rocking as the hair metal version, but that is okay. You have Bernie belting out a great solo that is so different than Vai’s version. Since I grew up with the ‘Slip of the Tongue’ version, this version feels like a demo to me and I am actually turn to which one I like more. This fits the sound of the band at this point in their career and the other fits that version of the band. Tough choice…I will let you decide.
The next track is “Sweet Talker” which was only released in the US as a single, but didn’t really do anything. This is another song with rather suggestive lyrics and would not stop the controversy on their womanizing lyrics. As a teenager, this would have been great. it is a fun rocking track and it has Jon Lord delivering something he does best…massive keyboard solos. And I don’t want to leave out the great slide guitar work of Micky Moody, always love his slide guitar. This to me is a classic sounding Whitesnake song and one of my favorites on the album…one of many.
The title track, “Ready an’ Willing”, has such a driving groove to it. The blues feel in David’s vocals and lyrics and the sonics of the song, make it a memorable song and why it was released as the 2nd single. Moody handled the solo which was short and perfect for the song. Although the single didn’t do that well, it is still a beast of a track on the album.
Then we get to “Carry the Load” and I have to say I am not real thrilled with this one. Too generic and falls very flat for me. This song feels more like one of David’s solo songs and could have been on ‘Northwinds’. It feels out of place here.
Another favorite on the album is the song ‘Blindman’ which is a re-work of the song from David’s first solo album called ‘Whitesnake’. In what could be David’s best performance to date as he brings so much more emotion and pain in his delivery, this song is the gem in a album full of them. It has a slow groove and is another blues track which has the band at its best. Bernie’s understated solo was what the song needed. It fit perfectly with the vibe. The song was great on the solo album, but taken to another level here.
First up on Side Two is “Ain’t’ Gonna Cry No More” has David singing along to the acoustic guitar before Jon Lord comes in with some soft sounding keyboards in what is starting out as a beautiful ballad. That is until Ian Paice brings it up a notch with his drums and it turns in to pure rock & roll beast with the help of Micky Moody on the solo. The album is quickly becoming my favorite of the Whitesnake albums so far with songs like this.
“Love Man” is a more traditional blues song with a foot stomping beat and some gritty slide guitar. It was what I know and love as blues. Lyrically, it is pure and utter cheese and David delivers it as such, however, I kinda like it. It grabs you and pulls you in whether you want to or not.
“Black and Blue” feels like you are at a honky tonk with the whole live, bar-band feel to it including some piano playing by Jon Lord. Adding the cheering bar crowd to the mix made it feel right at home in the bar. It is a fun, good time track.
And the album ends with “She’s a Woman”, which opens with Lord on the keyboards and then gets turned up a notch when the drums and guitar riffs kick in. Now the highlight is that Jon Lord turns in the best solo of the album. He goes to town and takes you on a magical keyboard journey. Although not the best song on the album, it highlights Lord and that is good enough for me.
Fool For Your Loving – Keeper
Sweet Talker – Keeper
Ready an’ Willing – Keeper
Carry Your Load – Delete
Blindman – Keeper
Ain’t Gonna Cry No More – Keeper
Love Man – Keeper
Black and Blue – Keeper
She’s a Woman – Keeper
The track is a wonderful 8 out of 9 tracks are keepers or 89%. The songs are the strongest yet of the Whitesnake albums so far. There are some Essential Whitesnake songs on here, more so than the others and this album gets better with every listen. The album was missing some dual guitar solos with Marsden and Moody which I think adds to the songs. The album was also lacking a Bernie Marsden lead vocal song…okay, it really isn’t missing that I guess. Overall, this is a killer album and I will rate it a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars. As much as I love it, there are some I like better but this is near the top.
Up next…Whitesnake – ‘Live…in the Heart of the City’.
‘Last Concert in Japan’ only saw a release due to the death of guitarist Tommy Bolin who died in December of 1976. The album was released shortly after in March of 1977 in Japan. The record company was in a rush to capitalize on his death is all I can think why this was released. The band was done, all parties had moved on and the record company thought it would be an easy cash grab. Now I have no proof, this is pure speculation but it is what record companies do.
This album captures the Mark IV line-ups last show in Japan as the title says at the Budokan Hall which I believe they set a record for attendance at that time. The release is not a full show and it was streamlined down to fit on only one LP.
There are a lot of problems with this album. First off, the mix. It is pretty crappy as the release was done in such a hurry that the master tracking really suffered and let me tell you it shows. And if that wasn’t enough, let me just say the guitar playing is less then stellar and I believe Jon Lord was used a lot more in places that there should have been more guitar. The reason being is Tommy Bolin had been doing drugs quite heavily the night before and according to Glenn Hughes, he feel asleep on his arm for 8 hours and couldn’t play. And based on what I hear, I believe he might be telling the truth.
Now that Deep Purple was defunct, the record company needed to release something I am sure so why not a live album. In October 1975, ‘Made in Europe’ was released. The recording from April 3rd – April 7th on some of the final dates that Ritchie Blackmore would play as he left the band shortly after. So, with that being said, the line is the Mark III lineup of the band consisting of Ritchie, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
The show was recorded from 3 different shows that took place on April 3rd, 1975 in Graz, Austria, April 5th in Saarbrücken, Germany and finally on April 7th at the Palais des Sports in Paris, France. According to the album jacket, the album was recorded using the “Rolling Stones” mobile truck. And it has also been discussed that there were some heavy overdubbing and cleaning up of the set including the audience with the crowd noise and applause…but this is the 70’s what live album wasn’t retouched (ahem…Kiss).
The album is only a single LP and only includes 5 songs with a total run time of 45:47 which means the average song length over 9 minutes so the band plays the heck out of these songs which is really what a Deep Purple live album is all about. The band had huge success with the prior live album ‘Made in Japan’ and although this is a good release, it isn’t as good as the Japan release.
Ritchie Blackmore left the band after the last album, ‘Stormbringer’, due to creative differences with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. I find this funny considering Ritchie brought them in to help take the band in a new direction and Ritchie ended up not liking that direction. So Deep Purple was done…or were they?
David talked Jon Lord and Ian Paice to continue and they did. Now before they could continue, they needed a new guitar player and in comes Tommy Bolin, a bloody American. This upset quite a few diehard UK Purple fans. And probably part of the reason the album didn’t do that well.
David had heard Tommy’s playing on Jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham’s solo album called ‘Spectrum’ and thought he would be perfect. And we all know now that David has an ear for great guitarists (can you say John Sykes and Steve Vai to name a couple). Tommy was a great guitar player and it is too bad his heroin addiction would take a life way too soon a little over a year after the album’s release.
Deep Purple would continue and this would end up being the first Deep Purple album to not feature either Ritchie Blackmore or even Ian Gillan. As a result, a lot of people don’t really consider this a Deep Purple album. Now that is crazy because if they consider ‘Burn’ to be a Deep Purple album, then this one is as well as the sound and feel is so similar to that album and quite possibly could be better. I know I might be in the minority, but I really like this album.