Whitesnake – “Is This Love” 12″ Promo – Single Review (The David Coverdale Series – Bonus Edition)

We interrupt the regularly scheduled order of albums as I found another bonus LP out during my crate digging. I am little out of order because I can rarely find stuff in chronological order of my reviews.  This Promo single is for “Is This Love” off the 1987 album simply called ‘Whitesnake’ to some and ‘1987’ to others.  Me, I just call it awesome!  The good news about interrupting the series is I get to spend more time absorbing the next album on the list.

There is really nothing special other than it being a Promotional copy.  Minimal artwork and what you see on the cover above is all you get.  The funny thing is that everyone on the cover, with the exception of Coverdale, did not play on the song. It was actually John Sykes (who co-wrote the song with David), Neil Murray, Ansley Dunbar and Don Airey.  They were all fired right after production was finished.  The cover has Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell (damn he looked young), Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge, a pretty stellar line-up too.

The back is solid white.  No inserts or any special packaging. A plain and simple promo that says “Not For Sale”…oops, I bought it so somebody broke the rules. Was it me for buying it or Hardy Boy Records for selling it??  I don’t think either of us will get in to trouble, thankfully.

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Side A had the LP version of “Is This Love” and the late 80’s were known for their ballads and Whitesnake had one of the best with this track.  “Is This Love” which just missed landing at #1 and stalled at #2.  David sounded so sexy and sultry and the music was soft yet maintaining a slight edge to it.  The song was actually written for Tina Turner, but thankfully, David wisely held on to it and recorded it.  In an album that was almost baked to perfection, this was the icing on the cake.

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Side 2 is the “Edit Version” which means it’s a little shorter since this isn’t a dance remix which would then be like 15 minutes long or something ridiculous like that.  This version cuts out the longer synth intro, the solo is a little shorter and the end run out is not as long and drawn out.  It compacts the essence of the song into a shorter and could be a better package.

As far as ballads go, this one is top-notch and easily a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars.  It checks off all the buckets, slow at times, power at others, emotive singing and love in the title.  What else could you possibly need?  That’s right…Nothing!

Up next…David Coverdale – ‘Into the Light’

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 – “Is This Love” 12″ Promo (Bonus Review)
  21. Whitesnake – Slip of the Tongue
  22. David Coverdale – “The Last Note of Freedom” – Single Review
  23. Coverdale/Page – Coverdale/Page
  24. Coverdale/Page – “Take Me For A Little While 12” Single (Bonus Review)
  25. David Coverdale & Whitesnake – Restless Heart
  26. Whitesnake – Starkers in Tokyo

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)

Whitesnake – ‘Whitesnake’ (1987) – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After all the turmoil with the band around the ‘Slide it In’ album and tour, David Coverdale was almost ready to throw in the towel.  After the tour, Cozy Powell left the band and I think Davd had had enough.  However, Geffen records saw something between David and newcomer John Sykes that they somehow talked David in to hanging on and working with John.  The two went and tucked themselves away somewhere in the south of France and started writing…south of France…tough fucking life!!

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When they gathered some material, the two embarked to L.A. with bassist Neil Murray to start recording.  But before they could do that, they needed a drummer and along comes Ansley Dunbar to complete the team.  But wait, there is only 1 guitar player and usually there is two and you would be right.  John Sykes recorded all the guitar parts for the album.

Now during the recording, the band had more problems.  One was John Sykes.  John was obsessed over getting the right guitar sound almost to the detriment of the whole project.  Second, David got sick…bad sick. A major sinus infection that almost derailed his whole career.  It was so bad, that John Sykes had suggested bringing in another vocalist to finish the project…excuse me??…WTF???  John, if you didn’t know, Whitesnake is David’s band, not yours.  That did not sit well with David as is no surprise. And right when the album was set for release, David fired the band! Yep, all of them…bye, bye!!

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Okay, this is basically the second time this has happened in a row on an album release.  The new band was brought in and it consisted of Adrian Vandenberg and Vivian Campbell on guitars, Rudy Sarzo on bass and Tommy Aldridge on drums.  I have to say that is one helluva a line-up.  David has a way of getting top musicians.

Continue reading “Whitesnake – ‘Whitesnake’ (1987) – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)”

Whitesnake – ‘Slide it In’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

Recording of the ‘Slide it Album started some time in 1983 and this time around Eddie Kramer was on hand to handle productions duties.  And let’s just say things did not go well, but was it a band problem (as there were ton of those) or a producer problem, I don’t know.  But Eddie was replaced with longtime Snake producer Martin Birch.

The band problems were many on this record and for this tour.  Micky Moody was back and recorded the album, but things did not go well on tour and David became an ass to Micky and he had enough and quit after the European tour and his last gig was in October 1983, prior to the release of ‘Slide It In’. His replacement was John Sykes who was the guitar player for Thin Lizzy at the time.

At the same time Sykes was brought on board, Colin Hodgkinson was let go as the bass player and former Whitesnake bass player Neil Murray was brought back in to the fold.  Cozy Powell was now the drummer as Ian Paice had left after the last album and then Jon Lord left in 1984 to go reform Deep Purple so Richard Bailey was brought in to fill in.  The band was in complete disarray during this time.  It is amazing anything got done.

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Continue reading “Whitesnake – ‘Slide it In’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)”

Whitesnake – ‘Slide It In’: the Ultimate Special Edition – Album Review

The album that broke Whitesnake in the US finally gets its ‘Ultimate Special Edition release celebrating 35 years as the original UK album was released in 1984.  35 years is crazy to think about.  In those 35 years, this album only gets better.

This special edition consists of 6 CDs, 1 DVD, 1 Book, 1 Tour Program replica and 1 Album Cover Poster.  And it has over 100 tracks amongst all the discs.  Here is everything you get.

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Now of course that 100+ tracks is misleading and this set is truly for the ultimate fan.  Why?  Because the set repeats the songs a lot.  Because the set repeats the songs a lot.  Yes, I wrote that twice on purpose.

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Let me explain by jumping in to the album right away and we will talk about the first 3 discs as they go together.

Continue reading “Whitesnake – ‘Slide It In’: the Ultimate Special Edition – Album Review”

My Sunday Song – “Is This Love” by Whitesnake

For My Sunday Song #100, we are ending the Power Ballad set with a true classic, Whitesnake’s “Is This Love” off the 1987 album simply known as ‘Whitesnake’ or ‘1987’.  The song reached all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and helped propel Whitesnake into the stratosphere of rock stardom.

This midtempo power ballad was written by David Coverdale and the great guitarist John Sykes. They wrote it during the writing sessions for the album in one of the worst places you could possible be, the south of France (read as sarcasm).  They recorded in David’s villa called Le Rayol.  It must have been rough.

The song was actually going to be used for Tina Turner until Geffen heard the song and quickly put the brakes on that.  Although David thinks Tina would still have been great for the song and you know I think he is right.

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Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Is This Love” by Whitesnake”

Whitesnake – ’87 30th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition – Album Review

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…

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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!

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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:

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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.

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’87 Evolutions:

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.

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’87 Versions:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”.

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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.

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POSTER:

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.

 

 

“My First Time” with Whitesnake’s ‘Whitesnake’

Over the past couple weeks, I have dived deeply into Whitesnake’s early albums such as ‘Lovehunter’, ‘Ready an’ Willing’, ‘Come an’ Get It’ and “Saints & Sinners’.  And I actually picked up ‘Ready an’ Willing’ and ‘Come an’ Get It’ on vinyl last week. Those albums are so good and hate that I didn’t really know about them back in the day.  It got me thinking about the first album I bought from Whitesnake which was simply ‘Whitesnake’.

The album came out in 1987, my senior year of high school.  It quickly became one of my favorite albums of that year (behind ‘Hysteria’ by Def Leppard of course).  It was pure 80’s hair metal (or whatever label you want to give it) and pure magic.  The pounding drums, the guitar solos, the thumping bass, the synthesizers and that voice.  A combination that as a sure fire hit.  Which it was as the album actually went to #2 on the Billboard charts.

However, this album almost didn’t get made.  After 10 years of playing with little to no success, David Coverdale was ready to call it quits for Whitesnake.  The U.S. had pretty much ignored the band and the former Deep Purple singer had about had enough.  If it wasn’t for the record label, Geffen Records, Whitesnake as we know it, would be gone forever.

Continue reading ““My First Time” with Whitesnake’s ‘Whitesnake’”