Whitesnake – ‘Live…in the Heart of the City” – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

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”).

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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:

  1. Come on
  2. Sweet Talker
  3. Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
  4. Love Hunter
  5. AIn’t No Love in the Heart of the City
  6. Fool For Your Loving
  7. 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:

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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.

SIDE TWO:

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“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 Stars mainly 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.

Up next…Whitesnake – ‘Come An’ Get It’.

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
  27. David Coverdale – Into the Night
  28. Whitesnake – Live…In the Still of the Night (DVD)
  29. Whitesnake – Live…In the Shadow of the Blues
  30. Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
  31. Whitesnake – Forevermore
  32. Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990: Monsters of Rock
  33. Whitesnake – The Purple Album
  34. Whitesnake – The Purple Tour (Live)
  35. Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood
  36. Whitesnake – The Rock Album
  37. Whitesnake – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
  38. David Coverdale – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

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)

Matt Nathanson – ‘At the Point’ – Album Review

For the regulars of my site, they already know I am a huge Matt Nathanson fan.  For those non-regulars, I will let you know I am a huge Matt Nathanson fan.  I have been re-exploring his earlier catalog lately and I want to point out a great live set he has available called ‘At the Point’.

‘At the Point’ was recorded, well, at The Point.  The Point is an intimate club in Philadelphia, PA.  It was recorded in the Summer of 2005 and released in 2006.  It is only Matt and his acoustic guitar.  Nothing or no one else.

What I love about this album is it is a lot of his old songs from before my discovery of Matt which was around 2007 or so.  The album showcases his live performance, his ability to own a crowd, his comedic stylings (he is one funny SOB), his voice and most importantly his songwriting and musicianship.

From such classics as “Church Clothes”, “Answering Machine”, “Curve of the Earth” and “I Saw” to his cover of Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet” and Drivin’ N Cryin’s “Straight to Hell”, you get lost in his performances as they are delivered so flawlessly and seem so personal.  You get laughs as he tells stories that will have you laughing your ass off and you just get an hour and seven minutes of pure enjoyment.  This is what a live album should be.  Something you can feel and connect with.

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Generation X – The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978 – (The Billy Idol Series – Bonus Edition)

Before I get to the next studio album in the Billy Idol series, I thought I would throw in a bonus Generation X Bootleg album out of Italy.  This 2LP Set is called the BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 – 1978.  It is live show from December 8th, 1978 out of Sheffield, England.  It is an unofficial release so therefore, a bootleg.  And it is fantastic.

I was in New York at this great little record store in Greenwich Village and came across this disc.  I was talking with the clerk asking about any Generation X on vinyl and he told me I needed this one and man he was right.

Generation X was criticized on their studio albums for trying to be more commercial than Punk.  Well, the live album shows they were a real Punk band.  I find this live show to really show off what this band was all about.  You can hear the attitude in the guitar playing and the drumming.  And of course, Billy’s snarling and attitude is pure punk with a big FU to everyone.

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Continue reading “Generation X – The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978 – (The Billy Idol Series – Bonus Edition)”

John 5 & the Creatures – ‘It’s Alive’ – Album Review

John 5 & the Creatures bring us a new album to start the year off and this time we get their first live album.  ‘It’s Alive’ was recorded live off the Season of the Witch Tour in 2017 at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, Pennsylvania in April 2017.  The band consists of John 5 on lead guitar, Ian Ross on bass and Logan Miles Nix on drums.  The amount of music that comes out of these there guys for this album is incredible.

In listening to an interview with John 5 on Talking Metal with Emily Strigl, I learned that album was recorded rather spontaneously.  They arrived at the theater the day of the show and someone from the theater asked them if they wanted to record the show as they had a recording booth upstairs.  The band joyfully said yes.  And a little less than a year later, we have a live album released.

John 5 also stated in the interview that there are no overdubs or any re-recordings.  What you hear is what you get.  And what you hear is a live album that is near perfection which is also a little of the drawback.  The album at times doesn’t sound live as the musicianship is absolutely incredible.  There are probably errors, but they are not noticeable (at least to my untrained ears).

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