Before David’s second solo album, ‘Trouble’, came out in March 1978, David had already put together a band and the delivered an E.P. called ‘Snakebite’ just a few months later under the name Whitesnake. And by September of that same year, they had a full length album ready to go. The album was produced by Martin Birch and recorded in only 10 days at the Central Recorders Studio in London over those Summer months.
The album was called ‘Trouble’ and was released in September 1978. The album name came from one of the songs, but it was inspired by the fact that David had a son during this time and that could only mean one thing…TROUBLE!!
Now the band had a new member by the name of Jon Lord on keyboards. He replaced former keyboard player Pete Solley. For those that have followed David’s career, Jon Lord is no stranger as he was the keyboard player with David on the Deep Purple Mark III and IV versions of the band. Jon wasn’t there for the recording of the album, however, they overdubbed his parts in the songs after the fact so he could be on the album as he was now a member and thankfully so in my opinion.
The album I picked up had a nice cut-out in the top right corner, but overall still in great shape. It still even included the vinyl inner sleeve which consists of the bands lyrics for the songs and writing credits. The really cool thing on the lyrics was at the end of each song, it let you know who did the solo as it was usually a toss-up between Moody and Marsden and occasionally Lord.
The band for this album consisted of the following:
- David Coverdale – Lead Vocals
- David Dowle – Drums
- Jon Lord – Keyboards
- Bernie Marsden – Guitar
- Micky Moody – Guitar
- Neil Murray – Bass
Now it is time to talk about the music…
The album kicks off with a rockin’ riff on “Take Me With You”. This high energy rocker comes at you at breakneck speed and tempo that it immediately gets you moving. David sounds fresh and throws in a little moaning at the end. There is so much going on musically and always something new each time you listen. The solo on this one is actually a drum solo by Dave “Duck” Dowle, but there are still a lot of guitars including some slide on it so don’t fret.
Next up is “Love to Keep You Warm”. A little slower than the previous and a little more blues feel to it. A nice groove by Dave and Neil. The song is a little poppy at times, but manages to hold on to being a rocker thanks to Bernie Marsden’s guitar solo.
“Lie Down (A Modern Love Song)” is interesting as it is more pop than blues or even rock. It is a very fast tempo’d love song. The vocals at times have this whole Elton John feel to them and even the vibe of the song with Lord’s piano feels like him as well. Not that it is a bad thing.
Then we get the horrible cover of the Beatles’ “Day Tripper”. It is…let’s say…not good. It is uninspiring and bluh. The adding in of the Framptonesque Talk Box doesn’t help and I really can’t stand it. I hope that point is coming across. Skip/Delete whatever you do, just avoid it.
The first side ends with the speedy “Nighthawk (Vampire Blues)”. Now the song is so fast that it doesn’t feel bluesy at all to me. It is rocker, for sure, but not blues. The drumming on this is sensational and the guitar work is fantastic. David sings a hundred miles an hour and you get exhausted after trying to sing the chorus as fast as David. I really dig this one and it even has a solo by Jon Lord to help push it over the top even more.
Side Two opens up with Deep Purple style song “The Time is Right For Love”. It has a nice blues guitar feel to it and has a great beat and tempo that it get stuck in your head and you sing it even when the song is done. On this one, the guitar solos are done in harmony between both Moody and Marsden which is the beauty of having two guitarists. David again performs brilliantly and sounds so good on this one as well.
Next up we get the title track, “Trouble” which is the most blues worthy song of the bunch. David’s lyrics mention a gambler’s son which he uses a lot over the next few decades. The song feels a little like Purple’s “Mistreated” or at least in the same realm of comparability for style and form. The solo on this one goes to Marsden and it is fantastic. He lays down some riffs that have great melody and you could sing along with it if you sing your solos…I do every so often.
The coolest song on the album is “Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick” which is a full assault of an instrumental with 3 different solos. One for Moody, One for Lord and One for Marsden. I don’t see it as out of place as Purple threw in an instrumental on ‘Burn’ and this one is way better. I really love when Jon Lord lays it down and he does just that. The guitar’s have a riff that plays through-out that is the main feel for the song and everything is played beautifully off of that riff.
Then we get a change of pace with Bernie Marsden on vocals instead of Coverdale. The song is called “Free Flight” and is interesting to say the least. Not necessarily in a good way interesting. It does have some great drumming and music, but vocally, ehh! There is a reason David is the lead singer. I think Bernie sounds good on the verses, it is just a horrible chorus. Oh yeah, and Bernie gets the solo so this one is the Bernie Marsden show.
The final song is “Don’t Mess With Me” and David is back with all his glory as we have missed him for the last two songs. This one is a pure rocker, with a great rhythm and groove and filled with two totally brilliant guitar solos for both Moody and Marsden. What a way to end the album. They give you everything you would want and end the album on an utter high note.
- Take Me With You – Keeper
- Love to Keep You Warm – Keeper
- Lie Down (A Modern Love Song) – Keeper
- Day Tripper – Delete
- Nighthawk (Vampire Blues) – Keeper
- The Time is Right for Love – Keeper
- Trouble – Keeper
- Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick – Keeper
- Free Flight – Delete
- Don’t Mess With Me – Keeper
For a track score, you get 8 out of 10 songs or 80% which is pretty solid. However, there a couple things to note. The guitar playing is sensational on this album, but the guitar sound was lacking a little punch in sonics. Also, there are no real stand out tracks that I would consider Whitesnake classics, although, there are some contenders. For those couple reasons, I am giving it a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars. This an awesome first step for the band and a sign of great things to come, but I really liked the ‘Snakebite’ EP a lot better as it was more blues tinged then this album was. Still this is a solid release and a must have in the collection, I just think they do much better in the coming years.
Up next…Whitesnake – ‘Lovehunter’.
The David Coverdale Series:
- Deep Purple – Burn
- Deep Purple – Stormbringer
- Deep Purple – Come Taste the Band
- Deep Purple – Made in Europe
- David Coverdale – Whitesnake
- Deep Purple – Last Concert in Japan
- David Coverdale – Northwinds
- David Coverdale’s Whitesnake – Snakebite
- Whitesnake – Trouble
Other David Coverdale Albums reviewed – (Box Sets and Bootlegs):
- Whitesnake – 1987 (30th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Slide It In (35th Anniversary Edition) – Box Set
- Whitesnake – Unzipped – Box Set
- Whitesnake (Snake) – Still of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987 (Bootleg)