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

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!!

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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…

SIDE ONE:

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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:

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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.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Me With You – Keeper
  2. Love to Keep You Warm – Keeper
  3. Lie Down (A Modern Love Song) – Keeper
  4. Day Tripper – Delete
  5. Nighthawk (Vampire Blues) – Keeper
  6. The Time is Right for Love – Keeper
  7. Trouble – Keeper
  8. Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick – Keeper
  9. Free Flight – Delete
  10. 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:

  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

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 (Snake) – Still of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987 (Bootleg)
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David Coverdale’s Whitesnake – ‘Snakebite’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After David Coverdale finished recording his last solo album, ‘Northwinds’, he found that his touring band was already trying out new songs and ‘Northwinds’ hadn’t even come out yet.  The album finally came out in March of 1978, but by this time, David had already figured that his current touring line-up was already a band and needed to record its own album, which it did in March and April of 1978.  By June 1978, the band released a four song E.P. titled ‘Snakebite’. It was listed as David Coverdale’s Whitesnake and it was the start of something amazing.

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By September 1978, the album was released as an 8 song double E.P..  That is the copy I have and I will be reviewing.  If I ever find an original ‘Snakebite’, you can bet your ass I will be grabbing it.

The 8 song double E.P. has the 4 original songs plus it steals 4 tracks from David’s last solo album ‘Northwinds’.  It took the 4 best and now we have a pretty smokin’ album.

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Since this was now a band, let’s see who was in it at this time.

  • David Coverdale – vocals
  • Micky Moody – guitar
  • Bernie Marsden – guitar
  • Neil Murray – bass guitar
  • Dave Dowle – drums
  • Pete Solley – keyboards

Yes, it is a quite a lethal combo on guitars with Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden.  That double guitar work is what makes Whitesnake so incredible.  This line-up changes again for the next album, but by only one person and that person makes a huge difference.  That is a little teaser on what is to come with the next review.

The insert I have for the vinyl sleeve is still in tact and has the lyrics to all the songs and writing credits.  And I think my album might have been a promo or on a cut-out sell as the bottom right corner has a nice slice out of it.

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Okay, enough chit chat, let’s get to the heart of the matter…the music.

SIDE ONE:

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The first song is “Come On” written by David Coverdale and Bernie Marsden and right away you can hear how big the guitar sound is.  The song is a pure rock song with a great groove and a blistering solo.  A great opener and I love the fact that David has two Deep Purple references in the song…“Soldier of Fortune” and “Gypsy”.

Then we get into the Coverdale penned “Bloody Mary” which opens with a piano and Pete slamming the keys.  Jump up and dance and feel the music. It is pure joy and magic and two songs in and I am already loving every minute of it.

David goes back to his blues roots as he covers Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” written by Michael Price and Dan Wise.  This love song is down and dirty, a blues rock song slowed down into a beautiful ballad.  Oh, and the solo…wow!  It fit the song so well and pulled out even more emotion.  Not even an original, this song is a signature Whitesnake classic as they are still known to pull this one out and play it live.

The last song from the original E.P. is “Steal Away”.  The writing credits on this one are for everyone in the band which is nice to see.  The opening riff on the  slide guitar is nothing short of spectacular.  The song is gritty and a dirty and I love the blues rock feel.  David’s vocals are spot on and for me this is my highlight on the whole album.

SIDE TWO:

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Side two has 4 songs from ‘Northwinds’ as I mentioned earlier.  The first one up is “Keep on Giving Me Love”.  It has a funkalicious guitar riff by Moody that could have come from Glenn Hughes playbook.  “Keep on Giving Me Love” has a great groove and is a rocking opening track and excites me as what is to come.  Coverdale’s vocals have an edginess to it and Moody rips through a nice solo.

“Queen of Hearts” is full of pianos and there is a nice bass thump before the song slams into gear and really gets going.  A groovy and bluesy song that becomes a banging good time.

“Only My Soul” is a fantastic rock ballad with a great soulful feel to it in the guitars playing.  This has Whitesnake all over it.  Alan Spenner, on bass, lays down a nice groove with the keyboards playing along with it during the musical interlude before David comes back and brings it home.

The final track is the most rocking song, “Breakdown”.  It is pure Whitesnake.  Moody & Coverdale hit it out of the park with this one and they rock it out like nothing else. The song is about the downfall of Deep Purple. The 4 songs pulled off ‘Northwinds’ were the most rocking tracks and 3 of the 4 were written by Moody and Coverdale.  When he writes with the guitarists, we tend to get the most kick ass tracks.

Track Listing:

  1. Come On – Keeper
  2. Bloody Mary – Keeper
  3. Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City – Keeper
  4. Steal Away – Keeper
  5. Keep On Giving Me Love – Keeper
  6. Queen of Hearts – Keeper
  7. Only My Soul – Keeper
  8. Breakdown – Keeper

Track score is easily a 100% with 8 out of 8 tracks being keepers.  As far as the albums overall score, I will break it down in to two scores.  As a 4 song E.P., this is easily a 5 out of 5 Stars as those 4 songs on Side One are spectacular.  What a slamming introduction to the band.  Now, as an 8 song double E.P., I will ding it a little as I think only two of the extra 4 songs are Whitesnake contenders and the other two are just good songs, but not necessarily Whitesnake material.  For that, I give the version I have a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars which is still pretty freaking great!!  This is a an absolute must have for any Whitesnake fan.

Up next…Whitesnake – ‘Trouble’.

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

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 (Snake) – Still of the Night Live in Battle Creek, Mich. July 26, 1987 (Bootleg)

David Coverdale – ‘Northwinds’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After ‘Whitesnake’, David went in a recorded his follow-up solo release, ‘Northwinds’.  This was around March / April of 1977; however, the album wouldn’t be released until a year later in March of 1978. I am not sure why the long delay in release, but the bad news for the release was by the time it did come out, Coverdale was done as a solo artist.  He had already pieced a band together that would go on to become WHITESNAKE!  I will save that for the next release which came out in June of 1978 just 3 months later.

The album did a little better than the debut and sound wise is more of the same. Okay, maybe the production is a little better and the sound starts to get some of the Whitesnake sounds, but not entirely.  David is still finding himself with this record which doesn’t mean its bad, it is far from that.  It is an interesting look at early David, pre-Whitesnake, and a glimpse into his musical tastes.

I have this on vinyl and it is part of a 2LP set including both David’s early solo albums, ‘Whitesnake’ and ‘Northwinds’.  It is a sweet set released in 1988 at the height of the band Whitesnake and they were trying to capitalize on Coverdale’s popularity.  I like having this set as these two albums really should be played together to get the full impact of his early songs and to see a young Coverdale growing into a fantastic songwriter.

 

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

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

The Deep Purple tour for the album, ‘Come Taste the Band’ ended in March of 1976.  After that tour, we saw the end of Deep Purple as the band called it quits (at least until the early 80’s).  David Coverdale was now without a band, but music was still in his blood and new music was ready to come out.  In August of that year, David entered the studio and recorded his debut solo album called ‘White Snake’.

Hmmm…that name rings a bell.  Where have we heard that before?  Oh yeah, the album name would become the inspiration for his band name which would come a couple years later.  For now, we will focus on the album, ‘Whitesnake’.

The album was released on February 9, 1977 and the album cover featured David on the cover with a “white” snake curled up behind him ready to strike.  The album I have is actually a 1988 release consisting of a 2LP set with both ‘Whitesnake’ and David’s follow-up solo album ‘Northwinds’ which we will discuss later.  The package was a gatefold and consisted of commentary by Mark Rutherford.

The album was produced by ex-Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover which is a cool Purple connection.  But as we know with David, he likes to attract great guitarists and use them to help him write the songs.  On this album, that guitarists was Micky Moody formerly of the band Juicy Lucy.  Moody and Coverdale wrote 4 of the 9 songs together and this pattern of finding great guitarists would continue on until today (2019).

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