For My Sunday Song #210, we come to the last song in the 10 song set of Whitesnake songs with “Still Of the Night”. The song was the first single off their groundbreaking, career breaking album known as ‘Whitesnake’ or ‘1987’ to some. This took the band to new heights and MTV played the hell out of it. The song was written by David Coverdale and John Sykes.
Lyrically, it comes as no surprise this song has a lot to do with Sex. The “cock rock” Kings are at it again. The song has an almost vampire element and stalker element. He is obsessed with this woman and wants to be with her all night. The daylight seems to hurt him as to keep his head down and hide his face from the sun. I know it isn’t about vampires, but I like the analogy so give me that.
Musically, this was a new Snake, a hungrier Snake, a more badass Snake. It has some blues elements of the old Whitesnake, but John Sykes took it, distorted it and turned it on its ass. David’s swagger on belting out the opening verse is full of confidence and aggression and exactly what every teenage boy wanted to hear (and girl wanted to see). There is a musical interlude in the middle that gives an awesome guitar solo a whole different style with an almost cello/violin/string instrument orchestration to the whole thing. Pretty freaking cool.
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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!!
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!!
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)”
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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After the success of their self-titled E.P., Ratt signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and that deal brought us the incredible debut album ‘Out of the Cellar’. On March 27th, 1984, the album was released and thanks to MTV, the band became a huge sensation.
The band’s line-up was unchanged from the E.P, consisting of the following members:
- Stephen Pearcy – vocals
- Robin Crosby – lead guitar
- Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
- Juan Croucier – bass
- Bobby Blotzer – drums
With the incredible dual guitar combo of Crosby & DeMartini and the bluesy, raspiness of Pearcy’s vocals, the band had an arsenal of great songs that took them to the pinnacle of rock and selling millions and millions of records. It also didn’t hurt that they looked the part which was crucial for the MTV world that was exploding on the scene at the time.
Take that and add a beautiful woman on the cover your album and there was denying this band. Tawny Kitaen graced the cover of the debut album as she was the then girlfriend of Robin Crosby. She also graced the cover of their E.P. but that was just her beautiful legs. This time, you got the whole package. For those that didn’t know, Tawny is the video vixen that was dancing on the pair of Jaguars in the Whitesnake videos in the late 80’s when she was dating David Coverdale.
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Back in 1976, there lived a band fronted by Stephen Pearcy called Mickey Ratt. With limited success and numerous line-up changes over the years, including the great Jake E. Lee on guitar, the band eventually found the line-up that would work. By 1982, that line-up be complete.
In 1981, one of the most crucial pieces was another songwriter to work with Stephen. That role was filled by the late Robin Crosby on guitar. Also in 1981, a young guitar great, by the name of Warren DeMartini, joined the band courtesy of Jake E. Lee’s recommendation. He would leave as he was in college and was afraid to quit school for a band with only moderate success. He returned in 1982. Finally, the band would add Bobby Blotzer on drums (ex Vic Vergeat) and Juan Crucier (formerly with Dokken) on bass and the band was complete.
Everything was in place and the band finally got a record deal in July 1983 with an independent label called Time Coast Music. The band released their first E.P. as Ratt and it was simply called Ratt. The E.P. included 6 tracks; however, the European release would give you 7 tracks which was an early version of “You’re In Trouble” that was later released on ‘Out of the Cellar’. My version on vinyl is the U.S. release. My version is also a re-release that was done in 1984 after the success of ‘Out of the Cellar’ which included a picture of the band with their more current look and was released by Atlantic Records.
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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.
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There are ton of songs in rock & roll about cars. However, this is not a list of songs about cars. This is a list of the most recognizable cars in Rock & Roll. Cars that were in music videos or on album covers. Just the coolest cars that you could actually own and drive. Ok, there is one on here that isn’t really cool, but it had to make the list.
10. The Black Keys’ 91 Dodge Caravan: This glorious vehicle graces the album cover for their 2011 album ‘El Camino’. I am a little confused. The album is called ‘El Camino’ and you show a picture of a Dodge Caravan. Now that is rock & roll. I believe the van is actually similar to their first van they used for touring.
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