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

In support of Whitesnake’s ‘Restless Heart’ Tour, the band played a couple of acoustic shows.  Well, not the band really, but only David Coverdale and Adrian Vandenberg.  Their performance at the EMI Studios in Japan was recorded and ended up on this release which was recorded on July 5th, 1997 and released on September 9th of that year.  A pretty quick turnaround, but honestly, not sure there was that much to fix as it is splendid.

The setting was a very intimate one with the 2 Snake members and a small studio of fans.  It was David on vocals and Adrian on an acoustic, both sitting on chairs like they were sitting in your living room.  The songs were of course, Whitesnake classics…but more from the later years at the time. And surprisingly a Deep Purple song which David had normally been against playing (Oh how that has changed over the years).

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The songs on this album you’ve heard a thousand times, but you haven’t heard them like this.  They are stripped down “to the bone” and are played in away that is new and refreshing. The opening track “Sailing Ships” feels so sad and Adrian’s playing is simply beautiful.  And can we talk about David’s vocals?  Well of course we can, it’s my site.  David sounds better than he ever has. Not just on this song, but the whole album.  Proving at the time, he was one of the best voices in rock. Continue reading “Whitesnake – ‘Starkers in Tokyo’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)”

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

Whitesnake remained dormant for quite a while.  But in 1994, the band released a greatest hits album and ended up doing a short tour that included David Coverdale, Adrian Vandenberg, Warren DeMartini (RATT), Denny Carmassi (Coverdale/Page) and Rudy Sarzo.  The tour was short and the band disappeared again shortly there after.

I know I am skipping a Deep Purple live album that came out between ‘Coverdale/Page’ and ‘Restless Heart’, but I am trying to not repeat live shows with the same line up.  The  Purple release ‘California Jammin’ was released in 1996 and has the Mark III line-up which I covered on ‘Made in Europe’ so I don’t feel the need to cover them again. I hope you are okay with that choice…I know I am.

Now on to the next Whitesnake album.  Okay, not really.  This isn’t a Whitesnake album.  It is a David Coverdale solo album that the record company made him add the Whitesnake name in to the title and that is why it reads David Coverdale & Whitesnake.  When you hear it, you will agree, this isn’t Whitesnake.

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The new album does have Adrian Vandenberg and we finally get an album that he actually plays on with David.  But it is not what you expect.  The dual guitars of Whitesnake are not there.  The playing is very understated on most of the songs and it is not a guitar heavy album at all.  No sir.  It is back to the early R&B and Blues roots for this one.

 

Adrian and David wrote most of the album together and the band for this album included Carmassi on drums and then added Guy Pratt on bass and Brett Tuggle on keyboards.  The band had a label in Europe and Japan, but the U.S. market never had an official release of this album. After the tour of this album, Whitesnake would end yet again.  David decided to shelve the band one more time and it would be 10 years before we got another Studio album from the band.  I don’t know what happened, but it can’t be good for David to hang it up so fast.  He wasn’t happy at all with the turnout of the album and tour.

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It was a very hard album for me to wrap my head around and I am not positive I am fully there yet, but it is time to write the review as I have spent the last 2-3 weeks trying to absorb this album.  And on that sour note, let’s get to the music.

From the opening song, “Don’t Fade Away” you knew this was going to be different.  It was soft, full of keyboards, a soft drum beat and it was a ballad. An opening track as a ballad…baffling.  It is a nice song though, it is evident that the bombast of the last 3 releases is over.  David is putting that behind him.  This one isn’t a complete throwback to the earlier Snake sound,  but is in that direction.  Adrian pulls out a nice solo to keep the “Power” in power ballad and David sounds quite pleasant with his emotive vocals.

Then comes “All in the Name of Love” which has a mixture of 80’s/90’s pop soul sound.  A little blues vibe as well in the guitar sound, but the song falls flat for me.  It is too generic and familiar sounding and not in a good way.  There is no good hook to grab you and I felt empty.

The title track, “Restless Heart”, finally brings life to the album.  Great opening guitar riff and the song has some punch.  David’s soulful-filled vocals on the opening lyrics turn into the David we love throughout the rest.  The song is more of what we are used to hearing from the band, and honestly what I love the most.  This song gave me some hope in the album.

Then it was immediately back to the ballad with “Too Many Tears”.  This tune had a great blues guitar sound and harkened back to days of old with the band and is actually a welcome sound.  Adrian throws these little bits throughout that really add to the song and feel and his solo helps make the song as well.  And let’s not forget David as this is one of his best performances on the album.  He digs deep and goes so soulful and feels right at home.  The album is a little full of ballad type songs, but this one is worth it.  It was the lead off single, so the band felt that way as well.

“Crying” takes us full on blues and David gets down and dirty as does Adrian’s badass riff.  The grit in David’s vocals and Adrian’s playing is so gritty and sleazy that it makes me feel like I need a shower and I loved it.  This song feels like it could be on Slide It In or anything earlier.  A total kick ass song.

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Next up is a cover of Lorraine Ellison’s song “Stay With Me” (written by Jerry Ragovoy and George David Weiss).  The original is a soul song from 1966 and David captures the feel and essence of the song with the vocals and tones of the song.  It starts off a little slow with a nice groove and as it builds in volume and tempo, David adds some gravelly bits to the vocals to get the emotion across.  The band nails this song.

“Can’t Go On” was yet another blues and ballad song.  A slow groove and nothing flamboyant, just a simple song.  There is something catchy about it despite its simplicity.  Maybe that is it.  There isn’t much here, but a low toned guitar solo by Adrian and David’s vocals and that is enough.

We get a little pick me up with “You’re So Fine” and it is a happy tune which a few and far between on this album.  Being 1997, this song feels like an 80’s track that seems to be pop and rock mixed together. Maybe a sounds a little like John Parr.  A little of David’s womanizing songs that might have been a left over off any of the 3 previous Whitesnake albums.  It isn’t a bad song, but not over-the-top great either.  Just fun.

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“Your Precious Love” slows it back down and by this time, I am tired of the ballads.  This one is generic and boring and very skippable.  So enough said about it.

Things don’t pick up tempo wise with “Take Me Back Again”.  It is a pure blues track and David ends up screaming a few verses and Adrian’s playing is nasty at times as he shows off his blues playing.  The tempo picks up a little and David is giving it his all on vocals and saves the song.  I didn’t want another slow song, but this one turned out okay with Adrian’s playing and David’s vocals…mostly Adrian’s playing.

And the album is completely saved with the final track “Woman Trouble Blues”. This song sounds like it was a leftover from Coverdale Page with the Page-like guitar sound and the electric harmonica played by Elk Thunder (yes, that is his name).  It feels so Zeppelin like and Adrian captures Page’s essence.  Might be my favorite song on the album so what a way to go out.  Even David sounds like he did on that album.  Now I want to go back and hear Coverdale Page again!!

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Fade Away – Keeper
  2. All in the Name of Love – Delete
  3. Restless Heart – Keeper
  4. Too Many Tears – Keeper
  5. Crying – Keeper
  6. Stay With me – Keeper
  7. Can’t Go On – Delete
  8. You’re So Fine – Keeper
  9. Your Precious Love – Delete
  10. Take Me Back Again – Keeper
  11. Woman Trouble Blues – Keeper

The track score is 8 out of 11 tracks or 73%.  The album does take me back to the early blues and R&B Whitesnake albums, but still keeps a little of the modern sound.  The album had too many slow tracks which would be my biggest complaint.  It won’t be one I go back to a lot, but it still has some memorable tracks that are essential to the Whitesnake family such as Woman Trouble Blues, Restless Heart and Too Many Tears to name a few.  Overall my rating is going to be a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars.  Maybe not the best, but still enough on the bone to give it a try.

Up next…Whitesnake – ‘Starkers in Tokyo’

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 – Slip of the Tongue
  21. David Coverdale – “The Last Note of Freedom” – Single Review
  22. Coverdale/Page – Coverdale/Page
  23. Coverdale/Page – “Take Me For A Little While 12” Single (Bonus Review)
  24. David Coverdale & Whitesnake – Restless Heart

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)

March 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

Welcome to the March Edition of Purchases.  If you are new to the site, this is my monthly wrap-up of my vinyl and CD purchases since not everything I buy makes it on to the site.  Some of it does or already has or will in the future, but whose to say how long that will be.  So, I thought why not share the love of music and let you see what I have been adding to the collection.

First up is something that I ordered in February,  but didn’t make it until after the February post was written and I was too lazy to go back and update it.  If you read the Billy Idol Series there was one album I reviewed that I didn’t actually have the album on vinyl…yet.  Well that has changed.  It is the Record Store Day release of Billy Idol BFI Live which is a 3 LP set.  I think there were only 2000 released and I have 1,148.  The price has been around $75-100 and I couldn’t see spending that much.  I mean if it is was Kiss, no issues…sorry that is the way it is.  I finally found it for $40, used and in what looks like mint condition to me.  Here is it is.

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And then on the first weekend in March, Hardy Boy Records released a collection of Kiss albums he scored and there were so many that I did not have in my collection.  I got up to the store early as they opened at 10am, I was there a few minutes prior to that and there was only one other person waiting. Another gentleman showed up and we were after stuff in the Kiss collection. Luckily, we were really after different things.  Great Kiss stories were swapped and as another person had the Vault as well, we had some good discussions on that too.  It was a fun morning and I am happy to say, I scored a few things.  I would have been happy with only one item I didn’t have, instead I got 6…plus a promo Whitesnake single.

First up is the Kiss Collection.  I scored the following:

  • 12″ Single Picture Disc of “God Gave Rock & Roll To You II (from Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey)
  • 12″ Single Picture Disk of “Reason to Live”
  • Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved
  • 12″ Single Promo of “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”
  • Bootleg – Kiss: The Tickler – (Lick it Up Show 1983 in Sweden)
  • Bootleg – Kiss: Wicked Lester and Progeny Demo Sessions

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And then one other thing I found was a 12″ Promo Single of the Whitesnake song “Is This Love”.  I will need to go add it to the David Coverdale Series.

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There is a website I use called MyPoints.com.  They send you emails, you click on them and get points, you buy stuff from vendors and go through their site, you get points and after awhile those points add up and you can cash them in for a gift card.  Ding!!  No brainer.  This is what the latest cash-in got me…Steve Vai’s ‘Passion & Warefare’…Awesome!!

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Then I realized I was still missing one Whitesnake Studio album.  I can’t finish the Coverdale Series without it.  It was The Purple Album.  And now I have it thanks to ebay and a cheap Deluxe Edition copy…$8.

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Unexpectedly, I was looking at Facebook and Lunchbox posted they were putting out two used Billy Idol bootlegs and so I got up the next morning and went and was able to grab them.  I won’t go into detail as I will talk about them in detail in later posts.

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Next up is a Def Leppard Release.  ‘The Early Years Box Set” which features a remaster of the first two albums, ‘On Through The Night’ and ‘High & Dry’ as well as some bonus material including a disk of B-Sides and rarities and two live shows.  The review has already been posted!

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And that is it.  I have a bad feeling April won’t be as abundant with the Covid-19 crap going on.  Amazon not sending vinyl or CDs for the short term and record stores closing.  It might be a month where nothing gets bought and what a sad month that will be.

Here is everything I bought in March.

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Thanks for stopping by…

Whitesnake – ‘Slip of the Tongue’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After coming off the tour of the band’s biggest selling album, ‘Whitesnake’, it was time to record a new album.  But before that could happen, another guitarist left the fold.  Vivian Campbell left the band and it was reported as “Creative Differences”…whatever that means.  But it what it did mean, was more line-up issues for the band.

But that didn’t stop David from starting to write new songs.  He and his now creative partner, Adrian Vandenberg, set forth with writing the new album.  They actually wrote some of the album while on tour, but the bulk was crafter in David’s home in Lake Tahoe. I would think that wouldn’t be a bad place to hold up to write. The songs were all written by David and Adrian (except for one), but sadly, Adrian wouldn’t play on any of them.

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Adrian hurt his wrist and could not record.  He would need surgery for the issue and that put him out of commission for some time.  So, David needed to find a replacement to help with the album.  Now the replacement was to record, but it was also to replace Vivian.  He needed someone really strong and thankfully for us, he found one of the greatest guitar players ever to hold a 6 string.  It was the former Frank Zappa and former David Lee Roth guitarist Steve Vai. Steve brought a whole new style and sound to Whitesnake. Don’t expect Vai to play the blues, he had a texture and sound that was not what Whitesnake fans were used to, but we could accept it. Continue reading “Whitesnake – ‘Slip of the Tongue’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)”

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

I know, I am a little out of order with this one as I have been trying to go in chronological order with all of his releases.  However, I never intended to review this for two reasons.  One, I wasn’t planning on doing any greatest hits package and Two, this isn’t an official release and was never on my radar or in my collection until about 2 weeks ago.  Also, sorry for two bonus reviews in a row as I am sure you can’t wait for me to get to the ‘1987’ album!!

I was doing my monthly dig through some local record shops and then at my favorite one, Noble Records, I found this LP.  It is a French release of a Best of Whitesnake album back from 1982.  I say it isn’t official only because Wikipedia doesn’t even have it listed in the discography.

The album covers the albums ‘Trouble’ in 1978 all the way up to ‘Come An’ Get’ in 1981 which is 5 albums in total (which includes ‘Live…in the Heart of the City’ and 10 total tracks on the greatest hits album.  And they are all great tracks as a good greatest hits album should be.

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

January 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

Welcome to the new decade and my monthly recap of purchases that I make.  I do this as not everything I buy ends up on the site so you can see some of the items in my collection. Also, it helps me remember when I bought something and now I have it stored in the Internet universe forever (or as long as I keep paying annually for my site).

On the weekend before New Year’s Day, I went and did a little digging. Now, I know that is not January, but I had already finished and edited my December post and I didn’t have time to update.  So, these purchases get to be a part of this post.

First up was a trip to Lunchbox Records in Charlotte, NC.  My oldest daughter wanted to go and being the good dad, how could I say no.  I did some digging and found somethings, but nothing that I hadn’t seen before or that was priced right.  I found my way over to the 45’s and the 10″ records and there I saw and old Cheap Trick 10″ called ‘Found All the Parts’.  I know it probably isn’t super rare, but I had never seen one so I grabbed it.  I tell my daughter the fun thing about digging is finding that one thing you haven’t seen before.  And when you see it, you better buy it.  I haven’t always followed that rule and I have a couple regrets on that.

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Continue reading “January 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs”

Whitesnake -“Give Me More Time” – Single Review (The David Coverdale Series – Bonus Review)

Back in April 2019, I was traveling in Paris with my family and I got a few minutes to visit some record stores.  While in one, I found a 12″ Single for the song “Give Me More Time” by Whitesnake.  And it turns out the version was the UK release.  So I had to go to France from the US to get a UK single.  Makes sense.

The single was the second single from the album and was released on January 3rd, 1984.  It reached #29 on the UK Charts and was never released as a single in the US.  And the fact that this is the UK Single it also the UK Mix which sounds different than the US mix.

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The UK Mix has a little heavier guitar sound to open the song and all the instruments have a little more punch.  The US version, David is more front and center.  It is a fun, melodic song and David sounds great.  It has that 80’s rock sound and a classic Whitesnake swagger.

Continue reading “Whitesnake -“Give Me More Time” – Single Review (The David Coverdale Series – Bonus Review)”

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 – ‘Saints & Sinners’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After the album ‘Come an’ Get It’, the band was starting to crack.  Issues were developing, tensions were rising.  They started to work on the album during 1981, but it wasn’t a smooth ride.  In December 1981, Micky Moody left the band.  Then in early 1982, David Coverdale put the band on the back burner and took some time off to be with his daughter who had become ill.

The sick daughter wasn’t the only reason Coverdale put things on hold.  The band was having financial troubles and he couldn’t understand where the money was going.  During the hiatus, he parted with his management and Coverdale started to handle the business side of things.  Also during this time, three other members left the band (or were fired). They would be Ian Paice, Bernie Marsden and Neil Murray.  Jon Lord was the only one to stay in the band with David. And of course Martin Birch still produced. He hadn’t left yet either.

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As a result, David needed a new band.  Not to finish the album because it was basically done, but to tour with.  David found guitarist Mel Galley from Trapeze and Cozy Powell on drums from Rainbow and lastly, Colin Hodgkinson on bass.  The band was complete.  However, the album still had some backing vocals needed so Micky came back briefly to finish the backing vocals along with Galley.  Galley is the only new player to appear on the album.

 

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