Oh oh here comes Nov 1989 and Whitesnake are striking while the iron is hot! What would a new Whitesnake be without a whole new lineup on the new studio album! Of course the whole 1987 album band is canned and gone and Coverdale pretty much keeps the touring band from the 1987 tour intact (Sarzo /Aldridge/Vandenberg) Vivian Campbell is gone so he carries the WS tradition of getting your ass fired! So what does Dave Coverdale do? He goes after Steve Vai he layed down some serious guitar action with Dave Roth on the Eat Em And Smile and Skyscraper albums and man his guitar suited Roths voice so when I heard he had joined Whitesnake I was like ?….??….??? I mean I had a hard time wrapping my head around Vai’s Wang Bar 7 String Sting Ibanez Workout Extravaganza!
But with all big band releases I was a first week buyer of Slip Of a The Tongue! I dunno I had a hard time taking this album serious and I will explain why….
First of all Adrian Vandenberg wrote with OL Cov all the tunes on this album but than he fucked up his arm and Coverdale waits for no one so he enlisted Vai who did all the guitars on Slip Of The Tongue! Now don’t get me wrong here people Vai is very good but not in Whitenake 1990! His playing is just over the top nuts at times on some of these songs and I will review quickly my thoughts on a few tunes!
SLIP OF THE TONGUE- bam this is the opener and it’s pretty good it almost sounds like a tune that could have maybe just maybe fit on the 1987 album. Tommy Aldridge plays some serious double bass drums and Dave is already screeching like his nutsack is being squeezed by that crazy chick on the previous albums videos! Oh wait a minute she was doing that to him! Ha! Seriously though Vai is restrained on this tune ….he’s setting a guitar trap!
CHEAP AN NASTY- now this has some cowbell and it kicks along with a pretty cool chorus but man the Vai solo just goes into Eat Em And Smile territory which is fine and dandy but not here in Whitesnake hard blues which has turned into arena c*%k rock 101!
NOW YOURE GONE- I dunno these guys are now writing for the radio! I understand it’s the game to be played but c’mon Cov don’t make it so obvious now.
KITTENS GOT CLAWS-next…..
JUDGEMENT DAY- now we’re talking! The Snakes pull of some big bombastic Zep riffs and it works! Jimmy Page must have been listening to this one as a few years later him and Coverdale did the fantastic Coverdale /Page album! Man that was a good one! So yep this is a great Whitesnake song…..
SLOW POKE MUSIC-this is another good song and it fits Whitesnakes style but the lyrics well are kinda goofy but hey it’s 1990! It’s time for some Slow Poke followed by some Cherry Pie along with some Poison ( take your pick of any Poison song!)
SAILING SHIPS- this totally could have fit on any Vandenberg record and it’s well played and it’s got some great acoustic work on it!
The rest of the songs I never really took a liking to them. This album was the end of the line for me and Whitesnake. I got tired of all the personal upheaval and band member changes like geez Dave just call your your band Coverdale or Coversnake or Fire Yer Ass! …just don’t call it a band when it ain’t. The other thing to me was OL Cov it seemed would just run and gun with whoever was in his band and once he used up there creativity …..Now Your Gone(Hahahaha) seriously though he’s written some great albums but by 1990 times were a changing…….
KINDA IN CONCLUSION- perhaps I’m being harsh here folks but seriously by 1990 Whitesnake was a brand name in North America. I mean look at the vids I have posted for all 4 Blogs. You can see the transformation from 1980 – 1990 in sound and look and yep it worked for a album or two. I think Dave should have called this Coverdale/Vai instead of Whitesnake and I may have skipped on this on the 3/4’s Filler column! Vai is a gifted guitarist (check out my Roth review of Eat Em And Smile) but for Whitesnake he was just playing way over the top crazy for my liking at the time. Of course Ol Cov shut down the Snake in 1990 perhaps he knew the tide was turning and perhaps that was due to some of the turnouts in North America.
Case in point…….
Tbone and myself when we were in Winnipeg to see Motley Crüe in June of 1990. We were talking to some guy in the hotel lobby who went and seen Whitesnake/ Bad English when they played the Peg 4 days before the Crüe show! I asked him how was Whitesnake. The dude told me they were good but only 2,000 people were there whereas when the Crüe played 4 days later 12,000 were there…. I don’t know what shocked me more. The fact that there were only 2,000 people at the show or the fact that that Tbone came 4 days from snagging that elusive Bad English Tour Shirt!
Damn,a missed opportunity ……