Whitesnake and more importantly David Coverdale has been in the press lately promoting the huge mega selling 1987 album that featured the classic Still of the Night single amongst others!
This reissue intrigued me as to Dave went the extra mile and added bonus tracks that were not on the Canadian version originally along with a live show from 1988(more thoughts on that below) and as fellow blogger Destroyer of Harmony states the real ticket here are the demos that were finally made available 30 years later to hear how these tunes were constructed!
This is a monster reissue with 44 tracks, clocking in at 3 hours and 57 minutes!
The Demos as of right now I cannot stop listening too.
What you get is Coverdale and John Sykes creating the songs we have heard a million times over yet at their earliest stages with just Dave and John jamming with Dave jibber jabbing words trying to make sense and add words to the guitar riffing of Sykes.
You can hear as the song progresses from its earliest stages as Coverdale has basically dubbed in as the song goes along to the actual demo form with the whole band playing. Basically the evolution as the title implies.
The 11 songs that make up the demo portion are as Destroyer stated are GOLD!
Sykes is a fuckin monster on these demos! His playing is ferocious on these demos! He alone is worth the listen as you hear him figure stuff out and as the song progresses to the solo sections he takes off!
Beyond a doubt he is brilliant!
Still of The Night begins and you can hear Dave figuring out words and John noodling around. Whats even cooler you hear an actual telephone ring in the background and Dave adds “he hears the bells ringing” Amazing stuff with Coverdale clapping along to keep a beat as Sykes riffs and before too long you hear the song advancing to the actual demo stage and the solo is magic!
Bad Boys has a drum machine and at the beginning is in slow mo but as the song progresses you hear them speed up to the point that its faster than the studio version that we all have heard!
Straight from the Heart has a whole different chorus as Dave sings Love Drives You Crazy. I cannot believe these stayed buried for 30 years! Dave noodles around on a keyboard while John and him fool around with vocal lines.
Crying In The Rain is an absolute monster on the demo. Sykes destroys the six string during his solo as drummer Anysely Dunbar and bassist Neil Murray hold down the fort!
Listen to the song posted above which is Is This Love where Sykes blazes a huge solo at the end of the demo. So friggin good!
Children of the Night in its earliest form is a great track. I have always loved this tune. Sykes just cranking out huge riff after riff….
I never understood Coverdale’s motive for firing John Sykes/ Anysley Dunbar/ Neil Murray and producer Mike Stone as soon as their parts were done but after listening to these demos I see why!
Sykes is the deal here and it sounds like Coverdale wanted all the fame which is what he got but don’t forget the dude who wrote the riff’s!
Sykes though was smart. To this day he collects 50 percent of the publishing off of this album and perhaps thats why he doesn’t do too much publicly!
After Sykes was booted Coverdale hit the road with a whole new version of Whitesnake which featured Vivian Campbell/Rudy Sarzo/Tommy Aldridge/Adrian Vandenberg. Added on to this deluxe 87 album is a live show from Tokyo from 1988.
This audio show is ok to say the least as its heavy on the 1987 and Slide It In albums but the guitar work especially during the solos are disappointing to say the least as neither Vandenberg or Campbell have the firepower that Sykes brought to the table!
Basically Adrian and Vivian took these solos to the shop! A butcher’s shop that is. I don’t get it as Vandenberg on his own solo material is awesome as was Campbell in DIO/Def Leppard but in Whitesnake its a different sloppy ball game. Maybe a bad night in Tokyo? Too much hairspray? Too much Tawny?
I wonder if Sykes has ever heard this live show? If so he is probably laughing and he must have really laughed when on the 1988 MTV Music Awards (I think it was) when Vandenberg used a violin bow during their performance of Still of the Night!**
No wonder Robert Plant went bat shit crazy when he seen that!
** I checked and watched Vandenberg as he does indeed use the violin bow during the Snakes appearance on the 87 MTV Awards! Watching it gave me a chuckle how Coverdale took what he and Sykes created and flushed it down the crapper by this performance just to sell a few more million copies!
I miss the 80’s!