Tag Archives: David Coverdale

Whitesnake /1987

 

Today (Oct 27th) is when the 3Oth Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Whitesnakes classic self titled 1987 is re-released! I will give Coverdale credit as the deluxe looks cool with a bunch of demos/unreleased studio tracks  and a live show from 1988 included as well along with the original running track of the album

I thought it would be a good time to repost this as I  had originally had posted  it back in November 2014! Course I have cleaned it up and added and subtracted a few things but basically I kept the vibe of it the same! Yup I preordered the deluxe off of iTunes and I gotta thank Da Heff for that!!

ENJOY….

So back in April of 1987 I tuned into that radio online show Rockline that was on 94 Fm here in Tbay on Monday nights at 1130pm – 1 am. David Coverdale was going to  be on plugging the soon to be released 1987 album and new single Still of The Night! So Bob Coburn(RIP) intros Coverdale and they play Still Of The Night and I’m blown away. Holy shit! David  and John Sykes (guitar and co writer) have blasted off a bunch of heavier up Zep riffs complete with complimentary violin bow! And man. Mine and Tbones socks were blown off!

But here comes the shocker. Ol Cov tells me the listener that there is a new Whitesnake in play! I already knew Cozy Powell had left 2 years earlier due to $$$$ but now Ansley Dunbar(drummer on the 1987 album)….. gone. Neil Murray on bass…..,.gone. The biggest shocker of all John Sykes who cowrote 7 of the 9 tracks on 1987….gone! David canned the whole band after he recorded the album( this explains no pics of the band on the album. They were all fired!) Filling the disposed members spots were Rudy Sarzo(x-Quiet Riot) Vivian Campbell (x-Dio) Tommy Aldridge(x-Ozzy ) and Adrian Vandenberg(x- of his own band Vandenberg) all good players but for fucks sake man! Whitesnake or more importantly ol Cov was turning over musicians like he was running a McDonalds!

Dave rolls different lineups on pretty much every Snake studio album. 1987 is no different from any others. Check out destroyerofharmony a WordPress blog where he describes in great detail what went down with Sykes And Coverdale. Click link below!

https://destroyerofharmony.com/?s=john+sykes+firing

Having said all this …. Whitesnake is like a soap opera man…..

Let’s check out how Sykes took Coverdale into new territories and the thanks Sykes gets is the BOOT!

CRYING IN THE RAIN-This is Covs tune from years earlier but Sykes,Murray and Dunbar tighten it up into a big rock sound and they push the sonic’s and it’s pretty clear early on that this is gonna be a big sounding rock album and  it was sounding huge on my Walkman! Sykes sets himself up a guitar hero here and its huge riffs after riffs! No fooling around with Snake 87! Bombastic let’s say!

BAD BOYS- Sykes continues his dominance with super-duper riffs and he rips right out of the opening gate with Bad Boys! Dunbar lays down some super crazy double bass and Whitesnake is shifting gears and going into parts unknown! Coverdale lays down some serious singing on this tune and well it’s great! Also of note me and Tbone went almost deaf blasting this song all summer long in his car in 87! We were cool back than! Or so we thought!

STILL OF THE NIGHT-Here it is. The song that Robert Plant hates! But that many loved and still do as its played on rock radio all the time! This is epic Snake…when Cov launches into his vocal delivery with ‘In The Still Of The Night….” Bammo Sykes kicks Jimmy Page in the nuts and steals the riff and Psyches(Sykes) us all out! Man this song is crazy good! 7 minutes of big riffs,big drums,Cov yelping ‘get over here’ and the middle section of the song that probably irked Plant most was the part  where it sounds like the violin bow which I think they used in the video for Still Of The Night! Hahaha…let it go Bobby Plant. Where all  trying to make a livin here! Now speaking of the video the hired guns are in this live video that I posted and not the real dudes that recorded the studio track! So let’s do the math here, I betcha at this show back in 87 about 98% of the people would not know the difference that these weren’t the studio guys on the record with the other 2% hollering ‘Scabs!’

Check out the live clip of Still of the Night below! The end of it is classic as the Snakes take their bow and as their running off stage Tommy Aldridge bends over in front of Coverdale and tosses something back(drumstick?) and nails Ol Coverdale right in the noggin! HAHAHA….. Classic Coverdale holding his head as he heads off stage for I’m sure a good yell at Aldridge!  You can’t make this shit up!

HERE I GO AGAIN- The video of that crazy Ol Cougar and Cov getting it on like a bang a gong and shit people fell for it. Whitesnake became a household name in North America cuz of this track which is another remake from an earlier Snake album that no one in North America heard! If anything Bernie Marsden who had long been booted from Whitesnake must have enjoyed the payday as he’s the co writer on here with Cov. I remember and I’m being honest here about liking this track and man when I heard it on the radio they jacked up the keys on it and it sounded like crap! Leave it the fuck alone will ya’s! But I know why Cov and Kalodner ( guy who signed  Whitesnake to Geffen in the US) did it. They wanted radio play and well it worked but I’m sure I’m not the only diehard  alienated by this move! Must mention that it was Adrian Vandenberg that laid  down the solo on this song and who knows why? Perhaps Sykes already had gotten the boot!

GIMMIE ALL YOUR LOVE-Sykes /Dunbar/Murray kick off side 2 with a flurry and man this song rocks and Sykes once again peels off a monster solo! You know by the 5th song here it’s like Sykes must have had to contain himself from overplaying on the Slide It In album. This album so far is full of bombastic riffs that just soar!

IS THIS LOVE?- Cov and the boys slam on the breaks and ask the lady’s Is This Love? Umm ok,this tune is really not my kind of deal but it’s ok and I know the game that is being played here. Cov and Sykes want to impress the soccer moms out there. Actually were there even soccer moms back in 87? Sykes as well must have smoked a couple of huge fattys before he did the solo as the guy slams on the breaks with his power riffing and shows us all he can chill at times! Take a bow dude!

CHILDERN OF THE NIGHT-Boom where back to mega riff central and the Snakes just riff and roll thru this blazing track! Cov sounds good on this record and man I couldn’t believe it that he had a ton of vocal troubles for a few years previous too 1987 being released!

STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART- How could this not be a single? This is a great song and Sykes gets a real cool tone out of his guitar on this right of the gate! Man its 80s Rock guitar once again but you know what? This is one of those sleeper songs!  No  surprise huh? No surprise !

DON’T WALK AWAY- Cov bids adieu to 1987 Snake with this slow closer but I like it! It’s good and probably why I like it was for the fact that it wasn’t a single and overplayed to friggin death! Thanks for not getting greedy Mr Coverdale!

IN CONCLUSION- DC and Sykes created a masterpiece and people bought this thing like hotcakes and it sold millions and of course the videos further propelled the album sales but man 30 years later I can’t fathom watching that crazy chick do her thing with ol Cov.  Must say I always dug this cover as it was far away as  a Metal looking cover as possible! Kudos to artist  Hugh Syme. I’m sure John Sykes must have laughed somewhat watching those vids and I’m sure the payday he received somewhat compensated from him getting turfed! The guitar playing is just plain sick on this! Kudos to John Sykes….

 

3/4’s Filler….Whitesnake/Slip Of The Tongue

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 ……

SONIC WAVES….Whitesnake/Slide It In

Who here by a show of hands has heard Slide It In the song?? Hahahaha…we all have but let me tell ya now in 2014 you  can snicker,hoot and howl but back in 84 this was a classic piece of hard Blues Rock and I’m gonna tell ya all about it!

Some background history with this release this is the album that got the Snake a foothold in North America. Gone is Bernie Marsden,Gone is Micky Moody,Gone is Mel Galley(r.i.p)Gone are both Jon Lord(r.i.p) and Ian Paice back to the reunited Deep Purple,returning is Neil Murray on bass and say hello to hot shot new guitar dude John Sykes,he of later day Thin Lizzy fame! And the great Cozy Powell on drums(r.i.p)Got it?

As you can see form the vid above this is the band with Lord( who went back to Purple shortly after this show)) playing Gambler in a hotel bar in Sweden?? These guys kick ass and from all accounts The Snakes blew off headliners Quiet Riot on there North American tour nightly.

So the deal is this, Cov I guess recorded a British version with a different mix for the faithfull diehards but in North America more specifically my house we got the North American remix but at the time I did not know this bit of tiny info but now 30 years later we may just get some debate going on this subject! In the European Version Corner we have Scottish blogger HMO and representing the North American side is Captain Canuck,Mr Ladano. Gentlemen let it rip in print !! Seriously,though these tunes especially the first three songs received a ton of vid play and still do!

But with me as always its the other songs like the vid for Gambler that I really dug and hey this my blog so enjoy the video..Hahahaha ….my rules!

Lets check on Coverdale before he bought fast cars and had that crazy ol wing nut slipping and sliding on the hood of his car 3 years later In 1987!

SLIDE IT IN- some neat guitar and bam Cozys drums kick in and man Cozy kicks ass and drives the Coverdale ship into tough seas on this and hey these lyrics have 1980s written all over em! But at the time I’m like who cares “I’m gonna slide it in right to the top! Slide it in I ain’t ever gonna stop,” seriously does it get any better than this? Cool solo now it could be Sykes,or is it Mel Galley or is it Bernie Marsden? I guess the story goes is Sykes is on the North American release as the others by this time were booted. Who the hell knows but I dig it!

SLOW AN EASY- some sleazy old school slide guitar starts off with Cov crooning and gasping for air and Cozy slams into heavy action on the drums …da da bam..dada bam..you know what I’m talking about you’ve heard this song a million times! Cool solo once again and the Snake has totally stepped up in to the big leagues with this album! 2 tracks in a were already into sleazeyville with  Mr Coverdale and his cronies!

LOVE AINT NO STRANGER- Jon Lord opens the song with his magical keys and he’s joined by Coverdale and Sykes and boom here comes Cozy kicking the song from becoming a sap ass power ballad and giving me hope and well that’s three songs in and three songs with Cozy Kickin ass! Coverdale could have used Cozy on those sappy tracks like Now Your Gone on the Slip Of The Tongue record but than again Cozy would have probably puked in his bass drum at the thought!

ALL OR NOTHING – this is a slammer of a hammer tune! Basically it’s Coverdale and his Snakes picking up a crowbar and crackin ya in the noggin and telling ya to listen up! You know the trick. Coverdale says ‘your gonna burn’ and bam were into a Jon Lord big ass sounding Hammond B3 rip snortin solo! Along with Cozy and Sykes driving the song! F’n Bravo !

GAMBLER- Shit I just love this tune and this was the tour opener for the Slide It In Tour if your keeping score! Great time changes,great solo and love the lyrics on this. It’s a tune about standing on the outside lookin at love! Ramblin,Gamblin Man Ol Coverdale was….

GUILTY OF LOVE – is the Whitesnake Xpress headed for destruction at break neck speed! You want a fast bluesy rocker. We’ll sign yourself up man and hop aboard the bus! Great synch of the keys and guitars and Coverdale gives it all on the pipes while Cozy slams those Yamaha drums into submission!

HUNGRY FOR LOVE- basically this tune is the Whitesnake Xpress slowing down due to construction ahead and it’s a different kind of groove! Love the drum mix on this record by Martin Birch! Man I miss those 1984 sounding records! But Hungry For Love  is just that! Cool I don’t need a University education to figure this stuff out! Thanks Dave!

GIVE ME MORE TIME- this track and the next two after this  are solid tunes as well and man I just love how the album doesn’t let up with this hard rock blues vibe! The Snakes say you can show different aspects of your sound and people will be cool with it like me! Neat guitar solo and solid drums,keys a great track!

SPIT IT OUT- If you don’t like it sez the Cov! Hahaha,30 years later yeah man the lyrics are corney but who the hell cares! I don’t! Back in 84 is no different than 2014 except that I’m balding/I’m broke/ I have a mortgage/ I have bills to pay .Cool catchy chorus even after all these years and Sykes/Murray and Powell drive the song! Hey u wanna be the cool guy whose pushing 50 at your next staff Christmas party! Throw on Spit It Out! Go ahead do it! ( and yeah invite me will ya!)

STANDING IN THE SHADOWS- so we go from Spitting it Out to Standing In The Shadows. This is a great song to end a great record. Cool backing vocals push the tune into super catchy status and I remember back when I received this album from parents at Xmas time 1984 that how it was awesome when bands ended albums on high notes! This is one of em!

IN CONCLUSION- don’t do it man,don’t laugh but this album is a scorcher from start to finish! David Coverdale,John Sykes,Jon Lord,Neil Murray and Cozy Powell made a super deadly slab of vinyl which I really wish i woulda kept cuz the cover of the vinyl did not feature any writing just the girl and the snake slithering down her (ahem) chest! This album is my fav all time Snake album. Also of note the touring unit of this album Powell/Sykes/Murray and Coverdale is my fav…….Next

SONIC WAVES….Whitesnake/ Live…… In The Heart Of The City

Welcome to Whitesnake Week here at Arena Rock Tbay! Now all you early am readers to my blog don’t choke  on your Cheerios but I thought I would try Something different here and talk about 4 albums by Whitesnake this week that run from 1980 to 1989!

The first time I heard Ol Whitesnake was at this dudes house whose name was Darcy. He had a older brother named Stacy so Stacy asked me ( this was around say 1982ish) if I had heard of the band Whitesnake? I had! In Circus magazine they were written about a bit but not much. That day for better or worse I became a follower and my first introduction to the Snake was the live album …..Live In The Heart Of The City. Once I heard it I was hooked I had not heard a band like this before with blazing Hammond B3 organ,crazy drums,bluesy wah wah solos and a singer with a very unique charismatic voice and man I was hooked! Deke,welcome to the world of old school hard blues rock!

Now this album was recorded in 1980 but by the time I got my paws on it it was like I said around 82 or so and man here’s David Coverdale and with him are two cronies from Deep Purple,Ian Paice and Jon Lord(rip),on bass is Neil Murray and guitars Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden. So you knew these guys well the guys from Deep Purple are gonna be laying down some serious hard blues rock and by golly did they ever!

Lets check out what these ol buzzards were doing that one night when the LIVE button was pushed!

COME ON- Are You Ready shouts Dave and ol Cov begins the nights festivities! Come On is a great track! Great lyrics and and a great heavy sound but not so heavy where it drives the track crazy and makes me nauseous! But one that is awesome. OK PEOPLE THIS IS OL SNAKE THERE ARE NO CRAZY CHICKS SLIDING AROUND ON THE HOOD OF CARS WITH THIS INCARNATION OF THE BAND…reason being…THEYRE UGLY! Sorry had to point that out if your looking for that version of the band check back  here on Friday! Cool opening number and I was hooked. Actually of note also is the backing vocals there supreme on this release.

SWEET TALKER-I’m sure Cov was taking home most of the pay with Whitesnake but he would pass around the accolades of others in the band. This song he chirps Micky Moody before the solo (and also before Jon Lord destroys his organ as well on the solo)which would help me the listener at home distinguish who was playing what solo! Cool lyrics as well like…first time I ever heard the phrase….’Bitch is in heat!” Hahaha,sorry ladies!

WALKING IN THE SHADOW OF THE BLUES- Cov tells us all that this song features the other guitar player Bernie Marsden and boom great song. Ian Paice on drums and Neil Murray on bass are locked and loaded on this tune and it rips along at break neck speed. Cov tells us all that he loves the blues in this tune and yep so do I at Whitesnakes volume level which is at 10 !

LOVE HUNTER- is a 10 minute song and it goes without saying that this is one of the best songs on here it features everything,some crazy assed slide guitar by Moody interlocked with Paice on the drums. Myself as a 15 year old never heard crazy jams like this and I guess it’s the Deep Purple coming out of them in Love Hunter(great title) can’t say I blame em.

AINT NO LOVE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY-side two begins with a super slow bluesy number which a lot of it is crowd participation! This is hard slow blues rock driven by Paice on the drums! Super cool tune…..

FOOL FOR YOUR LOVING- No more sez Cov and he introduces it as the song that the British fans put in the top 20 and yep for all you later day Snake fans,ol Cov redid this track on the Slip Of The Tongue record from 1989 which Steve Vai(love him with Roth/ not so much in Whitesnake) basically manhandled his wang dang guitar bar to the point of brutality in a Whitesnake hard rock blues band! Anyways back to 1980 and hey man this is the way this song should be played!

TAKE ME WITH YOU-The Snakes are gonna exit the building and there gonna rock it out big time! This is Whitesnake playing there style at a 100 mph and not easing off the gas pedal! This album and song left me wanting more. This was heavy rock played a different way and for me it was ok !

IN CONCLUSION-for my introduction to Whitesnake this is a pretty damn good spot! Lots of Cov saying “eres a song for ya!” Lots of great musicianship these cats could play. I totally love and rocked to this album and yep the YouTube clip that is posted for Sweet Talker is the cover of the album If your looking for Slip Of The Tongue Whitesnake here, just keep trucking pal,just keep trucking!