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Monday, February 8, 2010

The Final Solution to the Whitesnake Problem (MUSIC REVIEW BY SCOTT OKEN)

Whitesnake…You’ve all heard the name before. They are known in this day and age as the highly coiffed, over spandexed, posing sons-a-bithces that gave us “Here I Go Again” and “Still of the Night”. Because of this they have become a punch line when referring to Hair Metal bands. To this, I don nothing but a loin cloth, walk out to a sandy beach and scream to the sky “DAMN YOU!!! GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!!!!!!!” (…well maybe not the loin cloth…nobody on this earth wants that) The fact is that Whitesnake has quite a few great straight-up rock and roll albums.

Before they went all Hair Metal, they were a bluesy, soulful rock and roll outfit.( that’s right, I said “outfit”). You see, lead singer David Coverdale came out of Deep Purple. He took over when Ian Gillan left back in 1974. With him, and new bassist Glenn Hughes, Deep Purple produced 3 fine lps, Burn, Stormbringer, and the criminally underrated Come Taste the Band. Many snooty “experts” dismiss these records as utter crap, which proves that snooty experts know NOTHING ABOUT ROCK!!!!! After Deep Purple split a few years later, Coverdale formed Whitesnake, taking keyboardist Jon Lord from the aforementioned Purple and grabbing some hard playin’ blokes to round out the band. I am here to shed light on these lps.

1. Snakebite-Side one is Whitesnake, side two is David Coverdale solo, however side one has some ESSENTIAL tunes to the Whitesnake catalogue, most notably the classic, “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”. OUR: 7/10

2. Trouble-Bluesy Rock and Roll at it’s finest! The Title cut is a classic, as well as “The Time is Right For Love”. One thing to note hear is that Coverdale is far less screamy and screechy on these albums and you can really hear how awesome is voice really is. OUR: 8/10

3. Lovehunter-What a great Goddamn album!!! The lead off cut, “Long, Long Way From Home” should have been a number 1 hit!!!!!!!! Other notable jams, “Walking in the shadow of the blues” and “Lovehunter” OUR: 10/10

4. Ready and Willing- A near perfect lp. This is where you hear the song “Fool for your loving” as it was originally intended, not that bastardized version on Slip of the Tongue…that version induces me to punch babies! This album is solid from top to bottom. Run to your local store and buy it now!!!!!!!!!! OUR 10/10

5. Come and Get It- Solid album here. They start to get rather repetitive but there are some good jams, most notably “Hot Stuff” , “Wine, Women and Song” and “Come and Get It”. OUR: 6/10

6. Saints and Sinners- This is where the transition starts to creep it’s head in, ever so slowly. This much harder edged lp, contains the original versions of “Here I Go Again” and “Cryin’ In The Rain” (Ha! You thought they were new when they appeared on Whitesnake, didn’t you!?!?.....DIDN’T YOU!?!?!?) Interesting to listen to those songs without all the Hair Metal Production. OUR: 7/10

7. Slide It In- Now it is complete. This is the album right before the one that broke them out huge. Still, this is a fucking great album. The 80s production is in full force here, but not as annoying as the next album. “Slide it In” is a classic table-busting jam! “Slow and Easy” kicks ass and lest we not forget “Love Ain’t No Stranger”. You know they’re serious when they start using grammatically incorrect words in the titles!!!!

So my final plea to you is this. Do some Whitesnake research. Get the facts. Don’t dismiss albums and albums of solid Rock and Roll at the expense listening to snooty music elitists. Give Whitesnake a chance. It’s the right thing to do.

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