What does it sound like?:
The year of 1987 saw the release of three huge rock albums – G n R’s Appetite For Destruction, Def Leppard’s Hysteria and this effort from Whitesnake. In fact, there are similarities between the latter two bands – both streamlined their traditional British hard rock sound (or blues rock in the case of the Snake) to appeal to the US audience, and had massive worldwide success as a result. In fact David Coverdale even went so far as to jettison the British line up who actually played on the album – John Sykes (who co-wrote too), Neil Murray and Aynsley Dunbar – and toured with a completely different US based line up. Both of the two contrasting line-ups are on show in this two cd version of the 30th anniversary reissue set, which comprises a 2017 remaster of the original album (no bonus tracks on offer here alas), and a live show from the band’s subsequent world tour.
The original album has worn well, although it doesn’t sound particularly different in this incarnation, still having that very polished eighties studio sound. The big hits are all present and correct – the Zeppelin-esque In The Still Of The Night, Give Me All Your Love, Here I Go Again, and the almost Tina Turner like Is This Love, as well as live favourites such as Crying In The Rain. Indeed, earlier, rawer versions of Here I Go Again and Crying In The Rain had previously appeared on the band’s 1982 Saints and Sinners set. This is a very slick sounding album, very much of its time, but it’s still a good listen even now. The live set, unsurprisingly, leans quite heavily on material from this album, which again is very slickly performed by a band of very seasoned musicians. Perhaps though it’s rather too slick in places – at times you yearn for the sound of the original ‘British’ brand of bluesy edged hard rock from earlier in the decade, rather than this very airbrushed AOR friendly sound. Nevertheless, it’s good to hear some of the old live favourites were still included in the set list – Slide It In, Slow an’ Easy, Love Ain’t No Stranger and of course Ain’t No Love In the Heart Of The City.
What does it all *mean*?
A band who found massive worldwide success, but who lost something of their soul in the process of achieving it?
Goes well with…
Denim, leather, hairspray!
Might suit people who like…
Eighties rock. Tawny Kitaen.