What does it sound like?:
Dave Coverdale, always a man with a plan, his next move in his back pocket. “Slide It In”, the band’s sixth album is notable as it showed DC’s next play on the way to world domination. Released in 1984 this 35th anniversary edition is available as a single CD (a remaster of the US release), a 2 disc “deluxe” set (a remaster of the UK and US releases) and finally the full Ultimate Special Edition of 6cds and a DVD.
Eddie Kramer was appointed as producer, but was soon replaced by Martin Birch who oversaw 10 tracks of what can really only be described as “cock-rock”, never shy of a single entendre for a song title. The pace never drops and whilst it’s at times formulaic, you’d need two left feet not to mark time alongside foot stompers like “Gambler” and “Hungry For Love”. “Spit It Out” has some great call and answer vocals and “Slow And Easy” moves neatly from a (Micky) moody slide intro to a catchy rocker.
However the production issues didn’t end with Birch’s appointment. Coverdale had signed up with Geffen to crack the US market, and his new label rejected the Martin Birch mix as too flat. DC seized the opportunity to have new boy John Sykes (recently poached from Thin Lizzy) re-record now departed Micky Moody’s guitar work and Neil Murray returned to the fold and re-did all the bass. Since the UK release had been recorded John Lord had returned to Deep Purple resulting in his keyboards being replaced by a session player. A hairspray laden, MTV friendly future beckoned. Next step in the plan ticked off.
This set makes it possible to compare remasters of the US and UK releases as well as including a whole new remix. For my money, I’d take the UK mix over the US – maybe the remastered format overcomes the “flatness” Geffen rejected . To my unfamiliar ears the new remix is more crisp and punchy and the best of all– I’m not clear if the US release is the base or the UK.
But that’s just 3 of the 6CDs I hear you say – what other delights are there? Well, a mixed bag really. Eddie Kramer mixes of “Gambler” and “Guilty of Love” do seem puny and don’t merit repeat plays. There are also “monitor mixes” of most songs – a bit more raw than the originals with the occasional lyric change or gap. Interspersed are 20 second clips of Coverdale opining on the album – another once only play.
The set includes 4 live tracks from Jon Lord’s last show in April 1984, and a 13 track live set recorded a month earlier in Glasgow. As much as I like Cozy Powell, there’s a touch too much bombast and Sykes widdlesome fills just grate after a while. “Here I Go Again” is hacked through to the extent that Lord’s 9 minute keyboard solo (teases of “Smoke On The Water” and “Scotland The Brave”) comes as a relief.
The final discs presents “Early Ruff” mixes with unfinished lyrics along with some demos and unused songs. There can hardly be an inch of tape left unused. The demos are mostly Coverdale singing over a single guitar with mixed levels of fidelity. Apart from him singing “Ba Ba Black Sheep” to the tune “Guilty of Love” there’s not much that would have me going back for a second listen.
What does DC think of it all? Well, he’s here to tell you ….
What does it all *mean*?
Coverdale finally lets go of his blues rock roots. It’s hair metal all the way from here….
Goes well with…
A finely tuned air guitar.
Might suit people who like…
to spit it out