Whitesnake – The Purple Album Review

purplealbum-300x180 Whitesnake - The Purple Album Review

Released: 15th May 2015

Released By: Frontiers Music

Genre: Classic Rock

Links: whitesnake.com , Facebook

 

Line Up:

David Coverdale – Lead Vocals

Tommy Aldridge – Drums

Reb Beach – Lead Guitars

Michael Devin – Bass

Joel Hoekstra-Lead Guitars

 

Track List:

1. Burn

2. You Fool No One

3. Love Child

4. Sail Away

5. The Gypsy

6. Lady Double Dealer

7. Mistreated

8. Holy Man

9. Might Just Take Your Life

10. You Keep On Moving

11. Soldier Of Fortune

12. Lay Down Stay Down

13. Stormbringer

 

 

Last year a grey cloud hung over the Whitesnake camp following the departure of guitarist Doug Aldrich. Thankfully, a year on that cloud has turned to a healthy purple glow, thanks to some prompting from David Coverdale’s’ missus. What had started as a possible Blackmore/Coverdale venture, eventually collapsed and the legendary vocalist was ready to let it go. But wife Cindy intervened, and hubby done as he was told. And The Purple Album is now reborn and ready to fly. Back in 1973 Coverdale was given the hugely daunting task of replacing the irreplaceable Ian Gillian in Deep Purple. But this was a young, cocky, Yorkshire man with a massive pair of lungs and balls to match. During the short lived stint with the band, three fine albums were recorded, Burn and Stormbringer, both 1974, and finally, minus Ritchie Blackmore, Come Taste The Band in 1975 featuring, Tommy Bolin on guitar. Now 39 years on, Coverdale is giving a selection of songs from that period a lick of the snake.

And what better way to kick it off than with Burn, the song that introduced him to the rock ’n’ roll masses. And today it’s still as relentless and as beautifully out of control as it always was, Coverdale’s’ ever maturing pipes has given this classic a renewed vigour, while Beach and new boy, Joel Hoekstra, trade licks with competitive precision. An accurate and respectful version. That beautiful southern intro to You Fool No One still has charm by the truckload, and dare I say it, Tommy Aldridge giving Ian Paice a run for his money. Probably the lesser received album of his tenure with the band, Come Taste The Band is represented by just two tracks. First up, Love Child, and as Whitesnake have always been masters of the innuendo, this blatant display of rock filth is right up their alley…..so to speak. You Keep On Moving has, without doubt, benefited from it’s 40 year hiatus, a full and meatier version all round. The keyboard and guitar solo’s are a fitting tribute to Jon Lord and Tommy Bolin.

Personally I’ve always thought Sail Away was one of Deep Purple’s finest tapestries, but remember Coverdale was just a 22 year old when the original was recorded, now 60 years, plus VAT, the song has taken on a stronger character, and has a distinct content vibe throughout. Lets face it, you can’t beat the twin guitar sound, and on The Gypsy, Beach and Hoekstra once again exel themselves. That groove laced seductive rhythm has preserved well. The rampaging Lady Double Dealer is reminiscent of a vintage Whitesnake, heads down, no nonsense boogie, and then some. This band has always injected fun into their performances, in both studio and live situations. That vibe is evident in spades here. It’s common knowledge that Coverdale’s’ chief influence has always been the blues, although that hasn’t come across much in recent times. But one listen to Mistreated and that’s all forgotten about, and not to dismiss the brilliant original, but this is far beyond epic. The emotion, pain and sincerity in his vocals will bring you a point of overwhelming ecstasy.

While earning a meger crust singing with The Fabulosa Brothers in the late sixties, Coverdale was also penning tunes of his own, one of which was Holy Man. Originally sang by Glenn Hughes on the Stormbringer album and a fine job too. But this version has without doubt benefited from massive strides in production sound. Might Just Take Your Life has always been a favourite of Coverdale’s; it was a regular member of the early Whitesnake set lists. Now that he has it all to himself again, he’s given it the full monty. But personally I think the original still stands taller. Lay Down Stay Down closes out the Burn tracks in typical Snake style, rude and crude and sung with a big dirty grin. Probably of the best Whitesnake songs that never was.

Though not as memorable as the Burn album, and leaning a bit heavy in the funk direction, Stormbringer still produced memorable moments. And none more so than Soldier Of Fortune, great memories of Ritchie Blackmore’s’ medieval chords come flowing right back. The songs sombre lyrics will continue to resonate with people today, just as it did upon it’s original release. As The Purple Album opened with thunderous majesty, it’s closing with another fine clatter of magic. Stormbringer, a real Deep Purple classic that has never been given the full kudos it deserves. On this version Coverdale lets his band loose and the results are simply mind-blowing. Every bell and whistle is used here; the song is bigger and bolder with a shiny modern sound.

For those of you who have blinkered image of Whitesnake and think they are all about ozone endangering hairstyles and Jaguar backseat shenanigans, this statuesque tribute to a grossly underrated period in rock music will put you right. And the ripple effect of this album will be massive, these songs will reach a whole new generation of rock fans, and that my friend is absolutely priceless.

 

Written By: BRIAN BOYLE

Rating: Brian    10/10

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Comments

 

5 comments

  1. I realize the dude is old now and can’t hit the notes the way he used to, but I would have preferred this more if it weren’t down-tuned so much.

     
  2. man…I just bought the pre-order from I tunes and the 2 songs “Burn” & “stormbringer” sound sooooo freakin great in this day and age!!!!!….people can bitch all they want about the stupid small shit, but I say, if your a fan of Whitesnake and some Deep Purple and also want a history lesson in how TRUE “rock” music was and is formed….well here you go man……..peace….

     
    1. Very well said, I am a fan of Dp and WS since early 80’s and yes this is true rock music rarely heard nowadays.

       
  3. ‘Sail away’ has been a personal favourite for decades now and being able to hear a new version is christmas time as far as I’m concerned…
    Thank you, dave

     
  4. I’m sorry, but I must’ve listened to a different album. These new versions just go to show how fabulous the originals were. Far too much widdly guitar solos, overly compressed sound, vocals so produced it’s difficult to tell what is DC and what is FX. Aldridge’s leaden double-bass drum approach is not even close to approaching the imaginative grooves of Ian Paice. Such a shame.

     

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