Saturday, 13 June 2015

Whitesnake - Sail Away / The Purple Album

I am fully in Whitesnake mood this week as during a work trip I brought and read their biography Sail Away by Martin Popoff. Also last week I received the Purple years their new album which is looking at the past.

Starting with the book I learned and remembered a lot reading this on many interviews based book. Together with Hans and Magchiel we discovered Whitesnake during the early years and between us I think we had all albums from Snakebite to Slide it In. We played many games of cards listening to Whitesnake and reading now their history following their albums I realized how good they were. Actually a few years ago I found their compilation The Early Years discounted and I think I can say it is my favorite Whitesnake album since it covers exactly the period mentioned above. This book taught me that the band considers Ready An' Willing and Come An' Get It as Highlights of that period while Saints&Sinners was considered a step down as the band was falling apart at the time. Good to read though that David Coverdale mentions that when stating this before people came to him telling him S&S was their favorite. Reading back through their biography I would probably mention also S&S as my all time Whitesnake favorite. Maybe biased by the fact that I saw them first time live on this tour when they played Vredenburg Utrecht January 1983. But Here I Go Again as well as Crying in the Rain would definitely make my Top 5 (or even 3?) of best Whitesnake songs ever. Returning on their 1987 album I can say that the rough versions from 1982 were my favorite ones.

Then came the album 1987 (or just Whitesnake in the USA) which sold them about 14 Million copies and made them huge all over the world. Very interesting to read how singles were the main way to break them big and the Videoclips on MTV did their job as well. The lack of singles made them step down to "only" 2 million sold copies of follow up Slip of the Tongue. Again I am rowing against the stream, as when not considering the upgraded versions of old songs for me it is Still of the Night (1987) versus Judgement Day and Sailing Ships (SOTT) and the latter album wins. Also the role personal did or did not play on the albums brought some insights in the way the music world works. Never realized I was listening at times to the great Dann Huff (Giant anyone?) and never really to Adje Vandenberg or Vivian Campbell.

Whitesnake through the years never did a bad album really and I saw them on the Restless Heart Farewell Tour which ended in South America end 1997 when I was living my Brazilian Years. In 2006 they were on Arrow Classic Rock Festival in Holland and being the only one of my friends going more up front I loved the show, while others considered voice, sound and wind turning this into a weaker show. Now after releasing new albums Good To Be Bad and Forevermore, Whitesnake is back by going back in time. The Purple Years is a collection of songs from the three Deep Purple Albums David Coverdale sung on. Admitted I also do not know these albums in full so part of it is new to me. Next to Classics like Burn, Mistreated or Stormbringer I did get a valuable history lesson here.

In December Whitesnake Tour Europe and they are back in the renewed Vredenburg in Utrecht as well. For nostalgia's sake I need to be there, hoping work allows me to be around at the time. Even if they might concentrate on Purple Songs and their Hair Metal Years I hope any title song from their golden years (1978-1982) shall make the setlist as well. Whitesnake might go under my radar every now and then, but what a huge list of great songs they have given us. Guess I am going to get my ticket for 2 December already.

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