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Whitesnake • Live at Donington 1990

"I've been anticipating / dreading this in equal measures since its release was announced. In my head this was the second worst Whitesnake show I ever saw. To be fair, the memory doesn't wake me up screaming in the night. That is reserved for the 1994 tour with Warren DeMartini. But I always remember this as a low point. Like most Whitesnake fans, I've had a bootleg since about a week after the show, but thought I'd give the cleaned up version a go.

And it's not quite as bad as I remember. There are some competent version of tunes like 'Slide It In', 'Slow & Easy' and 'Crying In The Rain'. But the "Slip Of The Tongue" material is still second rate, and the endless guitar dribbling of Steve Vai is interminable and horrendously out of place. For some strange reason the decision has been taken to edit out a lot of the between song repartee from Mr Coverdale. I can only assume that his hip thrusting days must be a source of embarrasment to him, but it seems silly, to say the least. If it was reasons of space, then they could have chucked one of the six million Vai solos.

Mr Coverdale was in good voice on the day and in its favour, the audio is better than the bootleg versions I've got, but I'm more likely to play one of those, should I choose to reminisce about my youth. The DVD, however, is another matter altogether. To say it's rubbish, would be to praise it too highly. At its best it's B grade bootleg quality, at its worst, its unwatchable, as it leaps between colour, black and white and slow motion fades. To his credit, Coverdale admits in the sleeve notes that it's lo-fi, but in that case it should have been chucked in as a freebie, rather than as a more expensive edition.

The twenty minute long behind the scenes featurette was quite interesting as Sir David talks us through the making of "Slip Of The Tongue", but you're unlikely to watch it more than once. Although I'd be interested to hear the demos he threatens us with halfway through and seeing him in full on guitar god mode is entertaining. The packaging is quite nice, if you're into the modern day Whitesnake style, but I'm not alone in doubting his statement that this is the most requested show on the Whitesnake website. Like many others I'd choose the Reading sets of 1979 and 1980 well ahead of this.

It's out as a double CD or triple disc package with the DVD. If you were there, then the three disc version is a nice souvenir of days long gone, but its not for the casual listener."

review: Stuart A Hamilton

Whitesnake, Live At Donington 1990 is available from the dpas online store, both as cd /dvd and cd