Whitesnake • 1978-80 CD Reissues

The original Whitesnake albums have been ill served on CD over the years. Basic reissues that sounded like they'd been mastered down a dodgy phone line, they were a poor representation of a fabulous band. So when I heard that (finally) they were getting the remaster / bonus track treatment, I was a tad excited. Banners were unfurled, and a small array of balloons were inflated with "Trouble", "Lovehunter" and "Ready An' Willing" the first in line, with another batch due later in the summer.

The good news first - they sound so much better than the original issues. Which is the whole point and something I'm grateful for. However, it looks like Sir David de Coverdale wasn't kidding when he said there wasn't much lying around the vaults. How else can you explain the paucity of unheard bonus tracks. Bunging the "Snakebite" EP onto "Trouble" is taking the mick, given that every Whitesnake fan will already have it, and its easy availabilty on the Geffen "Snakebite" CD. Gits.

"Ready An' Willing" adds an actual unissued track in the shape of "Love For Sale" as well as 4 tracks recorded live at the Reading Festival - "Mistreated", "Aint No Love In The Heart Of The City", "Lovehunter" and "Breakdown", but it's not much given the inflated price EMI are asking, especially as the fans this is aimed at will have had the live tracks for years.

I always regarded "Lovehunter" as the last original Snake album, when they were still willing to experiment, drawing a line under the quarter of albums that began with "Northwinds". As such, it's the one I was looking forward to most, undervalued, and always worth a revisit. Bolstered by 4 radio session tracks, 3 of them from "Trouble" (despite what Geoff Barton thinks in the dull as ditchwater sleeve notes), it's the pick of the bunch with corking live versions of " Belgium Tom's Hat Trick", "Love To Keep You Warm", "Aint No Love In The Heart Of The City" and "Trouble". And after owning a Portugese vinyl copy for 25 years, I now have the English lyrics! This was the album where Whitesnake started to mutate into the r'n'b machine that UK audiences took to their hearts in the late 70s / early 80s, and of course features "Walking In the Shadow Of The Blues", a song many regard as their finest. It's not - that will always be "Take Me With You"! But it's the final flickers of the jazzy licks of the rhythm section that make this album special. Finally you can hear the glorious bass runs that Neil Murray was making, something almost worth the price of admission alone. A shame then, that his partner in crime, "Duck" Dowle is so ill served by a booklet full of Ian Paice pictures!

Regardless of some of the flaws these are so much better than the original CD issues.

review: Stuart A Hamilton. UK Head honcho - www.metal4life.co.uk / www.zeitgeist-scot.co.uk


"I can not believe what I just read, a good review of the Whitesnake Lovehunter CD! I just purchased this CD and it's so bright and brash that it hurts my ears. I need to ask, where did you get your copies? I'm wondering if there are some of these cds that have problems. Please let me know."

Jeff Thomas.  (I don't think there is any difference in your copies Jeff, but you're not alone in your opinion)

CD reviews

2006 DPAS/Darker Than Blue.
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