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Excellent but too brief early Whitesnake
on June 25, 2000
This is music of another place and time, before MTV mattered. David Coverdale's Whitesnake rose from the ashes of Deep Purple in the late '70s, the singer taking his love of blues and R&B and welding it to traditional hard rock in a defiant kiss-off to punk, disco, and New Wave.
"Snakebite" is one of their earliest efforts, actually an amalgamtion between a 4-track EP released and 1978 and 4 of the best tracks from Coverdale's solo album "Northwinds." The tracks show Coverdale at his vocal best and loosest, a sense of fun alternating with genuine pathos.
1. Come On--slower than the familiar live version, but still a keeper. Sets the tone for much Whitesnake to come.
2. Bloody Mary--a piano driven boogie tune, almost like Elf in a way, but with rather ribald lyrics to boot. "Bloody Mary" is not a drink made with vodka and V-8 but instead a woman who likes to have sex.
3. Ain't No Love In The Heart of The City--Coverdale puts much "heart" into this rendition of the minor Bobby "Blue" Bland classic. The minor key guitar figure fits in well with the well-tempered vocalisms.
4. Steal Away--slide guitar dominates this borderline camp tune.
5. Keep On Giving Me Love--this tune defies categorization. Not quite rock, not quite funk, not pop...a new genre is born, but never really expanded upon. One of the five best tunes Coverdale has ever sung.
6. Queen of Hearts--excellent ballad, with effective dynamics.
7. Only My Soul--the second best song on the album (after Keep On Giving Me Love). Coverdale sings of children who are lost but searching.
8. Breakdown--uptempo, tough rock with classical solos in it (perhaps the most Deep Purple-like tune found here). And this makes sense, for the lyrics concern the final breakup of Deep Purple in 1976.
All in all, a worthy little gem to add to your CD collection.