Whitesnake (30th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)(4CD/1DVD)
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|Audio CD, October 27, 2017||
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Soon after its release in April 1987, WHITESNAKE became a huge success around the world, selling multi million copies. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard album chart and spawned four popular singles: “Still Of The Night,” “Give Me All Your Love,” “Is This Love” (which reached #2) and the #1 hit “Here I Go Again.”
- Language: : English
- Product Dimensions : 5.94 x 8.15 x 2.4 inches; 1.63 Pounds
- Manufacturer : Rhino Records
- Date First Available : August 16, 2017
- Label : Rhino Records
- ASIN : B074VJDGG5
- Number of discs : 5
- Best Sellers Rank: #73,097 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
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As you can see from the picture I took moments after taking off the cellophane as eagerly as a kid at Christmas, there are lots of goodies. There is a handsome poster of the album cover that will soon be framed and hanging with my other favorite rock posters. Now, working our way counterclockwise from the top left of the photo, we see the exquisite 60-page, hardback book chock full of photos from the era and text detailing everything you could want to know about the meteoric rise of this multi-platinum stunnner.
Next is the disc called "87 Versions," which starts out with four remixes of "Still Of The Night," "Is This Love," "Give Me All Your Love," and "Here I Go Again." I listened to these alongside the original releases and the 2017 remasters (more on these later), and I can honestly say the remixes bring something fresh. You can hear individual tracks and instruments more sharply, and often the low-end sounds are clarified, which contrasts them with the high-end vocals. It is as if the lines of a sculpture have been chiseled anew, not differently, but to make the cuts deeper and to bring the details into sharper relief. The disc goes on to include "Standing In The Shadows," "Looking For Love," "You're Gonna Break My Heart Again," and "Need Your Love So Bad" from the Japan mini album. This last track is a true gem, one that may be unknown, criminally and tragically so, to many.
At the bottom left you can see the DVD, which is the first item I played in this treasure box. It starts off with the four MTV videos restored and remastered in 5.1 of "Still Of The Night," "Here I Go Again," "Is This Love," and "Give Me All Your Love." For some of us, this is how we want our music videos...lots of shots of the band in action and a bit of the story line dramatized. Watching these takes you back to that golden age of rock videos and music television. Next comes "Video Memories - The Making Of The 1987 Album." Coverdale narrates in that rich voice of his, and coming in at a full half hour, this is a great look at what took place. It examines everything from Hugh Syme's design of the now iconic Whitesnake amulet, Tawny Kitaen's replacement of Claudia Schiffer in the videos, and of course the making of the music. After this is the Purplesnake Video Jam of "Here I Go Again," which for me was simply the most wonderful gift. Backstage and behind-the-scenes clips are interlaced with footage from various concerts on that tour, and the effect is that you are reminded just how much fun rock was in those days. The hair is big, the costumes are flashy, and taking me back to the days of my youth as it did, it darn near brought a happy tear to my eye. The DVD concludes with actual tour footage of "Crying In The Rain," intros of the band members, and "Still Of The Night." It was if it I were back in Louisville, Kentucky's Freedom Hall on February 14, 1988, when I saw Whitesnake for the first time. The showmanship of David Coverdale, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell, Rudy Sarzo, and Tommy Aldridge really shine through in these glimpses from the 213-date tour that tore through the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Puerto Rico.
Next in the picture you see the disc of "Snakeskin Boots," which was the second disc I couldn't wait to open. It contains twelve tracks recorded live in June of 1988 in Tokyo. This is the mighty Whitesnake at the height of their hair-metal glory. Songs are mostly from the '87 album, with "Slide It In," "Slow An' Easy," and "Love Ain't No Stranger" from their preceding album Slide It In. Listening to the disc in 2017, the track I couldn't wait to hear was "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City." Their cover of the 1974 Bobby Bland song appeared on their debut album Snakebite back in 1978 and became the featured song on all their tours. I once asked David on the old Whitesnake bulletin board whether he had sung it or Deep Purple's "Mistreated" more often, and he replied that it would be hard to tell. I love all of the countless versions I have listened to, and it is indeed one for the famous Whitesnake Choir that David loves and appreciates so much to join in on with full-throated abandon. Of course the track that gets the crowd to blow the roof off the place is Track 10, "Still Of The Night." There is nothing like this song, and nothing like it played live.
On on the bottom right is the disc "87 Evolutions," filled with demos and rehearsals. I love this kind of thing. It's like unearthing an original manuscript of a famous work and seeing how it changed over time. We hear alternative arrangements and lyrics, and by gaining access to these works in progress, we are taken deep into the creative process. If you are the kind of person who loves rockumentaries and the nitty-gritty of music development as I do, you will enjoy this disc.
The last disc in the picture is the complete '87 album remastered. It includes the full eleven tracks from the European edition, but in a different order from either the U.S. or European release. The sounds are a bit cleaner than the original, and anything that opens with "Still Of The Night" is going to be a scorcher.
In the upper right corner of the picture, you will notice a small, purple booklet. It includes all the lyrics to the songs along with David Coverdale's own handwriting, including the crossing out of words he decided against.
How many versions of Whitesnake 1987 do you need to own? You have the European version and the US versions, which have different tracks and running orders (Hello, Beatles?). The US version originally omitted ‘Looking for Love’ and the fantastic, Sykes’ smoking ‘You’re Gonna Break my Heart Again’. We also have the 20th Anniversary Edition, which is remastered, has all the tracks and the preferred running order, but is an older remaster, AND they tacked on 4 live tracks recorded in 2003 – WHY? The answer is that THIS 2017 Remastered version of this multi-platinum album is the only one you need. In fact, if this album is within your top 20 favorite rock albums, then you probably need the Deluxe Version.
The sound of the 2017 Remaster sounds fantastic to me. I don't have a $10,000 stereo and didn't crank it to 11 so it didn't get that test from me. I listened to the CD on a $1,000 receiver and Bose 301's and it was perfect to me. I know when something sounds like 'Death Magnetic', and this most certainly does not. I'll leave it to someone else to determine if the sound doesn't pass a more advanced ear.
87 Evolutions is the most valuable disc in the collection, IMO. Each tune from the 1987 album starts off in its most raw form. David singing usually just the skeleton of the lyrics, but the vocal melody already present. David or someone else may clap to keep the beat, and Sykes plays along. A minute or two later the song morphs to a more mature stage with almost complete lyrics, maybe bass and a drum machine added. The song usually evolves to decent sounding demos with the full band, including Neil Murray on bass and Ansley Dumbar on drums. It’s a real treat to be able to hear these compositions evolve during the course of the song. I am not sure if this has been done before, but to me, it’s a work of art to splice each song together this way.
Whitesnake in this configuration was a tight little heavy metal unit. This lineup never did get to tour or promote the finished 1987 album so any additional material from these sessions is a real treat.
The live album, Snakeskin Boots has excellent sound and is something that was sorely missing from the WS catalog to represent the 1987/88 World Tour. I do miss Sykes guitar tone a bit when going from the studio album to the live album, but I can get past that because what Adrian and Vivian did on this tour is excellent. Tommy Aldridge gets a great drum sound on this, and his playing is a joy to listen to. This is a far superior live album to the Donington 1990 CD/DVD set, which features a very trebley sound, and Coverdale singing at a rather unbearably higher pitch. Anyway, the only fault I can find with this live release is the sub-par background vocals. This show appears to be sourced from the Olympic Pool in Tokyo, June 13 1988. There is an existing soundboard bootleg of the show but it does not come close to the great sound that Coverdale has achieved for this release. I have not compared the official and unofficial releases to know which songs he may have cut and pasted with better versions from other shows, but it does not matter to me anyway as it flows perfectly. It would have been nice for Coverdale to provide the recording details on the CD sleeve, but again, I’m just nitpicking. It is a fantastic live Whitesnake live album, even though they dropped off the set closer 'Tits' (A special WS version of ZZTop's 'Tush')
87 Versions is cool because we get an actual REMIX of ‘Still of the Night’, ‘Is This Love’, ‘Give Me All Your Love’, and ‘Here I Go Again 87’. At this point I’ve watched the DVD and listened to the main album Remaster, 87 Evolutions, and the live album twice...So I am a little burnt out on this album but I’m pretty sure that some alternate solos and tracks were used in these new mixes. It certainly did sound different to my ears and I will need to return to this and update the review at a later time. Also on 87 Versions is the full Japan mini album which features the two tracks mentioned above from the European release, as well as ‘Standing in the Shadows’ and ‘Need Your Love So Bad’, which I had actually never heard before. It’s topped off with the ‘Here I Go Again’ – Radio Mix, which is an interesting, vocally enhanced and keyboard-heavy version of this song, and ‘Give Me All Your Love’ – Single Version. A nice compilation for sure, but a tough listen if you’re currently burnt on ‘Still of the Night’ and ‘Here I Go Again’! Essential to have in order to gather the odd and ends, all the bits and pieces of the 1987 album.
The DVD with the remastered videos from the album is stunning. I had not seen these videos in many years, probably since the Headbangers Ball in 1987/88. The look and sound of these videos is excellent, and they aged surprisingly well, IMO. The videos are followed by an essential 30 minute documentary with David, speaking about the making of the 1987 album and the events leading up to it, and yes, the implosion of that lineup. I was literally at the edge of my seat watching him talk about this album, and rewinding parts to make sure he said what I thought I heard. You want a spoiler? ‘Still of the Night’ was Coverdale’s riff. He gave it to Sykes to beef up and embellish, but the riff was Coverdale’s. After the mini-doc comes a new 'Here I Go Again' video with concert, backstage and behind the scenes footage. The great thing about this is that it's a completely alternate take of the song, different vocals, different solo, very cool. Finally there is a 15 minute pro-shot from the 1987 tour. I actually have about 50 Whitesnake shows on DVD, so I have seen this footage before, it’s fantastic. What a shame that the whole show isn’t available.
I was a bit unsure if I needed to spend the money on this box set. Then I thought about the excellent price of this thing and what you get for that price. For one of my favorite albums ever, it was a no-brainer. It is currently the pride of my collection. Well done Mr. Coverdale, and THANK YOU.
Top reviews from other countries
1987: 20th Anniversary Collectors Edition.
I have actually always been a fan of the older Snake. I think Come and Get it was one of best Albums of the 80s. We kind of always new what we were going to get with a damn good Rock 'n' Roll Whitesnake Album. So at the time we all ran down to our record store the day our local Record shop had 1987 in stock it was a race back home to get this on the deck. We kind of all looked at each other with different expressions, excitement, disappointment and saddness. David Coverdale was attempting to break into the American market.
1987 is Marmite. You either love it or hate it. However now I have eventually got to the point of a review hopefully before you have slid into a coma. If you are a fan like me we put the Records down on some pretty old bits of kits then. Old pioneers and some old Hitachi equipment. Now my car system has a more pure sound than those bits of kit. I am running a Bad now and some of my old CDs sound very dated. After testing a Wings Band on the Run I brought all the Snake Remasters and 1987 sounds staggering. The vocals punch but without any sacrifice of Guitar or percussion. Ok, I am getting on a bit so watching Coverdale being slobbered over on DVD did not interest me. But live footage does and I can honestly say I have seen better Bootlegs. You know, that Donington DVD that was with the double CD. Yes, that bad guys. So, I it for your Remaster. It sounds great and in no way dated. Personally, I think some Albums should not be touched, they take you back to a time when the sound on the Record should remain that way. Jimi Hendrix for instance and many more. 1987 is Absolutely pure magic though.