Whitesnake – Ready An’ Willing
Our Brother Lebrain sent me this album, and it’s a corker.
Interestingly, it’s a French release from 2000, and says “Série Limitée” on it, but there’s no edition number in the provided little white box. Also, “Axe Killer” is one great record company name. This shows as being from 1978, 1980 and 1982 and has 4 extra tracks. Let’s give ‘er!
Fool For Your Loving is a solid classic rawk album opener. The drums are very busy (I like that). Sweet Talker is very bluesy (or, as Ian Gillan would say, “blue sea”), and full of energy. I love every single thing about this song. “The bitch is in heat so you’d better run!” Hahaha. The organ makes this one (no pun intended). [Every pun is intended. ed.] Seriously.
Ready An’ Willing is funky chunky and stays rooted in the blues rawk. This one bounces. I defy you not to move to this one. Carry Your Load, despite having an hilarious double entendre title, is the required slower song. It plods along at a slow walk, while still hitting hard. Nice!
Blindman (what is it with albums I’ve heard recently and blind men?) keeps the pace slow, thus breaking the unspoken “fast song after a slow song on a rock album” rule I’ve been thinking totally exists. I liked this song too. You know, I’d like to hear the Black Crowes cover it… Ain’t Gonna Cry No More (the grammar of which is horrifying) goes acoustic. Is that a flute? Or a synth tht sounds like one? I kept waiting for it to get bigger, and at 2:15 it does, becoming a full-on rawk song.
Love Man brings back the blues, slipping along with a nice, fat groove. I was thinking Hoochie Coochie Man and then he just goes and says it in the lyrics and I said, out loud, in the car, to my two-year-old daughter, “I knew it!” Carry on. I like songs like this. They pulse. Black And Blue is a solid barroom blues rocker (the piano makes it), built for a small club. Indeed, this track is live, and they left in all the crowd noise and I loved it. Come on, you studio trickery bastards, this is how it’s done! You don’t start it out with live noise and then go to studio sound, bringing the crowd back at will. No, you record the damn song and let it be as it is. Lovely.
Finally, from the album proper, we get She’s A Woman. Get past its intro and it becomes a full-tilt boogie that really satisfies. The synth solo is a little… off… but hey, those were the times and those were the choices many people made. Ahem.
And now for the Extra Tracks on this CD edition:
Mean Business is a blisteringly-paced rocker that’s a real work-out. The lyrics are really something: “I’ve got my love gun loaded / I’ve got you in my sight / I never take no for an answer / so you’d better say yes tonight!” is pretty intense, there, buddy. Look, I know the ladies love it when you say things like that, it gets them all hot and bothered. But even better, if she says she won’t, you say you’ll “knock on someone else’s door tonight.” Yeah, the ladies love that shit, Cov The Gov (thanks to HMO for that term), they really do.
Night Hawk (Vampire Blues) is a tune I’ve heard before. It’s a super-fast jazzy rock number that really swings. Whew! What a track! Don’t Mess With Me keeps the pace smokin’. Wow! These guys whip up a blues-rawk frenzy with easy. Very nice! And finally, we have We Wish You Well. It’s pretty touchy-feely, in an anthemic ballad sort of way. It only lasts for 1:30, so it serves as a nice thanks to the fans. It’s be a good concert-ender too, I’d imagine.
In sum: When they rawk, they really rawk. When they pull it back a bit, it still hits hard while being gentler too. Soaked in the blues and ready to rumble. This is a great record. Great!
Thanks heaps, Mike!