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Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners

Brother Mike Lebrain sent me this smoker. Yesterday, I posted a review of 2008’s Good To Be Bad, which was really great. Today’s record is from 1982 and, I have to say, the later effort is best-informed (all those 26 years later) by this rocker. Let’s go!

First, the KMA Award For Best Use Of Apostrophe To End Words in Song Titles goes to THIS RECORD!

Young Blood is a balls-out rocker that fully announces this record’s presence. Yes! Rough An’ Ready keeps the pace and rocks like ZZ Top, a bluesy barroom mayhem track. I can smell the whiskey and cigarettes and dry ice. Remember smoking in bars? Ha.

Blood Luxury refuses to let go of this album’s grip on the rawk button, and we’re off on another full-tilt boogie. Wahoo! This is FUN! Victim Of Love slows the ride to half-tempo but hits just as hard. Has the feel of a rock concert revival sing-along track. Greatness.

Crying In The Rain is the blues, and slinky as hell. Seriously folks, this is now five killer tracks in a row.

Here I Go Again is the big hit. Everyone knows this track. Well, a later version (I’d think) was popular. This, to me, doesn’t sound like the big radio hit I knew, it’s gotta be an early version. I have to be honest, whatever version it is, it almost doesn’t fit this record. Is that weird to say? We’ve been treated to bluesy rock so far, and here is a track blatantly aimed at being a pop hit… I dunno, maybe I’m wrong.

Love An’ Affection throws us right back into the blues rock of the rest of the album. Great! Rock An’ Roll Angels is a fun rocker, complete with piano. I can totally hear the Crowes doing the song, but with Rich on slide guitar… Damn, now I really wanna hear that…

Dancing Girls is hard, hard and fast. Just like I like it. Heh heh. Saints An’ Sinners fulfills my hope that this whole record would hit hard and drip the blues. Slinky groove, fantastic.

In sum: Best record I’ve heard all week. Daaaaamn! Thanks heaps, Mike!

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Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad

Mike sent me this limited edition, 2CD set of brilliance. CD1 is the album proper, and CD2 has 7 live tracks and a video! Let’s give ‘er…

CD1

Best Years is a huge track, such a big sound and that riff is heavy as hell. Excellent solo. Can You Hear The Wind Blow is another big rock crasher. Wow, this record is hitting hard, so far. I liked this track a lot!

Call On Me is an album highlight track, for me. Oh man I loved this song! That riff! I had played this CD a while ago and this one stood out, but hearing it again now for the purposes of review… Hell YEAH! Greatness rock song.

All I Want All I Need has the misfortune of trying to follow Call On Me in the track listing. And it’s a power ballad. Ah well, it’s a decent track. It sounds timeless, could fall anywhere in any rawk decade, you know? Cov’s voice sounds rough, must be all that screaming and carrying on…

Good To Be’s stutter start becomes another bang-up rocker. Betcha you can’t not nod your head along to this one. All For Love is not a cover of Sting, Eric Clapton and Bryan Adams’ sap-fest track from some crap movie soundtrack. Instead, it’s a big rock song that has an 80s old-school feel to it but with updated sound. Nice one!

Summer Rain is a pretty, acoustic-based ballad. The band comes in, nice mid-tempo song. Very ragged vocals. Lay Down your Love is bluesy rawk n a real Led Zeppelin-style vein. I can hear Boaby singing this one. A Fool In Love has a very blues-soaked edge, a perfect follow-up to the previous track. It staggers and swings nice and heavy. Excellent.

Got What You Need brings back the fast rawk pace with a template song. All deference, it’s not a complaint. ’Til The End Of Time brings back the acoustic for a blues stomper in the old style. When the band joins, it’s for tasteful accompaniment, not the new focus, Again, Zep comes to mind I liked it.

In sum: This is a very, very solid rock record with some truly monsterous tracks. I liked the sound, how big it all is. Very, very well done indeed.

CD2

This limited edition has a 7-track live selection included. Interestingly, none of these tracks appear on the album proper…

Burn-Stormbringer is full-on rawk concert greatness. I can imagine the whole crowd jumping along in time… Give Me All Your Love Tonight keeps the pace and the great sound. This band must be awesome to witness live.

Walking In The Shadow… makes these lives tracks a 1-2-3 combo of relentless rawk. Damn, I’m loving this. The Deeper The Love is a great double-entendre track title, and is pure 80s rock love ballad. You know that sound. Fun.

Ready & Willing is bluesy bliss (I knew it from the album, reviewed recently). The teaser intro (complete with screamo shouts) was a bit cheesy, but the song more than makes up for it. Don’t Break My Heart Again throbs along, mercifully shifting gears at the chorus part. It’s a decnt track, but not quite the stand-out calibre of its brethren on this disc. And finally, Take me With You blasts along at breakneck speed. Loved it. YEAH!

In sum: Really great live songs, recorded perfectly. I’m glad they left in the crowd noises, I hate studio trickery conceit. Still trying to weigh whether I liked these live tracks better than the album itself! I still need to plug the video in the Mac and check iit out, but I imagine it’s pretty damn awesome too.

In total sum: Fucking awesome package of the rawk. Thanks heaps, Mike!!

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!

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