Album review: WHITESNAKE – The Rock Album: MMXX


Rhino [Release date 19.06.20]

Part one of a remastered trio (the Red White & Blue trio), this compilation goes back to 1984’s Slide It In and takes in rock tracks of Ol’ Cov’s catalogue since, all given a 2020 remix.

The forthcoming red vinyl release is the love songs, while the blue will be the blues.

A British institution, although the band is now more American, Whitesnake, fronted by the former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale, have continued to record and tour, and despite the obvious ageing of the vocal chords, we’ve still had some more than decent songs over the years. Since moving from the blues roots to hard rock this compilation takes us back to the transition point of 1984’s Slide It In (the Sykes/Murray US remix), and from the MTV album (1987’s ‘Whitesnake’) when sales rocketed.

The catalogue is full of great tracks, especially when they rock out, as this album does. Who can argue with tracks like ‘Still Of The Night’ or (one of the highlights) ‘All Or Nothing’? You can’t, essential rock listening. The tracks were hard, heavy, solid and bright before the new mix and master, and the sound is fantastic.

‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ is a wonderful song, and the rock reworking of ‘Here I Go Again’ too. In some cases the new mix adds extra guitars (in the case of ‘All Or Nothing’ included on the original multi track but not used at the time).

The album takes us up to 2019’s ‘Flesh And Blood’, and includes the previously unreleased song ‘Always The Same’.

The sound is fantastic, but much is down to the listener, some may not like the remix (some verge on a reimagination of). But what is lovely, is the package. This 2LP on 180g white vinyl, in an embossed gatefold sleeve, it’s a lovely thing to hold before we even start. Inside the gatefold each track is annotated, this is done with Coverdale’s full involvement. A lyric insert too, what’s not to love?

In some cases the remix is a lot more (or less) noticeable than in others. Coverdale wanting to bring out the best of each track, or a cynical cash in? Well, the music is good, the package is wonderful.

I’ll savour this on the feel, the vinyl and the track by track annotation alone. ****1/2

Review by Joe Geesin

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 July.. In the first hour David pays tribute to the blues/rock guitarist Peter Green.

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