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Whitesnake, for those not in the know, are a rock band formed in the seventies from the splintered remains of Deep Purple. Ritchie Blackmore had already departed the sinking ship and had formed 'Rainbow', Ian Gillan, who had quit many moons before the band croaked, had begun 'Gillan' (sometimes it makes you wonder where they get the names for these bands from!) and so David Coverdale, libido in hand, packed his bags and set up camp under the banner of Whitesnake. And yes, the name does refer to his....shall we say, manhood?
The 'Purps', following their long, protracted illness eventually succumbed to the inevitable and gave up on their will to live and gave birth to the band, or frontman to be more precise, that would in turn launch the much-lauded 'cock rock'; a phrase relating to the amount of sexual innuendo and suggestive come-hither leers expressed on songs and videos alike. Even on stage Coverdale, as well as incorporating all the heavy breathing found on his records, would place the mike stand against his groin and thrust his hips forward sugges......well, I'm sure you know what point I'm trying to make.
By the time the 'Come And Get It' album was released in 1981 Coverdale had been joined by two former band members from the fragmented Deep Purple (Jon Lord on keyboards and Ian Paice on drums) and were about to enjoy their most fruitful period to date. The album reached number 2 in the UK charts (being kept from the top spot by Adam and the Ants' 'Kings of the Wild Frontier') and bore two Top 40 hits. In America, where Mr. Coverdale now spends most of his time, the record did very little as a result of the bands failure to tour there for any prolonged period and their inability to connect with the country on a musical level.
1 - Come and Get it
2 - Hot Stuff
3 - Don't Break My Heart Again
4 - Lonely Days, Lonely Nights
5 - Wine, Women an' Song
6 - Child of Babylon
7 - Would I Lie to You
8 - Girl
9 - Hit and Run
10 - Till the Day I Die
The guitars, as was very much de rigour on records by the Snakes and many rock bands around at the time, were clean sounding and subdued in the mix. The bands could never capture that energy and excitement they exuded on stage onto vinyl. Nowadays, with production techniques having improved, the sound recorded in the studio can match the stage performances to a nearer comparison but during those dark old days of yore fans had to remember those live gigs to really appreciate the quality of the material they bought because the sound was considerably different. I'm sure dated Hi-fi equipment played its part to just as great a degree.
The track that instantly stands out from the set is 'Don't Break My Heart Again' which reached the top twenty and has a great driving rhythm that gets the old foot tapping away on the accelerator. There are the blues-standard tracks relating to booze and the female of the species such as 'Wine, Women an' Song', a typical pounding beat backed by Jon Lords keyboard playing with the familiar lyric style from Coverdale - "You better lock up your daughter, your sister too, if you get in my way I'm gonna rock 'n' roll over you!".
In fact all the tracks on the LP could be described in exactly the same way - good-time music with a barroom feel performed by some extremely talented musicians. If you can ignore some of the words and Coverdale's breathy voice you can't help but admire the band and its, albeit aged, sound.
'Would I lie to You' (Top 40 hit) is a track in the same vain and the following song 'Girl' is supposed to be about the singers daughter! "You treat me like a dog and make me shake my tail for you." Not sure these are words I would sing to my child but in all things this just comes down to ones interpretation.
Some of the lyrics on the record actually make you cringe and Coverdale has stated on record that he intended for them to be that way as a result of the press accusing him of this tactless trait. I wonder where they got that idea from David? Surely those lines from older tracks such as "Lie down I think I love you" could not have given them that absurd idea!
I saw Whitesnake in '82 and '83 and thought they were brilliant. Much better than when I went to see them in Newcastle following the release of their album '1987' which was just full of American posturing and showing off which, to me, just went to show that David Coverdale had now left his roots behind and had taken up residence in the big-hair hotel with fancy trousers and highlights on his bonnet.
Whitesnake back in those early 80's were very much a blues/rock band with plenty of slide guitar and smoky vocals and a far cry from the band who perform under the moniker today. There was none of that 'look at us aren't we great' poncing about on stage just six musicians playing honest rock 'n' roll backing Coverdale with his tongue (or something) firmly lodged in his cheek and a wry smile upon his lips.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Come An' Get It (2007 Digital Remaster)
2 Hot Stuff (2007 Digital Remaster)
3 Don't Break My Heart Again (2007 Digital Remaster)
4 Lonely Days Lonely Nights (2007 Digital Remaster)
5 Wine, Women An' Song (2007 Digital Remaster)
6 Child Of Babylon (2007 Digital Remaster)
7 Would I Lie To You (2007 Digital Remaster)
8 Girl (2007 Digital Remaster)
9 Hit An' Run (2007 Digital Remaster)
10 Till The Day I Die (2007 Digital Remaster)
11 Child Of Babylon (Alternate Rough Mix) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACK
12 Girl (Alternate Version/Rough Mix) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACK
13 Come An' Get It (Rough Mix) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACK
14 Lonely Days Lonely Nights (Alternate Version/Rough Mix) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACK
15 Till The Day I Die (Rough Mix) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACK
16 Hit An' Run (Backing Track) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACK