Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WHITESNAKE: "Live in 84 - Back To The Bone [DVD/CD]

Rating: Live
Label: Frontiers 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

'Ere's a new old live effort for ya'. Live in '84 - Back to the bone. The CD/DVD combo pack is overall a very decent indeed but hardly essential Whitesnake release. It's however my favorite era and period of the band and the CD starts with nine tracks recorded during the 'Slide It In' tour in 1984. The band quickly launch into the Slide Material and both "Gambler" and "Guilty of love" sounds great, and there's plenty of trickery and skill from then new guitarist John Sykes (Thin Lizzy, Tygers Of Pan Tang).

The 'Ere's a song for ya' call from Coverdale is the start of "Love Aint No Stranger" and it's followed  by the at time current MTV single of "Slow and Easy". I do not agree with the uptempo version of "Walking In The Shadow of The Blues", since they let Sykes do all his flashy moves and notes without keeping the lovely bluesy feel of the original. I also believe that Whitesnake should always be a two-guitarist kind of band, but that's just my personal take. Good stuff though.

The DVD is live in Japan (Super Rock 1984) and Jon Lord is nowhere to be seen as he decided to leave for the Deep Purple reunion and thus it's just the four of them (Coverdale, Sykes, Murray, Powell) and the constantly out-of-picture keyboardist. Previously released back in the day on Laserdisc in Japan, time has taken its toll on vision and at times sound and the quality is sadly no longer regarded as top notch. To be honest, a lot of this is probably because we are all used to HD and blu-ray quality and you simply can't compare this to modern technology. The original production team in Japan was keen on mixing short snippet interviews with the band every now and then during the concert and it's especially annoying for the first two tracks (Gambler, Guilty Of Love) as you miss out on the actual music.

Tracklist: Gambler – Guilty of Love – Love Ain’t No Stranger – Ready an’ Willing – Slow an' Easy – Crying in the Rain – Guitar Solo – Soldier of Fortune – Drum Solo – Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City – Don't Break My Heart Again.

The DVD bonus material (also on CD), Jon Lord's final performance with Whitesnake, four tracks (Gambler, Guilty of Love, Love Ain't No Stranger, Ready an Willing) recorded by Swedish Television and the tv-show of 'Måndagsbörsen'. The bonus gallery section contains photos, short audio interviews (mostly about 'Slide It In' the album) plus bits and pieces of private demos from Coverdale's personal archives. Well. Strictly speaking it's more like rehearsal jams and outtakes from songs later included on 'Slide It In' as well as some dodgy sounding unreleased stuff. Overall, not too shabby at all, if you're the die-hard Whitesnake fan.

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