Sunday, February 6, 2011

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

WHITENSNAKE "Whitesnake" (1987)

Reinforced by the howlin' wolf of David Coverdale and the prowling Tygers of John Sykes, Whitesnake successfully invaded the States and racked up eight platinum rewards with this sensational eponymous record. The victorious conquest even boosted the prior album, "Slide It In" from gold to double platinum status and most of the band's videos received heavy rotation on MTV, featuring Tawny Kitaen who later married the singer. The musical composition is a bluesy hard rock extract that's soaked with lavish commercial hooks and savage shreddings.

"Still of The Night", a classic Zeppelin-Snake heavy metal slap, is considered their best with the distinctive Coverdale wail, but it is not my favorite. I still prefer "Children of The Night" - this is their heaviest tune with frantic riffage and the "Are you ready to rock?" shout being a huge concert igniter. The gigantic single, "Here I Go Again", is better here compared to "Saints and Sinners" era, and I love how Sykes abuses his whammy bar in "Cryin' In The Rain", probably his best offering throughout the album. Almost all tracks here are enjoyable, including the party anthem, "Bad Boys", "Straight For The Heart", and "Give Me All Your Love".

The second biggest single, "Is This Love", is no doubt the greatest ballad the Coverdale-Sykes pair has ever written, showcasing an outpouring of emotion, this song is the most frequent Whitesnake song you may encounter in your local karaoke station. While "Lookin' For Love" has potential to be their bluesy hit, takin' off slow and easy before flying high with Sykes’ stunning solo, "Don't Turn Away" on the other side, is a blunt attempt and perhaps the worst one here.

This is a quintessential release of 1987 and can be a very good start if you're new to the band. Many old fans hated their significant departure from the idealistic bluesy hard rock platform, but if you're curious on how they blend the blues and the typical catchiness of late 80s glam metal, "1987" is the best option around.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.