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Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad

By Junkman, On-Air Personality
Thursday, April 24, 2008 @ 8:37 PM


(Steamhammer/SPV)

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What comes around… Here it is 2008 and all of a sudden it’s like 1988 all over again. Its true, if you wait 20 years, what was once hip will come back in style again, just slightly “seasoned” for the most part. Like an old girlfriend that has had some slight cosmetic work done and looks great on the outside, in comes a slew of releases by bands that put out some of the most popular music the 80’s had to offer. Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Dokken, and Great White were all part of a genre of music that was frowned upon for most of the end of the century, and have all released great CD’s lately. (actually The Crue and Priest Cd’s come out on June 17th) All of a sudden there is an interest.

One of the finest bands of that style of music, who put out a few splendid recordings “back in the day” was Whitesnake, featuring frontman David Coverdale, and his gorgeous bluesy vocals, not to mention his rock star looks and of course those videos that featured him cavorting around with his ex wife, the ex-sexy Tawny Kitaen.

Whitesnake has returned with their latest release “Good To Be Bad”, and just like that old girlfriend I alluded to earlier, has had some work done and seems to look just fine, thank you. Gone are the guitarists, Adrian Vandenberg, Steve Vai, John Sykes, Vivian Campbell etc. IN are guitarists Doug Aldrich (ex Dio etc.) and Reb Beach ( ex Winger, Dokken etc.) Gone is bassist Rudy Sarzo, IN is Uriah Duffy. Gone is drummer Tommy Aldridge, IN is Chris Frasier. Keyboardist Timothy Drury rounds out the ensemble. All are great musicians and the band sounds terrific.

Musically this CD is solid. Unlike all other Whitesnake recordings, it’s Coverdale’s vocals that don’t seem to keep up with the rest of the band, in many spots. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments of the brilliance of his past, such as the CD’s best cut “Lay Down Your Love” which sounds like it was recorded in 1989 and updated with an acappella intro in 2008. Coverdale is still one of the best at what he does. I’ve been of a fan of his work since 1974 with Deep Purple.

Songs like “Call On Me”, and the title track “Good To be Bad” show that range that he has displayed all these years, going from growler to shouter from verse to verse, but something is just missing. Fortunately, the terrific guitar work from Aldrich and Beach save it. They work well together. Very solid, indeed.

Then there are the ballads. “All I Want All I Need” is this CD’s “Is This Love”. I’m guessing there will eventually be a video featuring a beautiful woman climbing all over Coverdale and a sports car. “Summer Rain” is a nice enough power ballad, and could become crossover hit on adult contemporary radio. Once again, Coverdale has always been good at this.

The first single, “All For Love”, is a rocker, and hopefully, will get some radio play this summer, other wise, don’t expect a lasting image of Whitesnake accepting a Grammy award next year. This is truly a CD for Whitesnake fans, and I look forward to seeing them live on tour if and when that happens. I may even find an old girlfriend to take with me.

* * * 1/2


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