Thursday, June 9, 2011


Everyone is aware of the Download Festival these days. Some but not all are aware that this festival used to be called the Monsters Of Rock Festival at Castle Donington. It was on August 18, 1990 that the Monsters Of Rock Festival at Castle Donington was headlined by David Coverdale's Whitesnake. The all-star lineup for Whitesnake at the time was David on vocals of course, Steve Vai and Adrian Vandenberg on guitar, Rudy Sarzo on bass and Tommy Aldridge on drums. No offense to the current lineup or the many other Whitesnake lineups but I think this was without question the most impressive lineup David ever had behind him. That August night was recorded live. Now Whitesnake and Frontiers Records are releasing this legendary live show on CD for the first time more than twenty years after the fact.

This two disc set contains seventeen live tracks of hair metal classics. I'm going to keep my own disappointment that "Love Ain't No Stranger" was not played this night to a minimum. I think that tune plays well live. It's quite a different band and sound than what Coverdale probably imagined. Whitesnake transformed from a blues soaked rock band to the cliche hair metal band. The thing with Whitesnake though is that they were damn good at being a hair metal band and this lineup of over the top players only added to it.

The great thing about this collection is that it captures Whitesnake in their prime. At the top of their game and at the top of their popularity. After all they headlined over Aerosmith at this festival. Too many bands release a live record late in  their history and instead of offering up something from their prime like Whitesnake they give you something more recent which tends to show their age and thus is not as necessary to be in your collection. Coverdale worked very closely with Frontiers to get this out and to get this out right. All their hits are here. "Still Of The Night" and "Here I Go Again" of course. Great versions of "Slow An' Easy" and "Slide It In".  You also get other classic songs like "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City" and "Judgement Day". Interestingly the majority of the songs at this show over twenty years ago still make up a large portion of their set list today. You get the whole show including guitar and drum solos. It's as good as it could be without actually having been there.

Whitesnake recently released an album of new material, "Forevermore" and are out touring in support of it. I've seen the current tour twice and they sound great but as you would expect a lot different than twenty years ago and with a new lineup. David still has a great voice and is a super front man but he'd be hard pressed not to admit it's not like when he was in his prime and this album gives you a chance to either remember David in his prime or hear him in his prime for the first time.

1. Slip Of The Tongue
2. Slide It In
3. Judgement Day
4. Slow An Easy
5. Kitten's Got Claws
6. Adagio For Strato
7. Flying Dutchman Boogie
8. Is This Love
9. Cheap An' Nasty
10. Crying In The Rain (featuring Tommy Aldridge Drum Solo).

1. Fool For Your Loving
2. For The Love Of God
3. The Audience Is Listening
4. Here I Go Again
5. Bad Boys
6. Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
7. Still Of The Night.

Released June 7, 2011 on Frontiers Records.
Frontiers also released this concert on DVD also on Frontiers Records. I bet David looks young!

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