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Whitesnake: Live in 84 - Back to the Bone | FESTIVALPHOTO

Whitesnake: Live in 84 - Back to the Bone




Back in 1984 WHITESNAKE was a band of forthcoming changes, unknown to most except for band leader David Coverdale I believe. David was about to enter financial hardship and financial heights in a decade more rocky than most. But around the time of the 1984 Super Rock Festival in Japan the most major issue was replacing classic duo Bernie Marsden/Micky Moody with the flashy and trendy looking John Sykes, most recently the hot guitarist of the aspiring TYGERS OF PAN TANG. Otherwise we have David, as always, on vocals bassist Neil Murray, Cosy Powell on drums and Jon Lord on keyboards. A bona fide dream line-up that wasn´t to last.

You could tell something was afoot as the more workman approach of Moody/Marsden was replaced by John´s eagerness to show off. It gave the band a spark, but also a sound that must have alienated old fans. A bit like the debate that caused Johns much more recent departure from THIN LIZZY. But it also gave the band a more modern sound, albeit the fact that “Slide It In” was to be the last album of the old sound. But the voice was there, in a big way, back in the day. The sheer brilliance of the rhythm section of Murray/Powell was also something else compared to the low price sections that, bar Brian Tichy, have plagued latter day incarnations of the band. All in all the renditions of “Gambler”, my eternal favourite “Guilty of Love”, “Love Ain´t No Stranger”, “Ready an´ Willing” and , to my surprise, one of the ultimate signatures of the old band, “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues”. But all was not well. For some reason the usually classic “Crying in the Rain” was blessed with abnormal keyboards that sound a bit out of tune with the rest, and is unfortunately the low point here! The abysmal inclusion of a few notes off “Soldier of Fortune” couldn´t possibly have served any other purpose than pissing people off as it is a signature tune of David´s. John Sykes is a great guitarist but his solo has a much more technical side than what was customary of the band in the early eighties, and I could easily have done without that intro to “Crying in the Rain”. The sound seems to deteriorate somewhat towards the end of the gig but they still do well. The Jon Lord Tribute medley is a bit of a mixed bag. I don´t recall hearing so much keys in any of the songs previously, as if this was made on purpose in advance to his untimely death. The songs also serves to show Jon´s magnitude as a keyboard player as he could well do the songs on his own backed by drums and a good vocalist.
All in all this is an album I can recommend! This good a line-up of WHITESNAKE will alas never be on stage again, and the speed of some of the songs will probably never be heard again either giving this album an interesting aura.

Track List
Guilty of Love
Love Ain´t No Stranger
Slow ´an Easy
Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
Ready ´an Willing
Guitar Solo
Crying in the Rain
Soldier of Fortune
Love Ain´t no Stranger
Ready ´an Willing
Slow ´an Easy
Jon Lord Medley (Gambler(Guilty of Love/Love Ain´t No Stranger/Ready ´an Willing)

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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