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WHITESNAKE Reissues EMI (2006)

The latest batch of Whitesnake remasters kicks off in fine form with the classic live set Live In The Heart Of The City. The original LP was a double set, the first LP a full live set from Hammersmith 1980 which kicks off with 'Come On'. Plenty of ''ere's a song for ya' from old Coverdale, we also get 'Sweet Talker', 'Walking In Shadow Of The Blues', 'Love Hunter', 'Fool For Your Loving' and more, including the title track. Classic Whitesnake at their best. Hard blues rock, solid vocals, Jon Lord's brilliant keyboards backing up the twin guitar of Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody. Essential listening. ****


Now expanded, disc 2 is that second LP, so we now get both sets in full (the original single CD didn't manage that), with 6 tracks from Hammersmith 1978 originally released as a mini live album in Japan that year. That duplicates a couple of tracks but adds 'Trouble' and 'Lie Down' and also Deep Purple's 'Mistreated', a long time Coverdale favourite.

Come An' Get It shows Whitesnake at their best in the studio. The classic line up too of Coverdale, Moody, Marsden, Murray, Lord and Paice. The title track opens and is a little smooth, but considering we get 'Don't Break My Heart Again' (classic rock riff and blues organ), 'Wine Women An' Song' (boogie piano breaks into hard rock boogie like you wouldn't believe) and 'Would I Lie To You' (as subtle as Coverdale gets), it's an unmissable set. *****

Saints And Sinnersfrom 1982 was not quite as strong, but 'Rough An' Ready' and 'Bloody Luxury' stand out. And don't forget 'Crying In The Rain' and 'Here I Go Again'; pivotal. And a proper Whitesnake lesson for those who only know the more commercial big haired rerecordings of the late 80s. Sadly the line-up didn't last long, with Colin Hodgekinson, Cozy Powell and Mel Galley coming for Murray, Paice and Marsden repectively, to tour the album. ****

The two studio albums come with bonus tracks too, rough / demo versions.

Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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