Slide It In
Like some of the other reviewers, I ain't no stranger to this classic British rock album. I have considered this to be one of the finest releases from the "classic era" of Whitesnake for the last 20 years or so, and I was keenly anticipating the remastered release of this album to complete the set of the recent 'Snake remasters (which in my opinion have been uniformly excellent).
I love this album not just because of the excellent songs, standard of playing and production of the original UK version, but also because (if you are like me and much prefer the earlier British blues rock era of the band) it illustrates the last great hurrah before David Coverdale turned his sights squarely on the US market, courtesy of David Geffen and John Kallodner in 1984. As a result, the US record company demanded a more radio-friendly mix for the US FM stations of the "just before MTV" era in the States. So we have two versions of "Slide It In" to enjoy - the original (and IMHO by far the best) UK version and the US remix. The US version has a Keith Olsen remix, guitar overdubs by John Sykes and re-recorded bass lines by Neil Murray. By this point, essential 'Snake members Mickey Moody and Jon Lord had already bailed out, taking major components of the classic Whitesnake sound with them.
This remastered package, contrary to the advertisement blurb, does NOT feature the complete remastered versions of both mixes. Instead, you get the US remix in its entirety and only 80% of the UK mix. This is no doubt due to the fact that EMI couldn't fit both versions onto an 80 minute CD. Therefore, the remastered UK versions of "Hungry For Love" and "Love Ain't No Stranger" are missing, replaced by a B side cover version of Fleetwood Mac's "Need Your Love So Bad" and an acoustic version of "LANS" from "Starkers In Tokyo", recorded 20-odd years later.
I would have preferred to have had the focus placed on the UK mix and do without some of the US remixes. "LANS" is available in remastered form on the "20th Anniversary Collection" 2-CD set, but a remaster of the UK version of "HFL" is not available as far as I'm aware.
Regarding the sound quality, I can't find any fault with it - to my ears this is a big improvement on the old CD versions.
The additional DVD includes some "interesting" (perhaps cringing) promo videos, along with some great footage from Donington '83 and slot on Top Of The Tops (yes, it's true).
As a final note, it would have been nice to have had this package released last year, as a celebration of the immense talent of the late (and sadly missed) Mel Galley, who tragically lost his fight with cancer in 2008. His song writing and instantly recognizable guitar playing really made this album special.