17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Good, but could have been better,
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This review is from: The Silver Anniversary Collection (2CD) (Audio CD)
Silver anniversary collection? 2 CDs? This was always going to be a thankless task for Mr Coverdale, trying to fit 25 years of great songs into 150 minutes. Many fans will gripe about the track selection and I am one of them. The recently released "Best of Whitesnake" has a chunk of this but also some different tracks which means the hardcore fans have to buy both, so why duplicate so many songs when there are some glaring ommisions on this, supposedly, "definitive" collection?
Let me start by saying that I have been a fan for many years and I feel I have the right to critisize as well as praise. I had been looking forward to this release ever since I heard it was coming out. It is good, however, the emphasis seems to be on the softer side of Coverdale`s work. Whitesnake, the early days in particular, were never the heaviest band, but there are too many slow songs. Coverdale sings them all beautifully but it gets a bit depressing listening to so many heartfelt songs without a beefy rocker like "Take me with you" or "Mean business" to get the blood pumping. The ironic fact is that no songs from Coverdale`s finest collection of softer numbers, 1978`s "Northwinds (arguably his best work), appear. Also absent are many of Coverdale`s most famous (or infamous) double-entendres, with no "Slide it in" or "Lie down (a modern love song)" on the collection.
Another problem is the strange re-evaluation of the early songs. Old favourites like "Lovehunter" and "Trouble" are astray whilst obscurities like "Love to keep you warm" and "The time is right for love" appear. Also, the "Slide it in" era tracks are represented in their original British mix. The U.S. mixes were so much more powerful. They have got the "Ready an` willing" and "Come an` get it" era numbers perfectly balanced and all the big hitters from the "Whitesnake" LP are here, sounding as great as they always did. Too much of "Slip of the tongue" appears. It gets four of its songs on here while the "Lovehunter" and "Saints and sinners" albums get three between them. "Too many tears" should never have appeared here. I don`t care for it much as it goes too far in the pursuit of the white-boy-soul-trip, further even than "Stormbringer" era Deep Purple, and sounds too much like Michael Bolton. Notice though, how solid the songwriting is all the way through, from start to finish, showcased best perhaps on the acoustic version of "Sailing ships", originally an overblown Led Zeppelin pastiche, transformed here into a work of frail beauty featuring just that voice backed by a solitary acoustic guitar.
The Coverdale/Page album gets three tracks. If they had substituted "Take a look at yourself" for "Don`t leave me this way" (one of Coverdale`s best ever vocals), then the selection would have been perfect. "Shake my tree" and "Pride and joy" still sound incredible and make you crave for a reformation with Mr Page. There is maybe one track too many from Coverdale`s solo "Into the light" album, especially when you consider there is no room for his solo "Days of thunder" soundtrack rarity "The last note of freedom" or "Only my soul".
The CD book has a great essay in it, telling the tale of the various guises of Whitesnake. However, there is no mention of the musicians who performed on the individual tracks, but then again, there are so many they would need another four pages on the booklet. This, like all compilations, is a matter of your own favourites. Someones always will always get missed out. Unfortunately for me, a few of mine aren`t here but this album is solid enough to prove that, in David Coverdale, the rock world is blessed with one of the finest singers and songwriters ever. I salute him.