Wednesday, 5 May 2010

CD Review: White Snake / Northwinds, by David Coverdale (1977/1978)

At the end of his stint as lead vocalist for one of the most famous heavy metal bands in the world, David Coverdale paused to consider what life after Deep Purple would hold.

He released two intensely personal solo albums, White Snake in 1977 and Northwinds in 1978. All of White Snake and part of Northwinds were included on this compilation CD released in 1988.

Coverdale not only goes back to his roots, but he goes back to the roots of music. These two albums are heavily infused with the blues. Coverdale is seeking to convey raw, slow, often tortured emotion, and some of the tracks succeed well: Lady, Blindman, Hole In The Sky, Give Me Kindness and Say You Love Me ooze a personal smoldering passion that easily encourages very slow and sweaty dancing on sultry nights.

The other tracks are less inspired, and would only be of interest to serious students of Coverdale.

Produced by his Deep Purple buddy Roger Glover, the albums not surprisingly place a strong focus on Coverdale's vocals, with Tim Hinkley's gentle keyboards the most prominent instrument. Micky Moody provides solid but unobtrusive support on the guitar.

Coverdale soon snapped out of this period of introspection and went on to have a second heavy metal career during the glamour years of the 1980's with the much shallower Whitesnake. The name of that band was derived from the title track of Coverdale's first solo album.

White Snake and Nightwings are only heavy metal in the sense that intensely delivered modern blues can be little else, but otherwise the material on these two albums is careful, deliberate, and delivered with a lot of heart: a most interesting pit-stop for Coverdale between Deep Purple and Whitesnake.


On both albums:
David Coverdale - Vocals
Micky Moody - Guitars
Tim Hinkley - Keyboards

On White Snake:
Simon Phillips - Drums
De Lisle Harper - Bass

On Northwinds:
Tony Newman - Drums
Alan Spenner - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Lady - 8
2. Blindman - 9
3. Goldies Place - 6
4. Whitesnake - 7
5. Time On My Side - 5
6. Peace Lovin' Man - 7
7. Sunny Days - 7
8. Hole In The Sky - 8
9. Celebration - 7
10. Northwinds - 7
11. Give Me Kindness - 8
12. Time And Again - 7
13. Say You Love Me - 8

Average: 7.23

Both albums produced by Roger Glover.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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