“Gold” by Whitesnake

Artist: Whitesnake
Title: “Gold”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 6/27/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

David Coverdale might have come into the public eye a little more prominently when he joined Deep Purple in the mid-70’s, but it would be the band that followed this one that would exponentially increase the singers incredible talents and appeal on the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal genre as a whole. That band is of course the one and only Whitesnake, and with “Gold” we get a rich stock of the bands back catalog that allows us to observe their changes and modification of sound and style as it spanned the decades. This collection itself comes not long after the release of “The Definitive Collection” which was a pretty solid sampling as well. As a single CD release that release possessed most of the expected tracks and outside of the songs “Ready An’ Willing” and “Looking For Love”; with the “Gold” edition the listener gets everything else and then some. It’s true that a band like Whitesnake deserves an anthology of this type because there were just so many good songs in their career catalog to enjoy. They began their history as more of a Blues-based Hard Rock outfit and eventually became Heavy Metal superstars in the mid-eighties. It was during this time that they would give their fans a lot of anthems and some great videos to go along with them. Similar to the other “Gold” editions all of the tracks have been remastered so they sound fantastic and they are also laid out in chronological order.

The earliest stuff comes first so if you are someone who did not follow them in the beginning of their career then the first CD will be your education on what launched them in the first place. The earlier material is really heavy blues Rock and one wonders if they were aiming to be the next Led Zeppelin at times based on this. “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” and “Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues” are perfect for Coverdale’s rich and passionate voice and are among the first classics that the band had under their belt. The eventual rotating cast of members at the time included guitar wizards Mickey Moody and Bernie Marsden. We get the bands rendition of the Rainbow classic “Mistreated” and it surprised me that they chose this number as opposed to one that Coverdale had actually created with that group. In my humble opinion “Stormbringer” would have been a better choice back then but I was too young too be asked my opinion. My own introduction to Whitesnake would come years later with the album “Slide It In”, and what an introduction this would be. This album is a masterpiece and the band had now moved a little more into Harder Rock territory while still holding reigns on the Blues aspect.

From “Slide It In” we get five of the albums best tracks and again find the band shifting members. Guitarist John Sykes and drummer Cozy Powell would be part of the roster at this time. The songs from this release would have assistance by MTV and generate some additional interest as a result and once the heavier fans got a hold of the album their popularity would increase. This was especially in the USA where they had not yet developed an audience. I was happy as a listener and fan to find all of my own favorites from the album and when you put on “Slow ‘N Easy” and “Love Ain’t No Stranger” you will find them still possessing all of their original power and drive. Good songs seem to be able to do that with ease and it’s wonderful. All of these earlier endeavors would lead up to the biggest album that they would ever deliver in their career and this would simply be called “Whitesnake”. “Whitesnake” was loaded from top to bottom with incredible tracks and while recorded by Coverdale, Sykes, Murray and Dunbar it was the performers in the bands accompanying videos that gained the most attention. MTV was now a force to be reckoned with and regularly would feature the bands videos and made its members superstars with Coverdale, Aldridge, Vandenberg, Campbell and Sarzo smiling up at the limelight as it shined. The power of the network allowed tunes like “Still Of The Night”, “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love” to be on everyone’s minds and this would also affect its overall sales. The videos also delivered one of the unforgettable vixens of Hard Rock music in Tawny Kitaen. At the time she was Coverdale’s girlfriend and made these films all the more special in the bands history. Five tracks hail from the release and in 2007 there stands to be a 20th anniversary edition of this amazing release. The remaining tracks focus on some of the releases that followed and we even get a sampling from the release that Coverdale did with guitar legend Jimmy Page. A detailed historical essay by Martin Huxley is featured in a booklet that is loaded with band photos from across all the lineups that the band had. This is a perfect release is you don’t have the definitive collection and one that should be looked into even if you do.

Track List:
1. Time Is Right For Love
2. Trouble
3. Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
4. Walking In The Shadow Of the Blues
5. Lovehunter
6. Ain’t Gonna Cry No More
7. Fool For Your Loving
8. Blindman
9. Mistreated – live
10. Might Just Take Your Life – live
11. Don’t Break My Heart Again
12. Till the Day I Die
13. Victim Of Love
14. Slide It In
15. Standing In The Shadow
16. Gambler
17. Love Ain’t No Stranger
18. Slow an’ Easy
19. Here I Go Again
20. Still Of The Night
21. Give Me All Your Love (’88)
22. Crying In The Rain
23. Is This Love
24. Fool For Your Loving (AOR mix)
25. Now You’re Gone (remix)
26. Deeper The Love
27. Judgement Day
28. Sailing Ships
29. Last Note Of Freedom
30. Shake My Tree
31. Pride And Joy
32. As Long As I Have You
33. We Wish You Well

Official Web site: www.whitesnake.com

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