Album Review by Gavin Smith
In the current music scene it’s hard not to be cautious about Whitesnake’s latest endeavour. Granted they have never shied away from re-recording their own material, in fact in the 80’s some of their later versions were global hits compared to the original.
The Purple Album is a covers album essentially of Deep Purple songs but they are all David Coverdale era tracks so you have to wonder, was it necessary? Personally I’ve always been a huge WS fan but DP have never “rocked my boat” so I went into this cautiously.
‘Burn’ is fantastic. That original riff is amplified tenfold and it simply turns into a beast; a good solid Blues lick forced into your ears with huge, distorted guitars. And in follow-up ‘You Fool No One’ at one point I wonder more than once if I’ve put on a Metallica CD in error, such is the old school guitar action. It’s only when DC’s vocals kick in that I’m reminded who’s playing, and his voice sounds stronger than ever for a man of 63. In fact he hits some high notes that I haven’t heard since Restless Heart and that was nearly 20 years ago.
‘Sail Away’ is another example of why DC has had such a long and successful career and why after nearly 40 years Whitesnake are still a force to be reckoned with. ‘Lady Double Dealer’ could easily be lifted off any WS album such are its blues infused hard rock verses. The Blues pace is really enthused in ‘Mistreated’ and has a strong Led Zeppelin vibe much like the original. A later favourite for me is ‘Soldier Of Fortune’ which is an acoustic ballad built for stadiums.
Its a good album, it really is; it is unusual as cover albums go – but it’s unusual for any great vocalist to have been in 2 ground-breaking bands in the space of a decade and should not be seen as a rehashing of old songs.
The Purple Album is a tribute to one of the most influential rock bands of their time and should be treated as such.
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- You Fool No One
- Love Child
- Sail Away
- The Gypsy
- Lady Double Dealer
- Holy Man
- Might Just Take Your Life
- You Keep On Moving
- Soldier Of Fortune
- Lay Down Stay Down