Whitesnake - Restless Heart

edited December 6 in Reviews 1990s

When it comes to prioritizing albums to review it's easy to suggest Whitesnake's 'Restless Heart' wouldn't be among the top 1000 at least.

Whitesnake - Restless Heart
ARTIST: Whitesnake
ALBUM: Restless Heart
LABEL: EMI
SERIAL: 7243 8 56806 2 5
YEAR: 1997
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Flag USA
LINEUP: David Coverdale - vocals * Adrian Vandenberg - guitar * Guy Pratt - bass * Denny Carmassi - drums * Brett Tuggle - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Fade Away * 02 All In The Name Of Love * 03 Restless Heart * 04 Too Many Tears * 05 Crying * 06 Stay With Me * 07 Can't Go On * 08 You're So Fine * 09 Your Precious Love * 10 Take Me Back Again * 11 Woman Trouble Blues

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

When it comes to prioritizing albums to review it's easy to suggest Whitesnake's 'Restless Heart' wouldn't be among the top 1000 at least. In fact, I had forgotten this album existed until the title track inexplicably turned up on a random playlist. Apparently, there was a reissue of this album last year – why I have no idea. I recall when this was released in 1997 and eagerly rushing home to play it, foolishly expecting another '1987'. The results were tepid, an album so boring and lifeless it still stuns me 25 years later.

The story goes that David Coverdale had wanted this to be a solo album, but in typical record label fashion he was convinced to add the Whitesnake moniker to it, much like the Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath fiasco in 1986. Even if this had been a solo album it still would have reeked of total filth, Coverdale somehow turning into a sensitive middle-aged codger, with almost none of the attitude that made Whitesnake so formidable in their glory years. Reuniting with Coverdale was Adrian Vandenberg, the pair seemingly aging 25 years in the decade that preceded this flop.

The Songs

The energy of the past had been discarded in favor of mostly labored blues flavored tracks, with far too many ballads. It was inconceivable that just four years earlier Coverdale had teamed with Jimmy Page in such effective style. The titles say it all here, with Coverdale pontificating about lost love and his tearful existence.

The feast of mediocrity begins immediately with the introspective and very labored 'Don't Fade Away'. The days of opening an album with an urgent rocker was dead and this weepy, sub-ballad sets an immediate and unwanted tone. 'All In The Name Of Love' is slightly heavier, but still remarkably lacking energy and far too restrained. The title track sounds slightly like classic Whitesnake at moments, almost a reject from 1989.

That notion is dismissed immediately with 'Too Many Tears' and it's six minutes of drawn-out blues wailing, Coverdale once again reveling in a sense of self-pity that has zero appeal. As if to reiterate this theme 'Crying' is up next, this one being a total copy of Deep Purple's 'Mistreated'. I'm not sure who Coverdale was fooling with this blatant hack, clearly running short of ideas. 'Stay With Me' is another tiresome blues ballad, lumbering along and easily skipped.

Coverdale tries to prove he's still somewhat of a rogue bad boy with 'You're So Fine' and lyrics like 'You're so hot, your body heat, you cause a fire walking down the street'. Without the tangibles that made tracks like this so great in the 80's there isn't much to endorse this. It's bland, the music faceless and melodically lacking.

It's immediately back into the ballad mode, this time 'Your Precious Love' stinking the joint out with its sickly melody and lyrics. 'Take Me Back Again' may as well be the same track, it's that horrific. The album closes with a pure Led Zeppelin rip off 'Women Trouble Blues'. I was shocked not to see Jimmy Page's name on the credits. It's clearly a shot at the spirit of '1987' or 'Slip Of The Tongue' but far too late.

In Summary

This album rightfully sunk without trace upon release, Coverdale's time having come and gone. I'd venture to say he hasn't done anything worthwhile since either, the 'Coverdale-Page' album being his last shining moment. Listening to this for the first time in a quarter of a century simply served to remind me of the disgust I felt for it back then. These of course were the days where you'd pay over 30 dollars for a new CD, only to be ripped off by clinging to the past and foolishly believing artists like Coverdale would never change.

Video

You're So Fine


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Comments

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    gdazegodgdazegod Antipodes

    The 90's wasn't a great decade, let's be honest. Gotta agree that Coverdale/Page effort is far superior than this dirge.

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