Whitesnake - 2011 Live At Donington 1990


ARTIST: Whitesnake
ALBUM: Live At Donington 1990
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: David Coverdale - vocals * Adrian Vandenberg - guitar * Steve Vai - guitar * Rudy Sarzo - bass * Tommy Aldrige - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Slip Of The Tongue * 02 Slide It In * 03 Judgement Day * 04 Slow An Easy * 05 Kittens Got Claws * 06 Adagio For Strato * 07 Flying Dutchman Boogie * 08 Is This Love * 09 Cheap An Nasty * 10 Crying In The Rain (drum solo) * 11 Fool For Your Loving * 12 For The Love Of You * 13 The Audience Is Listening * 14 Here I Go Again * 15 Bad Boys * 16 Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City * 17 Still Of The Night

RATING: image



Reviewing live albums has never been a priority of mine, but this recent release is a rare exception, not because it's excellent, simply because I happened to listen to it.

Why I did is another question, but this recording is as exactly as the title states, with Coverdale and company caught live at the once famed Donington 'Monsters of Rock' festival during their 'Slip Of The Tongue' era tour.

It was the bands third appearance at the event, having performed in 1981 and 1983, headlining during the latter occasion. This time around the band was a vastly different proposition, having lost all trace of their British roots, replaced by their Americanised version, with guitar wizards Vandenberg and Vai on display.

This may have been an affront to the bands English fans and scanning the lineup that year (Aerosmith, Poison, Thunder and The Quierboys) it wasn't exactly a metalheads dream come true.

It shows Whitesnake's commercial appeal that they headlined over Aerosmith mind you.

The Songs

The setlist for this show was comprised naturally of latter day 'snake, with the setlist culled mainly from '1987' and 'Slip Of The Tongue'.

In an effort to appease the partisan punters, Coverdale included a few token tracks from the earlier years, predictably 'Slide It In', 'Slow 'An Easy', 'Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City' and 'Fool For Your Loving'. Of course the latter had been remade for the new album ala 'Here I Go Again', 'Crying in the Rain', so it was hardly a novelty.

'Slip of the Tongue' wasn't all that great and it's represented by the title track, 'Kitten's Got Claws', 'Cheap And Nasty' and the Led Zeppelin rip-off 'Judgement Day'. Everything else is from '1987' and I'm sure you can guess what they are.

Imagine if Coverdale had been brave enough to throw in something from 'Lovehunter' or a rarity from 'Saints And Sinners'. What cheapened the gig and this recording is the bands lengthy extended solos, from Vandenberg, Vai and Aldridge. I'm not sure a drum solo from Aldridge is truly essential listening for any human being.

Maybe Coverdale needed an offstage break from going through the motions and being weighed down by more leather than Rob Halford.

That could explain 'Adagio For Strato', 'Flying Dutchman Boogie' and Vai's solo party pieces 'For The Love Of God' and 'The Audience Is Listening' from his 'Passion And Warfare' album. This instrumental overkill could have been better served for an obscurity.

It's always good to hear 'Bad Boys' however, but I get the sense listening to this as a whole that Coverdale was knackered and the end was inevitable.

The spark that fuelled '1987' was pretty much gone and as a result there's no improvisation or genuine moments of reckless abandon. Robotic and clinical are two words that spring to mind when digesting this. Required listening are two that don't.

In Summary

As a time capsule this is probably of some interest to those who were present at the show. Maybe the DVD does this more justice, but as a live recording it's best avoided unless you are a fanatic of the band.

The production isn't the best, but it doesn't detract from what's on offer at the same time. Whitesnake were a great band, but a live recording of their 1983 show would easily trump this.

Comparing the shows on You Tube tells that story easily. Strictly for completists and for those stuck in a time-warp.

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