Whitesnake - 1989 Slip Of The Tongue (Review #1)


ARTIST: Whitesnake
ALBUM: Slip Of The Tongue
LABEL: Geffen
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: Reissue list..


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

TRACK LISTING: 01 Slip Of The Tongue * 02 Cheap 'an' Nasty * 03 Fool For Your Loving * 04 Now You're Gone * 05 Kitten's Got Claws * 06 Wings Of The Storm * 07 The Deeper The Love * 08 Judgement Day * 09 Slow Poke Music * 10 Sailing Ships



What do you get when you combine a charismatic frontman with several other great instrumentalists, great songs, a huge production, and videos featuring a hot chick?

Well, Whitesnake combined those elements into a multi-platinum album with their eponymous 1987 release.

Alas, personnel changes were becoming quite common with Coverdale, and the lineups used on the tour for that album and the recording for the next one are totally different.

With the huge success of the Whitesnake album, creating a worthy followup would be a tough challenge. Guitarist Adrian Vandenberg was heavily involved with Coverdale in the songwriting process, but was unable to play due to a wrist injury.

Steve Vai was the hired gun for the guitar duties, an interesting choice in retrospect.

The Songs

The title track opener kicks off the album in a huge way and contains all the elements you'd expect from the band at this point in their career, grand keyboards, guitar-hero shredding, tough vocals, and a stop-start thing that had been used on earlier hits. It's apparent that Vai has a totally different approach from that of John Sykes.

'Cheap & Nasty' harkens back to the sound of the past two albums - guitar solo aside.

The first big hit is 'Fool For Your Loving', a remake from the 1980 'Ready An' Willing' album.

As for the rest of the album, you get the big hits 'Now You're Gone' and 'The Deeper The Love', faster-paced 'Kitten's Got Claws', retro-sounding 'Slow Poke Music', and attempts at a more epic sound with 'Wings Of The Storm', Judgement Day', and 'Sailing Ships'.

In Summary

A general consensus among many is that this album abandoned what Coverdale had started with Whitesnake in an attempt to cash in on the band's momentum.

Gone is much of the bluesy element, replaced with a very slick production and songs that were meant to appeal to the masses. Steve Vai had gained fame in David Lee Roth's band in the role of guitar stud, and many believe that his style was not the best fit for Whitesnake.

Be all that as it may, though, this album was rather huge at the time. It didn't move as many units as its predecessor, but it did sell in the millions and provided a soundtrack for many youth (and slightly older folks) for 1989-1990.

It's one that still works well for me and takes me back to a specific time of my life, which is what good music is supposed to do.

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