Whitesnake - The Purple Album

Whitesnake The Purple Album
The Purple Album
Frontiers Music Srl
Whitesnake’s 12th album, is quite an overkill... a nice enough if not incomplete, personal selection of famous and not so famous cuts from the MK3/4 lineups of Deep Purple, probably spurred, by the convoy Coverdale had with Blackmore with a view on doing “something” together again before the end of their respective musical careers or god forbid lives. While a “reunion” of some sort wasn’t made possible due to a variety of reasons, it’s likely that the idea, of revisiting some of these golden oldies that he might have ended up performing, stayed with Coverdale, who decided to give em a more contemporary, but as faithful to the originals as he can at this day and age, reinterpretations.
While it feels a bit like a useless exercise, in the place of a perfectly viable normal studio album, I suppose, this would not have taken too long to put together as the tracks were already there and just needed to be re-recorded, so an actual album of new material could be worked on, while accommodating the downtime that the exit of now longtimer snakes, guitarman Doug Aldritch caused, who has been replaced, by Joel Hoekstra who came in from Night Ranger.
While “Burn” has been a frequent staple at Whitesnake gigs and here’s one of the less impressive re-interpretations, with Dave, mumbling it away, somewhere low in the mix, the following could of selections, really make up for that.
“You Fool No One” and “Love Child” really give an intimate look to what later would spur the “creation” of Whitesnake as a solo vehicle for Coverdale.
“Sail Away” is another inspired selection, now turned into an elegy for the late Jon Lord.
“The Gypsy” another awesome oldie, pushes Coverdale pretty badly and he barely escapes with his dignity intact, from this difficult, lyrically charged number. In general “the duets” are not exactly the forte of this album as DC, can barely hold it together in the higher ranges with their demanding tessituras. Severely stepping down
“Lady Double Dealer” one of the most impressive hard hitting numbers from “Stormbringer”, enables DC, to give it a go and keep things entertaining…
The whore of Purple tracks, the song that almost everyone has covered, “Mistreated” gets a revisitation from an old associate, and even with his “current” voice, DC manages to give a good enough performance, nowhere near as cool as the original but still emotionally charged as it should be.
“Holy Man” is a bit of an unusual choice, but it does a fine job at lightening up the atmosphere and DC’s vocal work is particularly shimmering and vibrant on this one... he also does a fairly good job with “Might Just Take Your Life”
“You Keep on Moving” is also surprisingly pretty decent, even if it features dual vocals as DC is hear more on the lead lines, so he can sort of sing the song to his ability. Fair song from the somewhat more experimental MK4, lineup, but I’d have really not minded something like “I Need Love” as well from that one record.
One of Cov’s most trademark songs is one of the best ballads ever (TM) “Soldier of Fortune”. This tuned, somewhat different version is nowhere near as dear to the heart as the original, that really stole its way into our heart with great ease, whenever it is that each of us, first listened to it for the first time... although it’s fair.
“Lay Down, Stay Down” is another deeper cut, a mucho, macho number from side A of “Burn” that’s not badly done, in all honesty, unfortunately the same cannot be said, for “Stormbringer”, which takes all sorts of trickery to get a decent enough performance… the solo as well, is not up to RB’s abilities and sounds rather random in all honesty.
An alternative more “plucked” rendition of “Soldier” is the bonus for some configurations while the double disk special edition also features, 2 bonus songs “Lady Luck” and “Comin’ Home” which are also given fair renditions as well as Music videos for “Lady Double Dealer”, “Sail Away”, “Stormbringer” and “Soldier of Fortune”.
As a snakeskin wooleyed fan, I will need to eventually get this, but this is not, an urgent or necessary purchase by any means. If you don’t have the 3 classic Deep Purple albums that Cov sings on, you’d be much better of getting those instead, in all honesty.