WHITESNAKE – The Purple Album [European Deluxe Edition] (2015)
* Retail Full
So here it finally is, the album that many have wondered about over the years: David Coverdale finally revisits his formative years with an album full of reinterpretations of music from Deep Purple Mark III and IV, the three albums that a young Coverdale sang on – “Burn”, “Stormbringer” and “Come taste the Band”.
Entitled “The Purple Album“, the new WHITESNAKE released by Frontiers Records in this Deluxe Edition features exclusive bonus tracks plus a DVD with video clips.
David Coverdale describes this album as a tribute to Deep Purple – the band that gave him his big break in music. Lets face it, without Deep Purple the chances are we wouldn’t have Whitesnake. It does make a lot of sense that he’d have a strong attachment to these songs as they are what introduced David Coverdale to the world, so are a big part of his life.
Frankly at this point in his career he has earned the right to record whatever songs he wants…
It’s a brave decision though – to go back and re-record songs that he first sang decades ago and now are classics.
Fans never like hearing the songs they grew up with being changed or covered, and so this is bound to lead to the inevitable discussions on David Coverdale’s voice (like we get with every Whitesnake album – some people need to stop moaning and just enjoy life).
I’m going to start off by saying that after listening to the album a couple of times, I love it.
I’ve been a fan of Deep Purple all my life, so it’s slightly strange hearing how the songs have been changed, but I’m actually pleased that these versions differ from the originals.
Doing straight covers doesn’t add anything new and would be little more than karaoke, so what Whitesnake have done here is to take the original song and change them to put more of a Whitesnake sound on them. Some have changed very little, whereas others are very different.
Just listen “Stormbringer”, it’s modern but absolutely mind-blowing:
Another a good example of the fresh life is “You fool no One”: has a very different intro – instead of a distinctive drum rhythm we get harmonica before the guitars and drums. In the original the vocals drums and Hammond organ dominated the sound, whereas in the Whitesnake version the guitars are far more prominent and hard rocking. The vocals are deeper too, so it’s quite different to the original version.
“Sail Away” has changed from the original using electric guitar to the Whitesnake version which is acoustic. The acoustic treatment works wonderfully.
This European Deluxe Edition of “The Purple Album” includes very good versions of classic “Lady Luck” and the moving “Comin’ Home”, really groovy this one filled with harmonized guitars.
One of my all-time favourite Deep Purple songs is “Soldier of Fortune”, so I was particularly curious to hear the Whitesnake version. It’s great. Coverdale’s voice still sounds perfect for the song – it’s a soft emotion-filled track with updated sound.
“Burn” is a rock classic and deservedly so labelled, embracing a complex arrangement and progressive leanings at the time it was an opportunity for Whitesnake to show off their virtuosity, and here reinterpreted the band, it simply shines.
Of course it’s tracks like “Mistreated’ and “Soldier of Fortune” that sowed some of the seeds for early Whitesnake but listen closer to songs like “Lady Double Dealer” and “Lay Down Stay Down” and you’ll see how natural that progression was.
These may be modern day ‘Snaked-up’ versions of these timeless songs, but it’s hard to see how anyone can lose here – fans will love the re-workings and those new to the material can these days revisit the originals with the click of a download button.
As Coverdale says of the material: “There was absolutely no intention to compete, or compare with the original recordings. We just wanted to play these songs the best we could and this is how we wanted to play them“.
Amen to that.
Fear not: “The Purple Album” is an excellent record.
David Coverdale has taken songs he sang early in his career with Deep Purple and changed them to fit the Whitesnake sound and the results are great.
Yes the songs sound different to the originals, but surely that’s the point – to mix the familiar with Whitesnake’s modern hard rock sound, rather than just doing a slavish copy.
It’s great to hear these classic songs being given a new lease of life.
Long live to the White Serpent.
01 – Burn
02 – You Fool No One (interpolating “Itchy Fingers”)
03 – Love Child
04 – Sail Away (featuring “Elegy For Jon”)
05 – The Gypsy
06 – Lady Double Dealer
07 – Mistreated
08 – Holy Man
09 – Might Just Take Your Life
10 – You Keep On Moving
11 – Soldier Of Fortune
12 – Lay Down Stay Down
13 – Stormbringer
14 – Lady Luck (Bonus Track)
15 – Comin’ Home (Bonus Track)
David Coverdale ☆ Vocals
Reb Beach ☆ Guitars
Joel Hoekstra ☆ Keyboards
Michael Devin ☆ Bass
Tommy Aldridge ☆ Drums
BUY IT !