WHITESNAKE – Ready An’ Willing [Japan SHM-CD remastered MiniLP +5]
As requested, here’s the only version on SHM-CD / cardboard sleeve of WHITESNAKE’s “Ready An’ Willing”, remastered plus 5 bonus tracks. In my humble opinion, the best reissue you can get in terms of sound quality.
By the time Whitesnake unveiled their third studio long-player “Ready An’ Willing”, David Coverdale’s crew of English bluesy rockers had already been alive and kicking for a couple of years. But to say they’d achieved true stardom would be something of an overstatement.
Instead, it was “Ready An’ Willing” that signaled the career turning point they’d been working toward, as it climbed into the U.K. Top 10 and became Whitesnake’s first effort to even chart outside their homeland.
The catalyst for all this being the group’s first bona fide hit single in “Fool for Your Loving” – one of the best Whitesnake songs ever – and perhaps some timely upgrades to their line up too, with the arrival of former Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice.
By joining up, Paice was of course reuniting with his erstwhile Purple bandmates, Coverdale and organist Jon Lord, and simply adding his formidable talents to those of guitarists Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody, plus bassist Neil Murray — all of which elevated the band’s creative and performing powers to the next level.
This upgrade was perfectly apparent in album standouts like the sharp-tongued “Sweet Talker,” the slowly building “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More,” the bluesy balladry of “Blind Man” (reworked from Coverdale’s solo LP), and that groove monster of a title track.
More feisty is the final track “She’s A Woman,” its funk-ish dynamism even more emphasized by the rich input from Jon Lord as well as Ian Paice’s thunderous work behind the drum kit.
And of course, ‘that song’ : “Fool for Your Loving”.
“Fool for Your Loving” is a terrific number that’s iconic to Whitesnake’s entire repertoire. Although the song is still widely connoted by an average listener with its updated 1989 version, there’s something unique to the original.
The sound is obviously blues-infused and more raw – somehow more authentic than the re-recording with the Vai-esque tricks. And there couldn’t have possibly been more genuine vocal performance of this particular song than of the angst-driven Coverdale back in 1980, as he belts out what is now a classic heartbreak song and what, at the time, must have been his own personal declaration of independence.
Apart from the basic track list comprised of nine songs, this remastered reissue of “Ready An’ Willing” features also 5 bonus tracks.
“Love For Sale” is the only studio track among them, a dynamic piece of groovy blues rock that fits the rest of the material like a proverbial glove. The rest of the additional material was assembled from the live recordings from Whitesnake’s performance at the legendary Reading Rock Festival that took place in August 1979.
The quality of the recordings was obviously improved digitally, but even if still slightly detached from the clean-cut bootlegs of the modern-day era, it’s thus even more authentic, a splendid testimony to Whitesnake’s “Ready An’ Willing” era line-up.
Several years after its initial release, “Ready An’ Willing” definitely stands the test of time. Even in 2019, the album captures the rough, rich, blues-infused essence of the previous years rather than exploring new sounds and spheres.
It reaches right back to the roots of rock, combining the bluesy ruggedness with fine melodies that herald the latter-day era of Whitesnake.
Competent, solid musicianship adds much color to the album and so does David Coverdale in his best vocal shape, delivering a handful of genuine, emotionally-laden performances culminating in the album’s highlight “Blindman” that is a worthy successor of Purple’s “Soldier Of Fortune.”
And even though “Ready An’ Willing” is not a groundbreaking album for Whitesnake (at least in a commercial sense) it surely remains one of the finest records released by the band and an exceptional one within the history of Rock music.
I love “Ready An’ Willing”, I grew up playing the vinyl LP to its ultimate death, and this SHM-CD remastered reissue took its place in all its quality sound glory. Among the most precious treasures in my collection.
Universal Japan ～ UICY-20236 【ＬＴＤ ＳＨＭ－ＣＤ】
Ｗ Ｈ Ｉ Ｔ Ｅ Ｓ Ｎ Ａ Ｋ Ｅ 『 ＣＡＲＤＢＯＡＲＤ ＳＬＥＥＶＥ 』
01 – Fool For Your Loving
02 – Sweet Talker
03 – Ready An’ Willing
04 – Carry Your Load
05 – Blindman
06 – Ain’t Gonna Cry No More
07 – Love Man
08 – Black And Blue
09 – She’s A Woman
10 – Love For Sale (previously unreleased)
11 – Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City (Live ’79)
12 – Mistreated (Live At The Reading Festival ’79)
13 – Love Hunter (Live At The Reading Festival ’79)
14 – Breakdown (Live At The Reading Festival ’79)
David Coverdale – lead and backing vocals
Micky Moody – guitars, backing vocals
Bernie Marsden – guitars, backing vocals
Jon Lord – keyboards
Neil Murray – bass
Ian Paice – drums
BUY IT !