Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad
Hard Rock
11 songs (59'24)
Release year: 2008
Whitesnake, Steamhammer/SPV
Reviewed by Marty
Major event
Whitesnake was originally a Deep Purple spin-off band that saw David Coverdale regrouping with fellow Purple members Ian Paice and Jon Lord along with bassist Neil Murray and the twin guitar attack of Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody. Albums like Snakebite, Trouble and Love Hunter, Live...In The Heart Of The City, Ready and Willing, Come And Get It and Saints And Sinners made the band very big in Europe but it wasn't until 1984 with the album Slide It In did they get their first big seller with hit songs like Love Ain't No Stranger, Slow 'N Easy and the title track. By this time the guitar duties were handled by ex-Trapeze guitarist Mel Galley and John Sykes who had just finished a very successful run with Thin Lizzy. Fast-forward three years to 1987 when the band now consisted of David Coverdale, John Sykes, Neil Murray and Aynsley Dunbar on drums. The resulting self-titled album Whitesnake was a massive success, selling over 8 million copies in the U.S. alone and spawned such huge hit singles as Here I Go Again, Is This Love and Still Of The Night. Their videos were a huge success and who could forget Tawny Kitaen writhing on the hood of David Coverdale's car and with their new big haired look, "Hair Metal" was born. The next album Slip Of The Tongue, saw guitarist Steve Vai brought in to fill in all guitar parts for the album. It was still a big seller but paled in comparison to Whitesnake and Slide It In. Following that tour, David Coverdale put Whitesnake on hiatus and did an album with Jimmy Page. Towards the end of the 90's David Coverdale resurrected Whitesnake a couple of times to do some shows in Europe and even did an album, Restless Heart, with Adrian Vandenberg that was supposed to originally be a Coverdale solo album. It wasn't until their 25th anniversary tour in 2003 that things began to take shape for the permanent resurrection of Whitesnake. Joining David Coverdale in the latest version of Whitesnake is Doug Aldrich (guitar), Reb Beach (guitar), Uriah Duffy(bass), Chris Frazier(drums), and Timothy Drury (keyboards). In 2006, the band released the Live...In The Still Of The Night DVD from their 25th Anniversary tour as well as the double live package Live...In The Shadow Of The Blues in late 2006 that included 4 new songs. With a fairly stable line-up for the first time in years and with new ideas flowing, it was decided that it was time for an new album of all new Whitesnake material. Several years in the making, David Coverdale and company present us with the long awaited Good To be Bad, the first real Whitesnake album in 17 years since 1991'a Slip Of The Tongue.

Good To Be Bad gets off to a roaring start with the one-two punch of Best Years and Can You Hear The Wind Blow; tracks that rock hard and sound more like the late 70's or early 80's Whitesnake when catchy guitar riffs were "thickened" by the additional touch of the great Hammond organ sound. Tracks like Call On Me and the title track see a great funky groove to the guitar riffs with a gritty and soulful vocal by David Coverdale. All I Want, All I Need is this album's version of The Deeper The Love from the Slip Of The Tongue album and has that late 80's FM radio staple written all over it. The album really kicks up a notch for the last half including the Thin Lizzy inspired All For Love complete with harmony lead guitar and Phil Lynott style vocal. The Zeppelin inspired Still Of The Night era is here in all it's glory with Lay Down Your Love revisiting the Coverdale vocal between the stops of heavy riffs. A Fool In Love also revisits the feel of Crying In The Rain from the Whitesnake album with it's slow and heavy romp and Got What You Need sees Whitesnake delivering a blistering rocker that reminds me of AC/DC's Let There Be Rock. The acoustic side of Whitesnake is showcased quite nicely with Summer Rain, a track that has Zeppelin's Tangerine like qualities but with a solid and emotional vocal by Coverdale. The album closer, Til The End Of Time has a more soulful, acoustic blues feel and brings the listener back to the 70's with it's similarities to Soldier Of Fortune from Deep Purple's Stormbringer album.

I was very surprised at the quality of this album. David Coverdale doesn't quite have the high vocal range anymore but his gritty, bluesy swagger is still there in all it's glory. The song writing is very strong and fans of the band should really enjoy this album. Good To Be Bad covers the whole Whitesnake musical spectrum and doesn't dwell too much on recreating the smash hit sounds of Slide It In and Whitesnake. It's commercial enough to be catchy and enjoyable but not like the huge "corporate" commercial Whitesnake of the late 80's and early 90's. There's lots of variety in the songs with fast, hard rocking songs to slower bluesy material and with the odd ballad or two to satisfy fans of the classic Whitesnake ballads. I like this album a lot and with the warm weather approaching, many of us over-forty-something’s are going to have a great soundtrack to our summer this year.

Killing Songs :
Best Years, Can You Hear The Wind Blow, Good To Be Bad, Lay Down Your Love and Got What You Need
Marty quoted 86 / 100
Jeff quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Whitesnake that we have reviewed:
Whitesnake - Slip Of The Tongue reviewed by Erik and quoted 69 / 100
Whitesnake - Whitesnake reviewed by Erik and quoted CLASSIC
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