Review: Whitesnake delves deep into Purple past on new album
Whitesnake, “The Purple Album” (Frontiers)
Who says you can’t go home?
David Coverdale delves deep into his Deep Purple background on the new Whitesnake album, which re-does songs from his tenure fronting the legendary classic rock outfit.
“The Purple Album” begins with a more bottom-heavy version of the classic rock anthem “Burn,” which Coverdale shared lead vocals with Glenn Hughes on the original track. And while the remake misses Hughes’ high notes, the current Whitesnake lineup that includes guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra, bassist Michael Devin and metal drum legend Tommy Aldridge, provides a chunky underpinning to the familiar melodies and riffs.
“Mistreated” is actually much better known as a Rainbow show-stopper from the days when Ronnie James Dio fronted Ritchie Blackmore’s post-Purple solo band. Dio’s soaring high notes took the song to places Coverdale never imagines, but Dave valiantly tries to reclaim it as his own.
“You Fool No One” sounds fresh and new here, and “Stormbringer” is more pounding and forceful than the original.
Time has roughened Coverdale’s voice, and there are few of the high notes that put him on top in the late ’80s with tracks like “Still of the Night.” But with Blackmore continuing to waste away with a medieval-themed solo band that no one is listening to, it’s good to hear someone dust off these tracks and breathe some life into them.