Website Spotlight: Whitesnake.com

Whitesnake.com

Obviously, Whitesnake.com is the band’s, and David Coverdale’s, official website. What is cool about the website is that is scrolls from side to side. Sorry, small details like that amuse me! Anyway, there is a large MEDIA section with live songs and videos. The FEATURES section gives you all the latest Whitesnake news & tour info, there’s a BBS and an online store. The section I enjoy the most is the ARCHIVES. It has a cool discography from David’s Deep Purple days to present, there are interviews, magazine covers, photos and even games! You can tell that Coverdale has taken the time to make sure his website is unique and fan-friendly.

WANTED: Whitesnake – Lovehunter (1979) & Starkers In Tokyo (1997)

WANTED

Whitesnake – Lovehunter (1979)

This is a quick add in to my WANTED list. I own this CD but I need a replacement because there is a big scratch on the disc! I was playing it the other night and about halfway through it started skipping like crazy! Pulled it out and noticed the scratch. I’m usually on top of these things and I have no idea how it got scratched, maybe when we moved into this house? I tried a CD fixer but it didn’t work…..so it goes on the list! This is also one of my favorite album covers of all time.

Whitesnake – Starkers In Tokyo (1997)

I’ve passed on this live unplugged album for a long time. I’ve seen it plenty of times in the local record shops but, because it’s a Japanese import, the price ranges from $20-$30 depending on the store. It’s just David Coverdale singing and Adrian Vandenberg on acoustic guitar performing for a small audience in Tokyo, Japan. I’m a sucker for “unplugged” albums so this is something I want to hear.

Whitesnake – ‘Slow An’ Easy’, ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’, & ‘Guilty Of Love’ (videos, 1984)

Here’s a few videos from the SLIDE IT IN (1984) album. I tried to find the proper videos for ‘Slide It In’ and ‘Standing In The Shadow’ but the quality was extremely poor on the ones I found. If I find others, I will add them in later.

‘Slow An’ Easy’

‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’

‘Guilty Of Love’

Whitesnake – Slide It In (1984)

Whitesnake – Slide It In (1984, Geffen)

  1. Slide It In
  2. Slow An’ Easy
  3. Love Ain’t No Stranger
  4. All Or Nothing
  5. Gambler
  6. Guilty Of Love
  7. Hungry For Love
  8. Give Me More Time
  9. Spit It Out
  10. Standing In The Shadow

Band Lineup:
David Coverdale – Lead Vocals
Micky Moody – Guitars
Mel Galley – Guitars
Jon Lord – Keyboards
Cozy Powell – Drums
Neil Murray – Bass (on U.S. version)
Colin Hodgkinson – Bass (on International version)
John Sykes – additional Guitars ( on U.S. version)

Producer: Martin Birch

(NOTE: There are two versions of this album with different track orders. The U.K./International release highlights the keyboards and bass in the mix while the U.S. version lowers both instruments to be more radio friendly in the States. Also, John Sykes adds additional guitar parts over Moody & Galley and Neil Murray plays bass instead of Hodgkinson. The version reviewed here is the U.S. mix.)

Total Time = 40:40

Whitesnake official website
Whitesnake MySpace page

It’s off to the arenas for Coverdale and company when SLIDE IT IN is released in 1984. Led by the the hit singles ‘Slow An’ Easy’, ‘Slide It In’, ‘Guilty Of Love’ and ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’, the band traded in their Blues Rock formula for the U.S. radio friendly sound of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal.

‘Slide It In’ kicks off the album with it’s juvenile cock Rock lyrics and blazing guitar while ‘Slow An’ Easy’ is an arena stomper that mirrors ‘Slide It In’ with the sexually charged lyrics but slower in tempo and a touch of “old” Whitesnake blues groove. ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ starts off slow, almost like a ballad, but kicks into another uptempo rocker. This trio of songs sets the stage of what is to come from the band in coming years for slick and polished arena styled anthems. It’s interesting to note that this U.S. version puts these three similar styled songs at the front of the album to cater to American tastes whereas the U.K. version has them mixed throughout the record to make it seem more diverse.

Once we get past the first three songs, there is some quality Hard Rock to come. ‘All Or Nothing’ follows the same formula as the first three but it has more groove like earlier Whitesnake. Jon Lord’s keyboards are more prominent in the mix adding a rootsy layer to the sound. More keys open ‘Gambler’, a mid-paced stomper that brings Deep Purple to mind. Coverdale uses his deeper bluesier delivery rather than the over the top technique he uses on the openers. ‘Guilty of Love’ could be found guilty of being a Thin Lizzy tune with the twin lead attack of Moody & Galley but Lord’s keys keep it Whitesnake. This is another song that is more like previous albums rather than a preview of what’s to come later in the decade. Same with ‘Hungry For Love’, another blues based Hard Rock song that could fit into any earlier record.

Next is ‘Give Me More Time’ and ‘Spit It Out’. Both are uptempo Hard Rock songs with a very similar guitar line, if you listen closely you can almost interchange each song. The difference is that ‘Spit It Out’ is more juvenile in the lyrics and the song pairs up well with the title track. Of course, any song with the lyric “Spit it out, if you don’t like it” was enough of an innuendo for us teens to shock our parents with. Coverdale is talking about a kiss in the lyrics but we all knew what he meant, LOL! ‘Standing In The Shadow’ is a keyboard laced single that easily translated into U.S. airwaves due to it’s Pop Rock accessibility. The guitar solo sounds a bit hollow to me but you can really hear Powell knocking the kit around.

Bottom Line:
A classic album! My favorite of the entire Whitesnake catalog. What makes this album great is that it is the middle ground where early bluesy Whitesnake meets the arena-sized behemoth that the band would become three years down the road. The lesser known songs, the non-singles, are some of the best band compositions of the ’80s while the radio anthems propelled the band into the spotlight. I get sick of ‘Slide It In’ and ‘Slow An’ Easy’ at times, probably because of the overplaying, but they are much better songs then the singles to come on future records. The real gems are the the album cuts (‘All Or Nothing’, ‘Guilty Of Love, ‘Spit It Out’, etc.) that didn’t get the airplay but enhanced the overall record. SLIDE IT IN is a classic album that seems to get lost due to the band’s future success, a success that is based on this album. Favorite tracks: ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’, ‘Spit It Out’, ‘All Or Nothing’, ‘Guilty Of Love’…..and those first two!

Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners (1982)

Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners (1982, Geffen)

  1. Young Blood
  2. Rough An’ Ready
  3. Blood Luxury
  4. Victim Of Love
  5. Crying In The Rain
  6. Here I Go Again
  7. Love An’ Affection
  8. Rock An’ Roll Angels
  9. Dancing Girls
  10. Saints An’ Sinners

Band Lineup:
David Coverdale – Lead Vocals
Bernie Marsden – Guitars
Mel Galley – Guitars
Micky Moody – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Jon Lord – Keyboards
Neil Murray – Bass
Ian Paice – Drums

Producer – Martin Birch

Total Time = 39:20

Whitesnake official website
Whitesnake MySpace page

SAINTS & SINNERS is a famous Whitesnake album to many Hard Rock fans because it is the original home of two songs that were huge successes on the band’s self-titled album in 1987…..’Crying In The Rain’ and the mega-hit ‘Here I Go Again’. What gets lost in the shuffle is that Whitesnake actually released albums before 1987 and that they were pretty darn good!

Opener ‘Young Blood’ and ‘Rough An’ Ready’ kick things off in high gear as both songs are classic Whitesnake Hard Rock songs but with more of a bluesy/boogie woogie edge to them rather than the polished sound of years to come. What jumps out right away is the guitars are crystal clear in the mix and the drums are pounding. Both songs easily fitting amongst the signature rockers from future releases. ‘Bloody Luxury’ is another uptempo Rock song with an ‘old time Rock and Roll” feel to it because of the Jon Lord piano lines being way up front in the mix. Very Stonesy, kind of jammy and fun…..I can see Mick & Keith doing this number or an all-star jam at the end of a festival show with a bunch of special guests. It’s almost like a danceable tune in a ’60s era way. We get back to the bluesy Hard Rock with ‘Victim Of Love’, a slithery smooth song great guitar lines and a subtle Hammond Organ by Lord.

Of course the two famous songs are in the middle. ‘Crying In The Rain’ is almost identical to it’s ’87 counterpart, the difference on the original is that the vocals are deeper and the organ adds a Deep Purple-ish feel to it. It’s simpler in approach, the guitars sound cleaner, and the backing vocals aren’t as layered up. It’s a powerful song, just like the ’87 version. Most fans would be shocked to hear the original version of ‘Here I Go Again’ because it’s very different. The tempo is the same mid-pace but the original song almost takes on a ’70s ballad quality where as the ’87 re-make is “metallized”. The lyrics are identical except for the line “like a hobo, I was born to walk alone” and the arrangement is the same. The guitars and backing vocals aren’t as layered and Coverdale’s vocals are bluesier and grittier than the ’87 screamer. Also, the guitar solo is totally different than the ’87 version, it’s bluesy and subdued. Both songs feature John Lord’s Hammond prominently and that adds solid layer that gets replaced by layered guitars in the re-makes. Both songs are solid in their original form and everyone should check them out.

More boogie woogie Rock comes out on ‘Love An’ Affection’ and ‘Rock An’ Roll Angels’ with the piano prominent again in both songs. ‘Rock An’ Roll Angels’ is heavier but the piano way up front give it that Stones vibe again but harder. I like the drums and the main riff on ‘Dancing Girls’ but it’s Purple-ish with the Hammond solo in the middle. Very simple song, not much meat to chew on. The title track closes the album out with an opening guitar line that immeadiately makes me think of mid-70s Alice Cooper. It’s another Hard Rock Blues tune that has a groove with a great solo. It turns to LOVE GUN era KISS, sounding like a Gene Simmons penned song and not just because he wrote a song with a similar title on CREATURES OF THE NIGHT, the bass line is similar to his KISS style.

Bottom Line:
Early ’80s Whitesnake is still rooted in Blues based Rock akin to Coverdale’s work in Deep Purple. Overall, the basis of the Hard Rock the band would create later in the decade is here in more of a stripped down form using a blend of solid instrumentation: great dual guitar lines, solid backline, and Lord’s organ all blended with Coverdale’s gritty vocals. Favorite songs here: ‘Young Blood’, ‘Rough An’ Ready’, ‘Victim Of Love’, ‘Rock An’ Roll Angels’ and ‘Crying In The Rain’.

 

Whitesnake Mixtape

I’m listening to Whitesnake albums but there are a few standout tracks I’ve had to hit the “repeat” button for so here’s a quick mixtape of some of my favorite Whitesnake songs…..

‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ (1984) – Best song off SLIDE IT IN and one of my all-time favorite Whitesnake songs. Should have been a huge single way back in ’84 but I do remember it getting decent airplay during the last half of the ’80s when the band was topping the charts.

‘The Deeper The Love’ (1989) – I always liked this ballad better than ‘Is This Love’. The chicks used to love it back in the day so it was a must play at our parking lot parties.

‘Lay Down Your Love’ (2008) – Probably the best song on the new album. A nice mix of late ’80s Whitesnake with a slight nod to the bluesier ’70s, mostly because Coverdale’s voice is a little grittier. I can hear this one being a crowd favorite in many arenas during this tour.

‘Spit It Out’ (1984) – “Spit it out…..if you don’t like it!” What’s not to love about a song with that line in the chorus! Another gem off of SLIDE IT IN that no one remembers. I remember hearing this once on the radio back in the day when they would play full albums late at night. I was 12 yrs old and I remember laughing my ass off that they played it on the radio!

‘Shake My Tree’ (1993) – This tune was off the Coverdale/Page album and only counts during Whitesnake week because it was a big time single. Remember the controversy that surrounded Jimmy Page collaborating with Coverdale after Robert Plant kept calling him “Cover-version”?

‘Straight For The Heart’ (1987) – I cheated! I played part of the self-titled ’87 album! This one was single #5 and it was toward the end of that album’s run. When I do play the actual record, I usually play this twice to make up for skipping the first four singles.

‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’ (1978) – I know it’s a cover and it breaks my long standing rules against cover songs on albums but this is a solid version.

‘Here I Go Again’ (1982) – Only played it to hear the original version and the fact that SAINTS & SINNERS will be reviewed this week. 

‘Don’t Break My Heart Again’ (1981) – Top 20 single in Europe from COME AN’ GET IT and I remember the band played it live when I saw them a few years ago with the Scorpions.

‘Fool For Your Loving’ (1980) – Had to hear the original from READY AN’ WILLING to compare it to the ’89 version.

‘Fool For Your Loving’ (1989) – Comparison with the original from ’80. Coverdale a master of recycling his own material and making it work better the second time around. Got all the way to the Top 5 in the U.S.

Current Playlist – Whitesnake

I figured I’d kick off Whitesnake week with what I’ve been listening to this week. I don’t have every Whitesnake album, nor do I have all the David Coverdale/Northwinds stuff, but I have most. The one album that is NOT on my playlist is the self-titled album from ’87 (titled 1987 in the U.K.). I am so sick of hearing ‘Still Of The Night’, ‘Here I Go Again’, and ‘Is This Love’ on the local Rock stations and VH-1 Classic. These are great songs but they were overplayed back in ’87 and it seems like they are overplayed now! So here’s what’s been spinning…..

Good To Be Bad (2008) – I’ve been spinning this album a few times a day and I have to admit, I like it. There are some mixed reviews online but overall they are mostly positive. I’ve had the advance 3 track single for a month and ‘Lay Down Your Love’ is a really great song. I thought the pairing of Doug Aldrich with Dio was good, putting him with Coverdale is even better.

Slip Of The Tongue (1989) – I always liked this record. It’s similar to it’s counterpart from ’87 (three hit singles & massive MTV rotation) but it seems to be forgotten by many. My only complaint is the continued recycling of older Whitesnake material…..

Slide It In (1984) – My favorite Whitesnake record! The first three songs alone are Hard Rock classics and should be recognized as such. Everyone forgets the power of ‘Slide It In’, ‘Slow An’ Easy’, and my favorite ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’. I’m still seeking out the U.K. version that has the original mix with the keyboards and bass higher in the sound for a more ’70s feel.

Saints & Sinners (1982) – I love pulling this album and playing it for people who don’t realize that ‘Here I Go Again’ was originally released on this record. Same for ‘Crying In The Rain’. A few years ago, I won tickets to a concert (not Whitesnake) for correctly answering a trivia question. Obviously the question was “What year did Whitesnake release ‘Here I Go Again’? I called and said ’82 and I was told I was wrong! I told the DJ to look it up and I was right, the DJ had nothing to say but give me the prize…..on live radio!

Lovehunter (1979) – One of my favorite album covers of all time! I started listening to this record, got to ‘Medicine Man’ (track #4) and the CD started skipping like crazy. Turns out there’s a big scratch on the disc I didn’t notice before.

Snakebite (1978) – First proper record from the band with Coverdale, Moody, Marsden, and Murray all together. ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’, great tune!

David Coverdale – Into The Light (2000) – Yeah, I picked this up when it first came out figuring this was as close to a proper Whitesnake record we would get. It’s decent but nothing groundbreaking.

Whitesnake Week

This week is all about Whitesnake!

This past week, after 10 long years, David Coverdale and his band have finally released their brand new album, GOOD TO BE BAD. To celebrate the new record, this whole week will be about Whitesnake…..

SundayWhitesnake Mixtape and Current Playlist

MondaySaints & Sinners (1982) album review

TuesdaySlide It In (1984) album review and Videos from the album

WednesdayWhitesnake WANTED! and Whitesnake Website Spotlight

ThursdaySlip Of The Tongue (1989) album review and Videos from the album

FridayGood To Be Bad (2008) album review and ‘Lay Down Your Love’ video

SaturdayMy thoughts on Whitesnake

(NOTE — For even more Whitesnake, please check out the review I wrote back in the beginning of March ’07 for the WHITESNAKE (1987) album.)

CD Scavenger Hunt – Catching up a third time!

All the CDs that I have bought online have finally arrived so I can finally put up a much delayed Hunt! One CD that I won on Ebay March 24th finally arrived just this week! I also went to the record store Tuesday for a couple of new releases that escaped me…..

Saints Of The Underground – Love The Sin, Hate The Sinner (2008) – $10: I had to go buy this because I wanted to hear if this project would be like the Contraband supergroup back in 1991. I also wanted to hear if this was going to be a train wreck because Jani Lane’s reputation over the last few years has been less than stellar. I’ve given this album a few spins this week and so far it’s a decent listen. I’m hoping for a more critical review soon.

Asia – Phoenix (2008) – $13: After reading all the mixed reviews online, I decided to wait a week to buy it and come to my own conclusion. The local shop had at least 10 copies and Best Buy down the street was also well stocked, so the promotion has gone well for a week. People can actually get the album. I paid a few dollars more by purchasing at my local shop rather than Best Buy because I always support local record stores. Haven’t given this a spin but a review will happen when I do.

Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad (2008) – $10: I pre-ordered this CD through Amazon about 3 weeks ago and it came Wednesday, one day after release. When I went to the local record store, there were dozens of copies available with promotional posters all over the store. The promotional blitz is there, just like the new Asia, so the album is available. I’ve been spending a lot of time with this album and I like it…..that’s my quick review, a real review to follow soon.

Y&T – Musically Incorrect (1995) – $10.51: There is a current reissue just released by the band called INCORRECT SPECIES (2008) that is a special 2 disc set of this album and ENDANGERED SPECIES (1997). The label this was released on (DeRock) went out of business a long time ago so the reissue from the band is long overdue. I always prefer the original releases and I passed on this when it first came out. Haven’t seen it in the used bins lately so Ebay was the place. This transaction was a major saga: the seller was within 50 miles of me but there was some confusion with the payment instructions. A dispute was filed with Ebay by the seller but my check was deposited…..I could go on and on but the bottom line is that is took a month for me to get my CD from a seller that lives about an hour away!

Y&T – Endangered Species (1997) - $8: Another Ebay purchase to complete some of my Y&T collection. Like I mentioned above, the new reissue of this album with MUSICALLY INCORRECT (1995), titled INCORRECT SPECIES (2008), was a major reason I had to buy this right away. I prefer the original issue and I used to see this in bargain bins everywhere. Unfortunately, the supply has dried up even on Ebay. This auction came a week after four other auction for this CD completed all over $10. I ended up being the only bidder at $3 but the shipping was $5…..highway robbery! Still it cost less than buying it new when it came out and the CD was mint.

UFO – The Best OF UFO ’74-’83 (2008) – $11.26: Another UFO compilation? Yes but this time a lot of the versions of songs are the 7″ single edits rather than the proper album tracks. This was released last week but I passed on it at the record store, especially at the $15 sale price! So I bought this based on the remastering and the 7″ single versions AND that this CD is from a seller that I do a lot of business with on Ebay so I knew the CD would be mint when I got it.

Tank – The Filth Hounds Of Hades: Dogs Of War (1981-2002) box set

Tank – The Filth Hounds Of Hades: Dogs Of War (1981-2002) box set (2007, Metal Mind)

Albums included:
Filth Hounds Of Hades (1982)
Power Of The Hunter (1982)
This Means War (1983)
Honour & Blood (1985)
Tank (1987)
The Return Of The Filth Hounds Live (1998)
War Of Attrition Live 1981 (2001)
Still At War (2002)
Live Bootleg DVD

Tank official website
Tank MySpace page
Metal Mind Productions

The Music:
Tank is one of the legendary Metal bands to come out of England in the early ’80s during the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement of 1979-1983. Their music has been compared to that of the legendary Motorhead but with a little more Punk thrown in for good measure. All of Tank’s classic studio albums are here, including their “reunion” record STILL AT WAR (2002), and both live albums. Each CD has all the classic songs plus bonus tracks that were either B-sides, non-LP tracks, or Japanese bonuses. Honestly, to capture all of these songs on one set is an amazing feat! Add to that a DVD of live performances spanning Tank’s long career.

The Package:
All the albums are remastered using 24-bit technology ion a gold CD. Each individual album is a gatefold digipak encased in a black sleeve box (see picture above). The thick 60 page booklet has tons of pictures, lyrics, liner notes, notes from the band, Tank biography, and discography information. As with all Metal Mind reissues, this is a limited edition set and it is numbered up to 1000.

Bottom Line:
I’ve had this set for at least a couple of months and it has taken exactly that long to listen to each album fully and enjoy some Tank! I had a couple Tank albums already (THIS MEANS WAR and HONOUR & BLOOD) so I was a little familiar with the Tank catalog. What makes this set is that everything is here in one package: all the albums, all the bonuses, and a solid booklet. Albums that I could never find in a record store, or pay top dollar for online, are all neatly remastered and packaged together. Well worth the $125 to $150 retail I’ve seen this go for depending on the place you find it. If you are a fan of Tank or of NWOBHM, then this is an essential box set. I enjoyed listening to all the Tank material I had never heard, especially the bonuses. What also makes this special is that the band got involved and put in their input to make this box set special. Kudos to Metal Mind for another job well done! 

Lana Lane – Red Planet Boulevard (2007)

Lana Lane – Red Planet Boulevard (2007, Think Tank Media)

  1. Into The Fire
  2. The Frozen Sea
  3. Capture The Sun
  4. Jessica
  5. Stepford, USA
  6. Shine
  7. Lazy Summer Day
  8. No Tears Left
  9. Save The World
  10. Angels and Magicians
  11. The Sheltering Sorrow
  12. Red Planet Boulevard

Band Lineup:
Lana Lane – Vocals
Erik Norlander – Keyboards & Bass
Peer Verschuren – Guitars
Ernst Van Ee – Drums

Producer: Erik Norlander

Total Time = 1:08:57

Lana Lane official website
Lana Lane MySpace page
Erik Norlander official website
Think Tank Media

Lana Lane has been churning out album after album of Symphonic  Melodic Hard Rock since 1995 and RED PLANET BOULEVARD is her first album of original material since 2005′s concept album LADY MACBETH. With a collection of covers in 2006 sandwiched in between the two (titled GEMINI), it’s clear that Lana and her band have continued to consistently release superb material. Along with her husband/producer Erik Norlander, and long time band members Peer Verschuren and Ernst Vann De, Lana Lane explores the same grand soundscapes she has on previous efforts with intelligent writing, beautiful vocals, and solid musicianship.

The album kicks off with the melodic rocker ‘Into The Fire’. The main riff is heavy and the vocals soar with Norlander’s keyboards providing a lush backing. A quiet acoustic guitar opens ‘The Frozen Sea’ until another heavy Verschuren riff kicks in and the song moves ahead with a melodic sensibility. It’s almost a little deceiving because Lana’s voice is so beautiful, the melodies and hooks are perfectly aligned, and the first two songs are uptempo and are both metallic and progressive. Continuing the heaviness is ‘Capture The Sun’, a song that could be termed as Progressive Power Metal, almost Dream Theater like.

Lana Lane is a talented singer, channelling the likes of Ann Wilson (Heart), Pat Benetar, and Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), and her talent is beautifully displayed on the album’s first ballad ‘Jessica’. I especially like trade off between the guitar and the keys/organ at the solo. ‘Stepford USA’ is another uptempo rocker with a catchy chorus that tells the story that is the movie. ‘Shine’ is another uptempo song with soaring vocals and excellent riffs, and do I hear a talk box in the background? The music on ‘Shine’ weaves from subtle and almost ballady to an immeadiate heavy riff that maintains the Hard Rock tone of the whole album.

‘Lazy Summer Day’ is the album’s second ballad and sounds like an early 1960s slow dance from the high school dance until the chorus kicks in and the guitar does as well. Come solo time, the main riff picks up and Peer Verschuren plays a tight clean solo. It’s a definitely different than the rest of the album and shows some different influences. ‘No Tears Left’ is a mid-tempo rocker that continues to feature Lana’s voice against a superb musical backdrop while ‘Save The World’ continues the mid-tempo flow with a heavy guitar, marching drums, and intertwining keyboard melodies. There’s a subtle backing track on the chorus that gives it almost a “spooky” effect, very cool. The proceedings pick up again with ‘Angels And Magicians’ with a solid clean riff during the chorus that cuts out for the acoustic while Lana beautifully sings the verses. I could do without the “na na na’s” Lana employs but the acoustic guitar solo that easily moves to electric more than makes up for it.

‘The Sheltering Sorrow’ is another beautiful ballad that reminds me of Lana Lane’s earlier work and could easily fit on her BALLAD COLLECTION albums. It’s another prime example of Lana’s vocal talent as she easily sings with emotion and subtlety amid another lush musical landscape. The title track is last and I’m glad it is. It’s an instrumental that incorporates major elements of each song on the album, almost like a reprise for the entire record. It’s a nice listen but seems unnecessary, I’d rather have another proper song with vocals.

Bottom Line:
I wasn’t too keen with the last few albums, the last album I really enjoyed was 2002′s PROJECT SHANGRI-LA. The last few releases, aside from LADY MACBETH, were either live records or basically covers. I prefer original studio material and Lana and company surely delivery another superb album. The vocals are as powerful as they are beautiful while the music is grand, sweeping, and technically sound. The guitar solos by Peer Verschuren are superb and they weave in and out with Norlander’s keyboards perfectly as the two bond together to give each song a rich full sound. The drums are heavy when they have to be and are expertly done by Van Ee while Norlander handles the bass. Each song has excellent songwriting with soaring melodies, catchy hooks, and a lush full sound. Favorite songs here: ‘Into The Fire’, ‘Jessica’, ‘Lazy Summer Day’, ‘The Frozen Sea’…..actually, I think every song on the record is excellent and I would only change the ending instrumental to a song with lyrics.

Journey – ‘Never Walk Away’ (2008, new song) on YouTube

‘Never Walk Away’ is the new Journey single, from the forthcoming new album REVELATION, featuring new vocalist Arnel Pineda. This song is taken from a radio broadcast so the sound quality isn’t what it should be but I’m glad to hear a preview.

Always great guitar work from Neal Schon but listen to Pineda…..now we know why he was picked for the job, he sounds almost exact to Steve Perry!