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

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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’.