Ignore the gaudy artwork, don't look at the tracklisting, whap it in the CD player and get ready to rock! Please let there be no extended guitar solos. Please let it recreate the, sometimes, stunning shows David and his merry men have put on over the last few years. Just let it be good.
For me the CD starts with 'Slide It In' and 'Slow An' Easy'. My teenage years coincided with Whitesnake from 1978 - 1984, so I won't hear a word against these songs. They soundtracked my youth and created an extra bit of swagger in my step. 'Love Ain't No Stranger' is next, a song I had no time for in the eighties but it now warms the cockles of my ageing heart.
A surprisingly early visit to 'Ain't No Love', a song that has never matched up to Bobby Bland's version and the bludgeoning guitars of 21st century Whitesnake do it no favours. Quality versions of 'Here I Go Again' and 'Still Of The Night' round off CD1, a mixed bag that actually does serve as a good souvenir or recent Whitesnake tours which have teased, tormented and satisfied in equal measures.
CD2 begins with a rip roaring 'Burn / Stormbringer' medley. Absolutely stunning here, as it was on the road. 'Give Me All Your Love Tonight' is another song that the years have treated kindly as I discovered when bouncing along, singing away like a loon at the live shows. 'Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues' has long been my second favourite Whitesnake song ever and I still get goosebumps whenever I hear it, regardless of the bar band boogie backing currently employed.
The live CD finishes with the finest ever Whitesnake song, 'Take Me With You', a song that will be playing in my head throughout eternity and the version here is superb. Driven along by some fine percussion, it's a perfect way to end the live CD.
There are four studio tracks bolted on to whet our appetites for a new album due out in 2007. 'If You Want Me (I'll Come Running)', is absolutely fabulous. A cracking riff, sweet melodies and the rougher edged voice make for a mighty fine tune. 'Dog' is the closing track and repeated plays haven't helped me make my mind up one way or another. It's almost as though they've just taken a little bit of every Whitesnake album since 1984 and put it into this one.
As a souvenir it doesn't match the DVD and the sequencing could have been better, but when the live material hits a high, there are few around that can match Coverdale. The new material seems to be following the same route, but I'd rather have half a good Whitesnake album than none at all.
review: Stuart A Hamilton