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CD/DVD Review: Whitesnake / Made in Japan

WSMade in Japan
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

When Forevermore was released back in 2011 my initial thoughts were “Coverdale was able to bring back vintage Snake while still sounding fresh and current”.  A ton of credit must go to Doug Aldrich whose contributions to the songwriting stood out even more here than on 2008’s “Good To Be Bad”.  Tracks like “Love Will Set You Free” and “Steal Your Heart Away” are some of the strongest Snake tracks ever.  Aldrich is able to pick up the mantle passed down from Micky Moody, John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell, Steve Vai and leave his indelible mark on the legacy of one of rocks classic acts. 

During this tour in October 2011 Whitesnake played the Loud Park Festival in Saitama, Japan and thus Whitesnake Made In Japan was conceived.   What nobody knew at the time was that it would be Brian Tichy’s one and only tour with the band as he announced his departure from the Snake in January 2013 to concentrate on other musical endeavors.  I guess this is what makes this one special as Tichy brought a ton of energy and flair to this tour and would have been extremely tough to replace had Tommy Aldridge not been asked to rejoin. 

You get the Snake classics here like “Give Me All Your Love Tonight”, “Is This Love?”, ‘Here I Go Again”, “Still Of The Night” on Disc 1 plus material from the last two studio records I mentioned already.  The real jem of this collection is the second  disc which contains “sound check” tunes of several tracks off the last two studio records including 4 acoustic versions of “Fare Thee Well”, ‘One of These Days”, “Good To Be Bad” and “Tell Me How”, the last being my personal favorite.   This is what makes it worth the price of a purchase, bands that are not afraid to take chances while at the same time showing off their versatility and stretch the boundaries of their fan base by giving them a reason to purchase yet another live album.  A true fan may buy it anyway but this just gives it some additional incentive.

The DVD has some choice bonus material including some band slideshow photos, one just of David Coverdale himself and another of screen shots from the concerts including all members together in action. Also included are what are being referred to as “Purplesnake” videos of the tracks “Forevermore” and “Steal Your Heart Away”.  These include clips shot by fans throughout the tour meshed into individual videos.  Cool touch and must have taken hours of work to get these to look as professional as they do.

Made in Japan will be a time capsule of the Aldrich/Beach era for sure..unless more studio records are to come.  Never can tell when David will decide to call it a day but at least the fans can enjoy this treasure “Forevermore”.  I hope with the 30th anniversary of Slide It In fast approaching that they consider maybe doing some special shows showcasing this great record..maybe playing it from beginning to end.  With little to no chance of any shows with John Sykes possible 2012 came and went with what would have been the 25th anniversary of the landmark Whitesnake record that blew this band out to international stardom.  Again it would have been an opportunity to tour playing that record start to finish.  With whatever Coverdale has up his sleeve I’m sure I’ll still be listening because he always surrounds himself with top notch talent and always seems to be able to deliver what his fans want.  Rock with bite..teeth marks that have been left on snake fans since 1978 and hopefully for years to come.     

Made in Japan Track Listing:

Disc: 1
1. Best Years
2. Give Me All Your Love Tonight
3. Love Ain t No Stranger
4. Is This Love
5. Steal Your Heart Away
6. Forevermore
7. Six String Showdown
8. Love Will Set You Free
9. Drum Solo
10. Fool For Your Loving
11. Here I Go Again
12. Still Of The Night

Disc: 2
1. Love Will Set You Free
2. Steal Your Heart Away
3. Lay Down Your Love
4. Fare Thee Well (Acoustic Version)
5. One Of These Days (Acoustic Version)
6. Good To Be Bad (Acoustic Version)
7. Tell Me How (Acoustic Version)
8. Evil Ways



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