New Album Review – Whitesnake ‘The Purple Tour’ (Live)

Since the 2003 reunion rehearsals of a revamped Whitesnake there have been a slew of live albums.  First was the bonus live disc on the ‘Live, In the Still of the Night’ DVD.  Then the double disc, full set ‘Live…In the Shadow of the Blues’.  A few years pass.  A new studio album gets released along with a follow up three years later.  After that ‘Made in Japan’ gets released along with an official, remastered audio of the 1990 ‘Live at Donnington’.  But Coverdale isn’t done there.  He then released the ‘Made in Britain/The World Tour’ live album from the ‘Forevermore’ world tour.  And then there’s the recent 30th anniversary of the 1987 self titled album which includes a bonus live disc from the ’87 tour recorded in Dublin.

But wait, there’s more to come.  As this Friday will bring the release of ‘The Purple Tour’, which documents Whitesnake’s most recent tour supporting their album of revamped Coverdale era Deep Purple songs.  Now, as far as live bands go, Whitesnake are at the top with the best of them.  There’s something about a Whitesnake show that’s just awesome.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them twice.  Coverdale always has the best of the best in the hard rock/metal music world playing with him.  And he’s always performing at 100% and then some.  So, there isn’t any such thing as too many live albums from this band.  Another new live document is certainly welcome.  Especially one as good as this.

The recording is thick and crisp.  And the instrumentation production is far superior to the ‘Made in Britain’ live album.  Where the down tuned guitars are mixed to the forefront too much.  Drowing out the rest of the band.  The tuning on this tour was brought back up a step.  It’s still down tuned, but no more than the ‘Live…In the Shadow of the Blues’ record.  The songs retain their energy and immediacy.  And the crowd is massive and with the band from the opening track ‘Burn’ to the closing ‘Still of the Night’.

The album is split between the classic Whitesnake hits and some revamped Deep Purple tracks.  And they mix together seamlessly.  Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra have great chemistry as a dynamic guitar duo.  David Coverdale sounds amazing as always.  Aging like a fine wine.  However, there are some chest voice notes that he can’t hit on some chorus’.  But not to worry because this line-up is amazing at back round vocals.  And Coverdale can still hit all the high, head voice screams like no one else.  And of course, Tommy Aldridge is just a beast on the drums.  The only complaint I really have about this recording is that Michele Luppi’s keyboards are mixed too much to the front.  I understand that they’re going for a more Deep Purple sound on the tour because that’s obviously the focus.  But I wish it sonically felt more like modern Whitesnake than early.  But there’s still plenty of modern Whitesnake present.  It’s a minor complaint.

‘Burn’, ‘Mistreated’ and ‘You Fool No One’ are the strongest of the Deep Purple covers.  The latter being just freakin’ awesome.  And like I said before, they mix seamlessly with classic Whitesnake tracks such as ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’, ‘Fool For Your Lovin’ and ‘Here I Go Again’.  One of the best parts of the album is the crowd.  They’re with the band from beginning to end enthusiastic and massive.  Now, the record is only 13 tracks as Coverdale is nearing 70.  But it still clocks in at an hour and 12 min.  If you’re looking for a longer live set from Whitesnake I would recommend ‘Live…In Shadow of the Blues’ or ‘Live at Donnington 1990’.  But of all the live albums that have been released by this band since the 2003 revamp this is the third best I think.  Next to the previous two mentioned above.

It’s a strong live album.  Not just from this band, but in general.  It has all the makings of a great live album.  A big, enthusiastic crowd.  A loud, tight band.  And a consistent hard rocking set of quality.  I would recommend picking this one up.  I know I will.

Here’s the opening track ‘Burn’.  I don’t really know why they made this lame video for it.  I wish they would have just shown the crowd.  Anyways, it sounds awesome.




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