Whitesnake: Live In ’84 – Back To The Bone

DVD and CD set from the Slide It In era.

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The reinvention of Whitesnake in the 1980s didn’t happen overnight. It took years of hiring and firing for leader David Coverdale to transform his band from a bluesy hard-rock act into the pop-metal juggernaut of the multi-million selling 1987 album.

When Whitesnake appeared at Japan’s Super Rock festival – the main feature of Live In ’84 – only Coverdale and bassist Neil Murray remained from the definitive early-80s line-up. Alongside them were superstar drummer Cozy Powell and flashy young guitarist John Skyes, the latter fresh out of Thin Lizzy.

This quartet, augmented by an off-stage keyboard player, brought a harder edge to vintage ’Snake material, in line with the crunch of the then-current Slide It In album.

But across this whole package, the sound quality is variable. And while the inclusion of footage from Jon Lord’s last gig with Whitesnake is a bonus, the great man had better nights than that. This one is for collectors only./o:p

Paul Elliott

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2005, Paul Elliott has worked for leading music titles since 1985, including Sounds, Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. He is the author of several books including the first biography of Guns N’ Roses and the autobiography of bodyguard-to-the-stars Danny Francis. He has written liner notes for classic album reissues by artists such as Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy and Kiss, and currently works as content editor for Total Guitar. He lives in Bath - of which David Coverdale recently said: “How very Roman of you!”