Episode #258 – David Coverdale & Whitesnake – Restless Heart (Part 2)

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Lead up to the Album:

  • DC put band on hold after 1990 tour.
  • Working with Jimmy Page revitalized him.
  • Whitesnake reformed in 1994 for a brief tour to support the Greatest Hits record but it didn’t last very Long
  • Coverdale Dog’s Bollocks Quote
  • Rudy Sarzo, Warren DeMartini, Denny Carmassi, Paul Mirkovic and, of course, The Flying Dutchman

Core Band:

  • Backing Vocals – Beth Anderson*
  • Backing Vocals – Maxine Waters
  • Backing Vocals – Tommy Funderburk
    • https://tommyfunderburk.com/
    • Worked with Barry MAnilow, REO Speedwagon, Frankie Valli, El DeBarge
    • Previously worked on Whitesnake’s Slip of the Tongue.
  • Bass – Guy “Starka” Pratt*
  • Drums, Percussion – Denny Carmassi
  • Guitar – Adrian Vandenberg
  • Harmonica – Elk Thunder
    • Credited on several Joe Satriani Albums.
    • David Coverdale: “Elk Thunder was at that time the medicine man for many Native American tribes. He came to the studio to help us shift some uncomfortable energy.”
    • “We had so many tech issues we couldn’t believe it. So, I thought, bugger it … it must be something we can’t fix. We held a Spirit Feast, and lo and behold, everything started working well again. We were very, very grateful to him.”
    • Adrian Vandenberg: “The recording of Restless Heart was rather different from any other recording experiences before or since for me. We started off rehearsing and recording in a cozy studio located in a charming Victorian style mansion in Reno, and later on moved to a mansion close to Lake Tahoe that used to belong to disco singer Donna Summer. A complete mobile studio was set up there to the specs of brilliant engineer and producer Mike Fraser. The place had a bit of a weird vibe about it. It could easily have made a fitting haunted house in a thriller movie. From day one we had some very unusual and weird experiences. Mike Fraser attributed a bunch of technical problems to the fact that the house might have been built on an. ancient Indian burial ground, and he wanted to bring in an Indian medicine man.”
    • “He told us that he has native Indian roots in his family. A string of pretty weird, unexplainable things happened. A medicine man by the name of Elk was flown. in and performed ritual dances around the estate. The band chewed on grilled buffalo testicles by a campfire while he barked ritual Indian songs and shook Toys R Us-like Indian percussion…”
    • “After the spirits left the building the recording went smoothly, and we laid down the tracks with a smile on our faces. Stories to tell! He convinced us that he was a great mouth harp player, and pretty much insisted on contributing his stellar playing to our album …”
    • “So we decided that Elk could double a slide guitar lick in Woman Trouble Blues’ with his mouth harp. This is an extremely simple lick, but apparently it still appeared to be pretty impossible for Elk to play it properly, and it ended up taking a whole afternoon. And after that breathtaking performance, it took another few hours for our experienced engineer Bjorn to edit it to a point that it’d be bearable. At least we escaped an ancient Indian curse.”
  • Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Brett Tuggle


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Album Tracks:

All tracks written by Adrian Vandenberg and David Coverdale except where noted.

  1. You’re So Fine
  2. Your Precious Love
  3. Take Me Back AGain
  4. Woman Trouble Blues
  5. Anything You Want
  6. Can’t Stop Now
  7. Oi (instrumental) (Caramassi, Coverdale, Vandenberg)

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Bustin’ Out The Spreadsheet

Reception and Charts:

  • hh


  • Darker Than Blue Issue 50  February 1998
  • EMI TOCP 50090: UK/Europe : June 2nd 1997 CD It’s getting a hit like the old times again – what with a Gillan (the man – not the band) album out, Lordy’s effort due any day, and offerings from the man in black. If it all seems increasingly less vital than it did fifteen years ago, that’s probably just me feeling my age, but sadly there’s not a vast amount on David’s new offering to stop me getting all nostalgic about Whitesnake classics of yore. Things became a little overblown on the last two Whitesnake albums (to say the least) so it’s good to find David toning things down in favour of a more basic approach. Out too has gone the sponsorship by L’Oreal, and a more craggy wet look David Coverdale adorns the front of what is billed as the final Whitesnake album. And Ritchie could well take a leaf out of David’s book, or at least call him for the name of the photographer. as it’s a great moody image. Some things never change though, and the old poorly executed paintings of concrete heraldry still adorn the rest of the package. Still, let’s persevere. People had, after all, being calling me up claiming this to be his best vocal performance in years.It has to be said that by and large they were right. Perhaps the time off has done him good. It’s still uniquely Coverdale, but somehow a little richer in tone, a little smoother in delivery – and it suits him very well. That then is the good part. The downside of it is that sadly very little else on display here is up to this vocal return to form. Musically it lacks memorable tunes, melodies, riffs – anything really. It just kind of washes over one in a stream of fairly bland metal. The opener, Don’t Fade Away. is very typical -plenty of recognisable AOR Rock signatures but nothing too deep or original. All In The Name Of Love sparkles at the start with a few bars of grungy Hammond, but ditches this in favour of a plodding, pedestrian beat. A good production to be sure, but largely lifeless. Title track time, and some good deep vocal lines growl promisingly, but are dissipated via a really inept band performance. Try the last minute or so though, and see how it might have sounded. Strings sneak in, must be time for a tearjerker. Too Many Tears – more excellent vocals, but a very obvious guitar solo, wet drums and a conservative feel to it all. The best you can say is that the tracks could sound stronger in a live situation. There is no doubt that this is an important album in that while it may not be the strongest he has ever recorded, it does mark a return to the Coverdale most of us like to hear best, and so holds some promise for the future. The fact that David has discovered his voice again also prompted more reviews of the album from readers than we would normally expect.”Mercilessly slagged off in the music press (well in ‘Kerrap’ magazine at least) and old D.C. stating in publicity interviews that this ‘final”Snake album summarising 20 years of the band, I feared a ‘Stranger in Us All’ type hotch-potch / self-rip-off. However, whilst there are certainly plenty of reminders of David’s post-Purple works (ranging right from Northwinds era to Coverdale/Page) they fall far short of self-parody. Indeed Coverdale goes less for the ‘Slip of the Tongue’-screaming and more for a back to his blues / Paul Rodgers-type phrasing and style, to great effect. Backing is courtesy of the Coverdale/Page touring band with Vandenberg ‘replacing’ Page, but the material is generally quite laid-back as compared to the C/ P album, and all in all quite in keeping with ‘Whitesnake’. I should say that fans of early to late-middle period ‘Snake (“true Whitesnake”?!) should not be disappointed by this album. Indeed, had this followed ‘Slide It In’, Coverdale’s credibility-rating might not have taken the nose-dive which it did with many ‘older’ ‘Snake fans. Lyric-wise David manages to rise above the groin for the most part, and the production (credited to D.C.) is somewhat brighter than the old Martin ‘Boring’ Birch produced efforts.” Tim Summers.I think it fair to say Tim’s views are common to just about everyone who ventured their opinion.

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