Whitesnake – “Live in 1984 – Back To The Bone” DVD / CD (Frontiers Music)
With the high quality of official recordings these days, along with their frequency, there seems to be little point to bootlegs – that is, unless they come from the personal collection of Dave Coverdale! An ultra rare compilation of audio and video recordings as well as unheard demos from the band’s acclaimed 83-84 line-ups featuring John Sykes, Neil Murray and the late and lamented Cozy Powell, there is also an extraordinary emotional bonus content featuring legendary keyboardist Jon Lord performing his last ever show with the band. The video footage comes courtesy of Japan’s 1984 Super Rock festival held at Tokyo’s Seibu Stadium and is widely acknowledged as being the best live footage available from that era and includes tracks like ‘Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City’ and ‘Don’t Break My Heart Again’ whilst the ‘Snakeskin Bootlegs’ culled from the band’s world tour that year contain old faves like ‘Ready An’ Willing’ and ‘Slow An’ Easy’. All in all some 13 tracks but in different versions according to whether in audio or visual format making this a comprehensive but thankfully non duplicative offering. Personally overseen by Coverdale, whose interest was spurred by it being ‘…one of my all time favorite chapters of Whitesnake…’ current technology was used to enhance the quality of the material. If that isn’t enough to encourage anyone with an interest in the ‘snake then the DVD Bonus Gallery ‘Slide It In Slide Show’ with rare unseen photos and ‘The Music Bed’ containing snippets of private demos from Dave’s personal archives leave nothing to the imagination if his sexist comments throughout the album are anything to go by – guess those were the days! However, there is a more serious side to the release being the 30th Anniversary of “Slide It In”, the first multi platinum album the band achieved. Moreover, in Coverdale’s own words, it is also a commemoration to those great musicians ‘…..their memories live on in our hearts & in the music they made. I miss them beyond words…’. Truer words could not have been spoken.