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Good To Be Bad

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★★★★½
(132 Reviews)

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  • THE BAND: David Coverdale (vocals), Doug Aldrich (guitars), Reb Beach (guitars), Uriah Duffy (bass), Tim Drury (keyboards), Chris Frazier (drums & percussion).

    THE DISCS: (2008) Disc 1: 11 tracks clocking in at approximately 59 minutes. Disc 2: 7 live tracks clocking in at approximately 42 minutes (recorded songs taken from the DVD “Live: In The Still Of The Night” from 2006). Also on Disc-2 is a 4 minute video “Ready To Rock”. Included with the discs is an 18-page booklet containing song titles/credits, song lyrics, one band photo, and thank you’s. Recorded at Casa DALA (Los Angeles) and Snakebyte Studios (Lake Tahoe, CA). All songs written by Coverdale/Aldrich. Label – SPV / Steamhammer.

    COMMENTS: I approached this album with hesitation upon release. I had to know if Coverdale and Company could still push it to the limit. Or, if they’d gone limp and flooded this disc with sappy power ballads geared toward their female audience and perhaps the dentist’s office. With that being said – I was pleasantly surprised by this album. 8 songs rock hard. 3 songs soft. As an old school rocker who grew up in the 70’s, I’d like this album a tad bit more if it had only one or two ballads. Coverdale, plain and simply, sounds old on these sentimental songs (57 years old in fact). The softer songs include “All I Want All I Need” (for some reason I keep picturing creepy old Herbert from “Family Guy” singing this), “Summer Rain” (the worst song on the disc – pure Vermont sap), and “Til The End Of Time” (a bluesy and folksy album closer – even though the album doesn’t close on a hard rocking power chord… this is a beautiful acoustic song and Coverdale makes it work). The rockers are glorious – and there are a lot of them. Highlights include the opener “Best Years” (featuring ultra crunchy rhythm guitars with a blistering solo – listening to this first track caught my attention and I really felt this song kicked the album off nicely); “Call On Me” (my favorite song on the album… heavy and full of attitude… showcasing Aldrich and Beach’s mastery of the axe); the title track (great song – reminiscent of the “Slip Of The Tongue” era); and “A Fool In Love” (bluesy… simply an infectious groove… my 2nd favorite song here). The only thing that perhaps grows tiresome is Coverdale crooning about the weather bringing changes, and that ready-and-willing / surrender-to-me / do-it-all-for-love self serving rock and roll attitude. But wait, this is David Coverdale – and he’s done that for the past 3 decades… so surely this comes as no surprise. Disc-2 is a treat – the sound production is crisp and the live songs rock. For me, the highlights from Disc-2 are the opener “Burn/Stormbringer” (anyone hear Iron Maiden’s “Wrathchild” rhythm section when the band goes into “Stormbringer”?), and “Take Me With You” where Aldrich and Beach really let loose on guitar. Whitesnake fans from the 80’s might compare “Good To Be Bad” with their well-known albums “Slide It In” (1984) and/or their self titled (1987) release… and I’ll agree – it’s probably not as good as these two quintessential albums. In the end, “Good To Be Bad” isn’t a classic at this point… though, in time it very well could be. A great comeback – and in my opinion, Coverdale still has it (4.5 stars).

    Posted on February 10, 2010