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Live... In the Heart of the City/Live at Hammersmith

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(7 Reviews)

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  • These fine live recordings feature the original Whitesnake line-up playing the Hammersmith Odeon in November 1978 and on two dates in June 1980.
    The sound is good, and Whitesnake play some great, often blues-tinted hard rock, held together by Deep Purple’s Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

    The band goes through some of the best songs from their first three albums:
    The heavy “Sweet Talker”, which opens with a superb dual guitar riff, the groovy, swaggering blues-rock workouts “Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues”, “Ready An’ Willing” and “Love Hunter”, the catchy radio staple “Fool For Your Loving”, the acoustic, Led Zeppelin-influenced ballad “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More”, and the soulful Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland classic “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City”.
    Furthermore, they perform two Deep Purple songs from the David Coverdale era, a fine “Might Just Take Your Life” and a magnificent eleven-minute rendition of “Mistreated”.

    The music is less flashy, perhaps, than the latter-day versions of Whitesnake featuring hair metal guitarists Adrian Vandenbergh and Steve Vai, but the two excellent rock n’ roll guitarists Bernie Marsden and Mickey Moody play superb, interlocking guitar riffs and fiery solos (not least Moody’s extended slide guitar solo), and the rhythm section of Lord, Paice and bassist Neil Murray is rock-steady. And then there’s Coverdale, of course.

    If you like early Whitesnake, or just hard, blues-n-boogie rock n’ roll in general, I can’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this excellent live album as well. It’s a prime example of Whitesnake at their best and grooviest, and it doesn’t get much better than this.
    I was actually surprised at how good this record is…it really should be mentioned alongside “Live In Japan” and “Frampton Comes Alive” as one of the greatest (and most entertaining) live albums of its time.

    Posted on January 3, 2010