REVIEW: Whitesnake – Slide It In (1984 UK, US edition, 25th Anniversary edition)

 

WHITESNAKE – Slide It In (EMI, UK, US mixes, 25th Anniversary Edition)

Slide It In is a great album.  I’m very partial to Come An’ Get It, but perhaps Slide It In truly is their best.  The production (on the US mix) is absolutely perfect, with Cozy’s drums sounding like drums should sound!  Big and loud with lots of emphasis on those rat-tat-tat-tat drum fills of his that I love so much.  I personally love 9 of its 10 tracks, only “Gambler” being not my cup of tea.  Strangely, the new CD edition opens with “Gambler”.  I remember my original cassette opened with the title track!

I was very disappointed with the 25th Anniversary edition of Slide It In. It seems hastily thrown together with not much thought given to collectors nor to continuity.  2 tracks are missing from the UK version of Slide It In! (“Love Ain’t No Stranger” – a single, no less – and “Hungry For Love”).  They also talk about the UK mix of B-side “Need Your Love So Bad”, but don’t include it.   Instead, they give you the version from the “Is This Love” single, from 1987, which has no place on this reissue.  Why isn’t it on the deluxe of Whitesnake 1987?  I don’t know!

Fortunately, the esteemed Heavy Metal OverloRd purchased “Need Your Love So Bad” on an original 7″ single with picture sleeve, so you can read all about that missing track on his excellent site.  (He even bought me a copy, which is on its way!)

give-me-more

The missing tracks kind of pissed me off.  I had hoped to acquire, in one purchase both classic mixes of the album.  Instead, I still hunted for and bought the UK version of Slide It In for two freakin’ missing songs. And then to top it off, a live acoustic version of “Love Ain’t No Stranger” from 1997 was included on the deluxe, taking up space that could have been used on missing songs from the period.  This unrelated live version is already available on the live album Starkers In Tokyo.

Anyway, Slide It In.  What a great album.  Jon Lord, Cozy Powell, you just can’t go wrong!  My buddy Rob Vuckovich said, “The final album showcasing Coverdale as a singer…not a screamer.  Remember when he went solo after breaking up with Purple?  I believe he said something to the effect that he did not want to scream his balls off…strange…listen to him from 1987 and onwards.”

Certainly, Slide It In contains some of Coverdale’s most passionate, powerful vocalizing.  Just listen to the amazing not-ballad “Love Ain’t No Stranger”.  I know, technically, audible breathing is not considered professional singing.  But Coverdale uses it as part of his expression.

The title track is just an incredible rock song with hints of blues, catchy and powerful, if a tad dirty!  “Slow An’ Easy” is the album’s six minute centerpiece.  That slide guitar riff…oh man!  So perfect.  Just perfect.  All this is punctuated by Cozy’s tastefully perfect drum fills.  This was the album that turned me onto Cozy as a drummer.  He immediately became a favourite, largely thanks to “Slow An’ Easy”.

As mentioned, “Love Ain’t No Stranger” is another incredible song, a not-ballad with a soaring chorus and mellow,impassioned verses.  This is certainly one of the best songs David has written, and he’s written plenty of them.  But it’s the only slow moment on Slide It In.  This album kicks.

“Spit It Out” (oh, dirty David!), “Give Me More Time”, and “Guilty of Love” are other standouts.  I really like “Guilty of Love”, a fast paced fun rocker, with a riff to kill.  Just listen to Cozy’s drums! And let’s not forget the classic “Standing In the Shadow”, a song that David later re-recorded in 1987 for the 12″ single “Is This Love”.  As with most remakes, the original is superior.

The version of Slide It In that I grew up with and loved most of my life was the remix, the US version.  The 25th Anniversary deluxe edition contains this version, and the 8 tracks from the original UK mix.

What’s the difference then?  Slide It In was released in the UK with the Whitesnake lineup of David Coverdale and his cohorts Jon Lord (keys), the aforementioned Cozy Powell, Colin Hodgkinson on bass, and guitarists Mel Galley and Mickey Moody.  They recorded and released the original version of Slide It In, which came out sounding a little flatter, to my ears.  Within a short while Mickey Moody had left the band and been replaced by the more flashy and modern John Sykes, from Thin Lizzy.  Hodgkinson was fired and replaced by Neil Murray, who was already a Whitesnake veteran from a previous tenure.  Jon Lord went off to rejoin Deep Purple, so Bill Cuomo added more keyboards   With Sykes and Murray, much of Slide It In was re-recorded, adding more guitar solos.  The album was remixed and released as such in the US to tremendous success.The addition of Sykes’ trademark squeals and a fresh mix made a good but “just another Whitesnake album” into a great and important one, at least for this genre and this band.

I prefer the harder edged US version, but they both have their merits.  Different solos can be found on the two versions, and fans of 1970’s Whitesnake may prefer the UK mix.   Regardless, from that unstoppable slide guitar on “Slow An’ Easy” to the awesome blue-rock-balladry of “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, this is a great album.  Even the quiet, soulful B-side “Need Your Love So Bad” is album quality.  It just wouldn’t have fit on a record this rockin’.

The DVD is fine, all the music videos and a few live tracks from the era are included. However, once again…a live version of “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, this one from one of the ‘Snake tours in the 2000’s, and also the Starkers version. Why? I don’t know.

Why not just release a simple 2 CD set with both versions of the album remastered? I don’t know.

The remastering is good otherwise, the liner notes are great, revealing the inner tensions and goings-on with Whitesnake of the time.

Slide It In – standard US version:  4.5/5 stars

Slide It In – 25th Anniversary Edition: 2/5 stars for leaving off two original UK tracks in favour of later content

Slide It In – standard UK version:  3.75/5 stars – the US remix really kicks the songs in the pants!

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41 comments

  1. Cool new-improved review! I reappraised the US Mix since your last post. I’ve ignored the botch-job reissue though (still think it was an over-loud crappy remaster).

    Going with the vinyl of both UK and US I still prefer the UK… but only just. The US production is better and some of the songs work better as a result (Spit it Out, Slow and Easy, Give Me a Little More Time and All or Nothing). I thought Micky Moody’s solos on the UK were much classier than the Sykes replacements. thought Much as I love Sykes, his solos on here sound rushed and don’t go anywhere fast. Micky’s solos really fit the songs so I miss them on a couple of the tracks. Gambler was always the opener on the UK edition and it works waaayyy better as the opener. Shame you were introduced to it the other way or you might have dug it more. I love that song.

    But there’s not much to separate them… I like having both and it’s definitely an all-time favourite of mine.

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    1. It’s possible that it was only the cassette version that didn’t open with Gambler, in North America…sometimes the tracks on cassettes are shuffled. Heck my old cassette of Kiss Dynasty had the sides reversed. No kidding!

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      1. Nope. I’ve got the UK edition of the US mix (!) on picture disc vinyl and it doesn’t open with the Gambler either. Gambler is the last song on Side A and doesn’t work nearly as well in that position. Other songs are shuffled around too. Works better in some ways and less in others.

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        1. No kiddin’.

          Well for the 25th Anniversary it was restored to the start. If I ever felt like listening to the album in the old running order I used to have, I’m sure I could figure out how :)

          Been on a serious Whitesnake kick lately. I blame you for starting it. I have three new Whitesnake remasters here in front of me, completing my CD collection. Listening to “Trouble” right now for the first time in almost 2 decades.

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        2. Hahah cool! Glad to be of service! The track listing on the remaster is weird. It’s different from both the original UK and the US version. What were they thinking when they put it together?

          You could monkey around with the tracklisting but you’d still have that crappy remaster to deal with and the missing UK mixes. Great albums. Shit reissue. I’m glad I’ve got the LPs.

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        3. What bugs me the most is that we don’t need the included DVD — videos? Meh. Youtube! I don’t care about videos.

          They could have done a 2 CD version, and included all the B-sides and tracks. Simple. Cheaper to make!

          And of course now we’ve realized that the 1987 remix of “Standing in the Shadows” has not been released on any CD that I know of. This was a recent revelation that I had.

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        4. This deluxe should have been the easiest thing in the world. Two different versions of the albums and some bonus tracks… how do you screw that up? Like this. I’m not sure I’ve even watched that DVD more than once.

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        5. Interesting. I apologize to you if you get an overflux of people looking for porn.

          However, to my 69 porn loving visitors, if you also like music, feel free to have a look around! All are welcome!

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  2. Slide it In is a great album even 29 yrs later,this is the Snake version I perfer and album for that matter. All the songs a rock solid and yep I bought this anniversary edition as well . The different versions are interesting I kinda like both it s just to bad that there went a decent live show from this tour documented properly,sure u can youtube the Rio show from 85 but it would be neat to get some good audio for the iPod .
    Powells drumming is great as Mike alluded to he drives the songs into another gear just like he did on the MSG album from 1981.
    And Mike I have to say Gambler is a tune that kicked off there set when I seen them open for Quiet Riot on there Condition Critical tour of 85!!..
    Snake blew them off that night…..no surprise to anyone reading this blog I’m sure…..

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    1. No, I have a feeling that Quiet Riot were not much in comparison with Whitesnake when Cozy and John were in the band!

      This is probably the band’s peak in many respects. After this, they really dove into the 80’s. This has enough of the old-school vibe and the production is great.

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  3. I had read that in Powells case Rio was his last show due to wanting a wage increase so he said beforehand that Rio was gonna be his last show with Snake. As far as the other two guys I guess ol Cov wanted the 87 record to be finished before he put the boot to Sykes,Murray and Dunbar,this was probably done after the fact as Kalodner at Geffen viewed Sykes as a huge part of the songwriting tandem…sucks man….

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    1. It was sure a weird band that he decided to put together though. Bass player from Quiet Riot…guitar player from Dio…that was an unexpected mix.

      At the same time though, it was guys like Rudy Sarzo and Vivian Campbell that made me want to check out in the band.

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  4. Yeah for sure Mike I remembered thinking it was cool that Vandenberg was in the band as well. The first Vandenberg record is a classic from 82…check it out if u haven’t …..but booting Sykes they were never the same or Mel Galley for that matter,he was a key clog in the songwriting dept…

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    1. The first Vandenberg is one that I have heard but don’t own yet. If I can get one in Toronto on vinyl that would be fine by me.

      This band had a really stable core for a lot of years, I mean hell they had Jon Lord in the band…but they became a bit of a mockery a bit later with the lineup changes and the image and so on. I’ma huge Steve Vai fan, of his solo work, but that album just does not sound like Whitesnake, period. Slide It In is pretty much the definitive work as far as I am concerned for this period of Whitesnake — a high water mark for sure.

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      1. Cozy was inte Blue Murder for a short while, at the same time as Tony Martin was singing, if my memory serves me right.

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  5. The Vandenberg record is quite good. I havent heard it in a long time. I just remember the strains of “Wait . Til the Shit hits then fan”. .. And Slow N’ Easy is so one of my favorite rock tracks ever. Powerful drum sound and simply perfect vocals. This really could be Coverdale’s best vocal work … and possibly last truly relevant musical statement.

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  6. When I listen to this on my IPod I pretend I am singing it in a cover band in a bar (which I do with alot of music i must say) …Air Band just wouldnt have done it for me personally .. but then again I could NEVER sing what he recorded on this track .. I seem to wonder if he could ever sing this track after he recorded it. That is how good the vocals are on that track.

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    1. Coverdale is an interesting singer. Yes, he was powerful when he was with Deep Purple, but listen to his live albums with them. No control. He really came into his own after a few albums with Whitesnake. And I’d say he probably peaked in the 80’s on Slide It In.

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  7. I really love this album, but I prefer the European version. The US mix is too slick and even tough I really like John Sykes, Micky Moody really does everything better. The songs were written with him in mind. The only thing I like better with the US version is that they replaced Colin Hodgkinson with Neil Murray. Neil Murray is an ace when it comes to playing bass. Slide It In and Come An’ Get It are my favourite Whitesnake albums even though I love everything they did up until 1987. Slide It In was, to me, the last real Whitesnake album. And the last great one. After that, they never were the same, they original Whitesnake sound was forever (?) gone.

    I remember seeing Whitesnake on their Slide It In tour of 84 (with Headpins opening, bought their album after that gig) and they actually played Need Your Love So Bad on that show. Still got the bootleg of that gig.

    And talking about 1987, am I the only one who’s wondering how awesme that album would have sounded had Cozy played on that. Aynsley Dunbar’s work isn’t exactly impressing.

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    1. Agreed 100% on the Aynsley Dunbar issue. Right from the first time I heard it, the drums sounded…I don’t know…wrong in many ways. There’s a really fast part in “Crying in the Rain” for example that I really disliked.

      Hey! Headpins! Canadian band!

      That they played Need Your Love So Bad, and that you witnessed it, and that you still have the bootleg of it, is pretty mindblowing.

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      1. Yeah, well, it sounded like ole Cov wanted a metal kind of sound on the drums and he went there with Tommy Aldridge later, but Dunbar and metal..?? I know exactly what part of Cryin’ In The Rain that you’re talking about. Almost sounds like he’s playing a different tune. But Crying In The Rain should never have been re-recorded and neither should Here I Go Again. They pretty much raped those songs. Both of them are superior on Saints An’ Sinners, a really underrated album.

        Yeah, Headpins were awesome. Darby Mills… what a voice, rest her soul.

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        1. Yes, I think we are talking about the exact same section of Crying in the Rain.

          I agree about Saints An’ Sinners having better versions of both songs, but hey…Here I Go Again made David a very, very rich man.

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        2. Here I Go Again is ok on the European version of 1987, but US remix made it into a power ballad with millions of synthsizers all over the place. That version is an abomination.

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