David Coverdale releases so much Whitesnake product (most of it worthwhile) that it is easy for the odd live album to slip between the cracks. After he felt recharged by 2015’s The Purple Album, Coverdale released a live album and video from that tour. This is not long after the four live CDs that make up Made in Britain and Made in Japan, so what does The Purple Tour offer that is different?
More Purple, obviously. Of the 13 tracks on CD, five are Deep Purple covers. There are an additional three more in 5.1 surround sound on the Blu-ray.
They open with “Burn” which leather-lunged David struggles with a bit right out of the box. Fortunately his capable backing band can handle the supporting vocals, though it sounds sweetened after the fact.
This lineup of Whitesnake, which is still the current one featuring guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra, bassist Michael Devin, drummer Tommy Aldridge, and keyboardist Michele Luppi, is particularly good. Whitesnake can never simply revert back to being a blues band. John Sykes and Steve Vai made certain that Whitesnake would always have to have a couple shredders on hand. When Beach and Hoestra get their hands on a Purple (or Whitesnake) oldie, they generally heavy it up by a few notches.
You could consider the setlist to be a surface-level “the classics of David Coverdale” concert. No new material, nothing later than 1987. It’s cool that some standby’s like “Slow An’ Easy” were jettisoned in favourite of even older tracks like “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”. It’s fun to hear “The Gypsy” instead of something better known. Another Purple classic, a heavy version of “You Fool No One” from Burn goes down a treat, with plenty of tight interplay.
The Blu-ray disc includes some more obscure treasures. “You Keep On Moving”, “Stormbringer” and “Lay Down Stay Down” fill in some of the Deep Purple blanks. A dual solo with Reb and Joel called “Lotsanotes” is also the fun kind of addition that usually gets axed from a live album. You’ll also find a music video for “Burn” and a fun interview with Joel and Reb conducted by Michael Devin. These guys love their jobs.
But just who is this album for? Don’t Whitesnake have enough live stuff by now? Yes — they certainly do. So this album is for two groups of people. 1) Those of us who have to have “everything.” 2) Somone who hasn’t bought a Whitesnake in a long time, but is curious what they sound like these days. For those folks, they won’t be “bogged down” by anything new. They will only get David and his crack band tackling the oldies. Pull the trigger if that sounds like something you’re into.