THE BAND: David Coverdale and an assortment of players from the late 1970's through the late 90's. Most notably playing on one or more Whitesnake albums: John Sykes (guitar), Steve Vai (guitar), Adrian Vandenberg (guitar), Micky Moody (guitar), Tommy Aldridge (drums), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), Ian Paice (drums), Cozy Powell (drums), Rudy Sarzo (bass), Neil Murray (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards/organ).
THE DISC: (2006) 18 songs clocking in at approximately 79 minutes. Included with the disc is a 14-page booklet containing plenty of band photos, a 5-page history (mainly showcasing Coverdale), song titles/credits, what songs came from which albums, and Billboard chart success. Oddly, there is no mention of the musicians/players in any shape, manner or form. Label - Geffen.
ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Come An' Get It (1), Love Hunter (2), Snakebite (1), Ready An' Willing (1), Slide It In (3), Whitesnake (4), Slip Of The Tongue (4), Greatest Hits (1), Coverdale-Page (1).
COMMENTS: I grew up with Deep Purple and Whitesnake in the 1970's. Coverdale had smoking bluesy vocals that absolutely rocked... especially in those early (1974-75) Deep Purple days of "Burn", "Stormbringer" and "Come Taste The Band". He continued to rock with Whitesnake in the late 70's and early 80's despite the music industry bashing his sexist lyrics that were full of innuendos. Coverdale had a way with surrounding himself with very accomplished rock musicians - providing slightly different flavors on each album. On Whitesnake's self titled release in 1987, things changed and the Coverdale power ballad was born. The slower tunes were good, but this wasn't the Whitesnake I had grown to love. It took some time to get used to it. The radio stations ate these songs up and Whitesnake was reborn in the late 80's ("Now You're Gone", "Is This Love", "Here I Go Again", "The Deeper The Love" were all mega hits for the band). Now, mellowing with age perhaps, these power ballads are more tolerable, though my favorite songs are still the harder crunchier types. This "Definitive" collection is dead-on with the songs selected, though a few big songs are missing. One of my all-time favorite tunes (featured on the 1st "greatest Hits" disc) is missing here, "Crying In The Rain". I also would have liked to have seen "Slip Of The Tongue" here due to Vai's incredible guitar playing... he simply shreds on this track. One third of the songs here (6) are power ballads. Several albums are overlooked in the Whitesnake catalog. You'll find NO songs included here from "Trouble" (1978), "Saints & Sinners" (1982), "Whitesnake" (1977), "Restless Heart (1997), or anything 'live', most notably "Live In The Heart Of The City" (1980). The inclusion of non-Whitesnake song (Coverdale-Page) "Pride & Joy" is mysterious choice to me, but a welcome one. It comes from a very underrated album. However, this opens up a whole other can of worms - why not axe one of the power ballads and throw one of Coverdale's masterpiece songs from Deep Purple (i.e. "Burn") in exchange? If you're looking for a more comprehensive compliation, look for Whitesnake's 2-disc 36-track "Silver Anniversary" edition from 2003 (now an import). All in all this "Definitive" mix has great digitally remastered sound; contains all original studio versions (no edited crappy pop remixes); has a nice booklet with lots of info; and a nice selection of songs. A great intro to the band, even if it does showcase much of their softer side (4.5 stars).