Whitesnake
The Purple Album


2.5
average

Review

by manosg STAFF
May 14th, 2015 | 46 replies


Release Date: 05/14/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Covering Deep Purple is a hard task, even for Purplesnake.

It goes without saying that an artist of David Coverdale’s magnitude has very little if nothing to prove. He stepped into Ian Gillan’s shoes when Gillan was one of the best and most versatile vocalists in rock and he passed with flying colors. He brought a fresh breath of air to a band that was in shambles and contributed greatly in reviving one of heavy metal’s innovators while offering us arguably two top 5 albums in DP’s discography. He even managed to stay afloat when drug abuse forced Deep Purple to disband in 1975 and emerged as a leader while taking Jon Lord and Ian Paice in his band. And if we want to be honest, nothing that Deep Purple (bar Perfect Strangers for some) have released since then can rival albums such as Slide it In, Whitesnake, or even the blues rock period of the band (1979-81).

Therefore, Coverdale’s decision to record an album consisting solely of Deep Purple tracks was an odd one, especially 40 years after his departure from the band. However, Jon Lord’s untimely passing and his wish for a Deep Purple MKIII reunion combined with other members’ (oh Ritchie…) refusal, forced Coverdale to release the album under his band’s moniker.

Whitesnake on this album adopted a more punchy/metallic approach towards the classic material in order to make it sound fresher and closer to what the band represents. But unfortunately, this is pseudo-aggressive, like the dog in the hardware store down the road where I live; it barks, jumps, and attacks the fence but when you get close, the damned thing freezes and runs back to its house. That’s the case for “Burn”, “Stormbringer” and “Lady Double Dealer”. They sound heavier and more aggressive but when you listen closely it’s just fireworks; more distortion and a heavier tone don’t necessarily make a heavy song. In addition, the guitar playing sounds “plastic” at times and much less fluid than a blues rock song warrants while one of the elements that made Deep Purple MK III (and IV) so special was Coverdale’s vocal interplay with Glenn Hughes, which of course is missing here. There are also some backing vocals on here but they’re simply not up to par with what we got used to by listening the original tracks and let’s not forget the wear and tear on David’s voice.

Generally, the songs don’t deviate much from the originals besides a few instances and a couple of tweaks here and there. “Might Just Take Your Life” is much less funky than the original and “Sail Away” misses its characteristic key parts which is a tribute to Jon Lord. What is more, there are good moments on the album such as “You Keep On Moving”, “Soldier of Fortune”, the underrated “The Gypsy” and “Love Child” that could have easily found its place in one of Whitesnake’s ‘80s releases.

At the end of the day, if Coverdale’s objective was to honor Deep Purple, with this album he absolutely accomplished it. The Purple Album is a tribute and a testament that proves that songwriting might be enough to make an album enjoyable but much more is needed in order to reach legendary status. In the past, Whitesnake revisited their own tracks with success but that was two decades ago when Coverdale was still at his prime. And to be honest, it’s not the band’s fault; covering Deep Purple is a hard task even by former members. You can feel that the guys have put their soul into it but The Purple Album has very little to add to the original versions and therefore I doubt it will be revisited in the future.



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user ratings (57)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2015


11269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wasn't really in the mood for writing something but I've only read raving reviews for this album and it's out today.

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Gyromania
May 14th 2015


25902 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

great album

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2015


11269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Arcade



Thanks dude.



I was seriously doubting myself after reading "This might be the best guitar interplay that's ever found its way onto a Whitesnake project.." for "You Fool No One" hahaha.

Sabrutin
May 14th 2015


5731 Comments


This version of "Burn" doesn't have half the punch of the original and the production definitely doesn't help. Great and exhaustive review, doubt I'll ever listen to this.

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RivalSkoomaDealer
May 14th 2015


1603 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

dawwww. =(

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DrJohn
May 14th 2015


1041 Comments


Excellent review manos! Cover albums are a gamble, aren't they? Sure, Reb Beach and the "new guy" are technically proficient regarding rock music, yet that is not enough to add value to the originals, which are cherished for a variety of reasons - and if "guitar heroism" is one of em, "compressed" production or "ageing frontman" is not. Actually, I agree with everything you've pointed out as deficits... This is a sincere, albeit bland effort - correct rating imho.

piroga84
May 14th 2015


361 Comments


good good manos, you covered everything
about coverdale covering Purple
never liked cover albums, they smell of stagnation and are really an excuse to tour


linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2015


2557 Comments


Didn't even know this was a thing until I read your review, which was excellent by the way. Think I'll be giving it a miss however, I prefer DP playing DP and Whitesnake playing Whitesnake as opposed to the other way round.

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Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2015


7990 Comments


Excellent review Manos, I like the heavier side of Whitesnake, however the music of Deep Purple is fundamentally different.

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manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2015


11269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks guys.



I agree with each and every one of you. I tried to approach the review as objectively as possible because I love both bands. But at the end of the day, the question is whether I prefer to listen to the covers rather than the originals at any given time and if I'll jam this album again in the future. It's not a bad album by any means but I'm afraid that this is due to the quality of the original material and not due to what Whitesnake added.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2015


23788 Comments


very nice review and feature bro

somehow i'm not surprised that a whitesnake album in 2015 is not good, especially when they're trying to cover classic Deep Purple tunes

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MrSirLordGentleman
May 14th 2015


11872 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'd say this album was dissapointing but saying that means that I actually expected something better which isn't the case

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2015


11269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well put guys. I haven't heard the two albums prior to this one so I didn't know what to expect exactly but I have faith in Coverdale's writing skills. However, this is not the case for a tribute album. I won't be surprised if the next Whitesnake is good though.

deslad
May 14th 2015


621 Comments


Excellent review once more man; I really liked your summary. Also, the dog story used as a comparison was a great touch!

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JamieTwort
May 14th 2015


26988 Comments


Nice review, manos.

A couple minor things:

"Covering Deep Purple is a high task"

hard task*


"In addition, the guitar playing sounds “plastic” at times and much less fluid than a blues rock song warrants while one of the elements that made Deep Purple MK III (and IV) so special was Coverdale’s vocal interplay with Glenn Hughes."

Might want to add something like ", which of course is missing here" at the end of this sentence. As it is it doesn't really make sense.

Great job though.

JamieTwort
May 14th 2015


26988 Comments


Oh and one more thing:

"“Sail Away” misses its characteristic key parts as a tribute to Jon Lord."

*which is a tribute to Jon Lord

Assuming that you're saying what I think you're saying with this.

BMDrummer
May 14th 2015


14283 Comments


forgot you were contrib, forgot this band was still a thing

WhiteNoise
May 14th 2015


3617 Comments


How is this a thing?

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2015


17755 Comments


I feel like this is one of those bands huge in the 70s and 80s who haven't been relevant in decades but were so famous that they can still make somewhat of a profit releasing an album under that name in current times, so they just did whatever they felt like and covered songs from a better and more influential band from the same era that the Whitesnake frontman was part of like 70 years ago lol

MrSirLordGentleman
May 14th 2015


11872 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

why do you "feel" like that? IT IS like that



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