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Music Review: Whitesnake – Good to be Bad

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I was expecting to be extremely displeased with this record. Never really being a fan of Whitsnake’s early years, I quite expected this to be an “I was famous and young once” effort from David Cloverdale’s band after all his bolstering comments in the press in recent months.

Quite surprisingly, Coverdale and his hired band of merry men have made a record that captures all the elements of their huge selling, self-titled record. Unlike Whitesnake, released in the hair metal heyday of 1987, Good to Be Bad actually has more balls, even when it comes to the ballads. I’d be hard to pressed to say one record is better that the other, truthfully. I can just see the hair metal purists getting out the lighters and Aqua Net right now to burn me a new one.

The true question is can Whitsnake manage to make an impression with this record in an era teeming with “Cute Girl” rock and singles being used in T.V. shows? My guess is probably not and the record will mostly likely not even dent the American charts Good to be Bad will most likely only be purchased by hardcore fans and women who see Coverdale as some sort of Fabio figure to middle aged women.

This has happened to other bands like, for instance, Dio who released Strange Highways, a record that was easily one of their best efforts, after their widespread appeal had diminished.

That’s a shame because tracks like “Best Years” and “Summer Rain,” possibly the band's best ballad yet, are classic Whitesnake and will blend in well with the band's standards like “Here I Go Again” and “Slide It In.” I don’t notice a lot of blue's influence of early Whitsnake, which was said by Coverdale to be a big part of the album, just high octane rock and roll that defined most of the 1980’s. Hopefully, the band will be brave enough to showcase the album on tour and perhaps win over some more fans.

Really, Whitesnake should have released this about a year or two after Whitesnake and they would have another multi-platinum disc to their credit. I hope they are gunnin’ for a spot at this year's Rocklahoma because there truthfully is not a limp track on Good to be Bad.

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