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DO U KNOW ABOUT SLIP OF THE TONGUE?

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It’s my secret shameful dream to someday play a tribute concert for Whitesnake’s awesome Slip Of The Tongue album. As a six-piece (three guitars) fronted by R&B titan Monica, me and my buds would tackle this one-of-a-kind, totally guitarded gem that’s shunned by Whitesnake devotees and ignored by sane people who don’t bother with a band called freaking “Whitesnake” lol. But we’d win them all over!

Not only would it be super-fun, but I’d do anything to help get this masterpiece to more ears. See, Slip is an anomaly in the ‘Snake catalogue and in hard rock: Frontman David Coverdale turned guitar duties over to Steve Vai, then just out of David Lee Roth’s employ. What resulted was a side and a half of hyper-charged, super-shreddy, and pristinely taut hard rock. Again, it’s tricky to approach the right way — it’s not Whitesnake really, more like Coverdale-Vai — but the shit is awesome beyond all measure. I love! U love!

So u wanna hear me out on this, dear MetalSucks reader? Great thanks! My sorry in advance if my boner pokes u in the eyes :)

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On Slip Of The Tongue‘s opening jam/title track, David Coverdale goes full tilt right away; I struggle to name a better performance by a rock singer. Like ever. But the point is that only one minute into Slip, we see that the Vai gambit has worked: The hiring of a mega-virtuosic guitarist for a simple rock album compels the entire band to go 110% or risk getting left in his dust! Also I love how the solo section totally downshifts into a super-airy, bright Vai solo album-style interlude. (For the final orgasm solo, I plan to dash and slide on my knees to the edge of the stage tongue. I suppose my shirt will rip itself off lol.)*

I get that Vai’s pervasive hyper-wank adornments turn off fans of Whitesnake’s down ‘n dirty blues loverman thing (including this album’s co-writer Adrian Vandenberg). But tech-prog nerds will someday get ahold of Slip and splooge on it — even this, Slip‘s most tame jam, in which Vai finds room for a gargantuan eight-finger tapping run. Which is only topped in insaneness by …

… the absurd eight-finger tapping run in this huge jam. But my favorite part on the album — and on any album lol — just precedes that (at 3:07). It’s the most scale-y solo on Slip, the one most similar to current stuff played by dudes like awesome Paul Waggoner. Vai propels it from snappily hummable to mind-scorching by doubling it, then splitting its final phrase into a harmony run. OMG my boner aches.

At this point in my Slip Of The Tongue tribute concert event, I’d put down my guitar, grab a mic, and join Monica to duet on this jam. Our trade-offs are pretty obvious, and we’d execute them while swaying and staring lovingly into each others’ eyes like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Of course we’d use those long, skinny Bob Barker-style mics. Not a dry seat in the house, I assure u.

This “Kashmir”-esque jam is owned by Vai and Coverdale — the former’s nasty call-and-response solo passage, the latter’s final chorus and fills in the fade-out holy shitballz — but a huge honorable mention goes to drummer Tommy Aldridge. I imagine that it’s tough to pocket at this slow tempo, but Aldridge doesn’t sag, just stomps! See 2:50-3:51.

To close a bombastic album like Slip Of The Tongue, Coverdale correctly identifies the need for a massive blowout finale. Electric sitar doubled by finger-picked acoustic >> picked acoustic >> whalesong fills >> tension-building synths >> EXPLOSION >> key change >> climax >> release. It’s like a Hallmark card directed by Tony Scott lol.

My imaginary Slip cover band would of course be called to the stage for an encore, and as such we’d let rip on Whitesnake’s greatest non-Slip achievement. Monica would crush this and I predict she would grind hotly on me throughout. Then we’d get married. The end.

-ADF

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