Hipsters Out Of Metal!



Though a blockbuster success, Whitesnake’s self-titled (or 1987) record doesn’t really cut it for me. The singles tell the story, with four steps back for each forward: “Still of the Night” is a monster jam, but “Here I Go Again” is only slightly too heavy for Journey, while the lameness of “Is This Love” might offend fans of freaking Kenny G. I won’t even listen to “Crying In The Rain” or “Give Me All Your Love” without double-condoms on my ears.

It’s funny cuz my upturned nose at 1987 is inconsistent with my throbbing, veiny worship of the album creators’ next two albums: the Steve Vai-charged Whitesnake record Slip Of The Tongue (from singer David Coverdale and crew) and the debut effort by Blue Murder (from summarily fired Slide It In/1987 guitarist John Sykes). It seems that most Whitesnake fans — lovers of bluesy tales of heartbreak and handjobs — reject the guitar wiz cacophony of Slip and they have a point: At a glance, its guitar work in general resembles an album-length harmonizer demo (See Strapping Young Lad’s “Satan’s Ice Cream Truck”). The point is that, though Slip crushes, I understand why it underachieved.

Conversely! It is light years beyond me why Blue Murder record didn’t sell nine bazillion copies and rule radio and MTV and single-handedly counteract waning interest in hair rock and the onset of Alternophilia. Cuz that shit fkg jams! Like blasted-off-the-top-of-a-mountain-during-a-lightning-storm-on-steroids-and-meth jams! Consider the personnel: Drums by thundergod/mustache wrangler Carmen Appice. Guitars and vocals by ace songwriter/ultra-fluid soloist/surprisingly awesome singer Sykes. Huge, bombastic production: Bob Rock. Slamming mix: Mike Fraser. Farty fretless bass/puffy pants: Tony Franklin. Wow!

And the songs! There’s no stop to the winning hooks, arena-sized riffs, and deceptively tricky arrangements (think kinda along the same lines as Winger’s “Seventeen”)! What about the little flourishes: I love the Police-style coda to the title track (above) that grafts the chorus vocals onto the verse instrumentation. Damn! That Metal Show’s Eddie Trunk calls Blue Murder “Unreal!” (but shortdicks it as only the fourth-best debut of all time). It’s like Sykes was trying to out-Whitesnake his former boss and as a result Blue Murder surpasses even his own best Whitesnake moments by a million miles. A zillion, even.


Click here to order Blue Murder’s Blue Murder featuring the song “Blue Murder.” And check out those customer raves! Believe it!

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