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EMI U.K. Opens Up a “Box O’ Snakes”

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Here they go again: EMI is releasing a hefty box of the earlier works of acclaimed rock band Whitesnake, according to Classic Rock.

While most remember Whitesnake for the leadership of onetime Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale – the sole original member of the band, as it stands – and the 1987 smash hit “Here I Go Again” (aided by that oft-referenced music video featuring Tawny Kitaen slithering on the hood of a Jaguar) – the band in fact traces their roots to 1978, in what began as the backing band for Coverdale’s solo performances and eventually morphed into its own unit. That year, the band would release its first EP, Snakebite, for Sunburst Records/United Artists Records; by 1980’s Ready An’ Willing, the band were on their way to no less than seven U.K. Top 10 albums through the decade. The band’s tenure with Sunburst ended with 1982’s Saints An’ Sinners, after which Coverdale and company packed up for Geffen Records. But that last LP featured an early version of “Here I Go Again” (which dented the U.K. Top 40) – a sign of success to come on both sides of the Atlantic.

EMI U.K. reissued these albums in the past decade with bonus tracks to spare, something this nine-disc set doesn’t replicate in full. What you do get, though, is replicas of all seven of the band’s studio and live albums for Sunburst (including a reproduction of the Japan-only live disc Live at Hammersmith, first released as a bonus disc with 1980 live album Live…in the Heart of the City), two discs of live performances from the 1979 and 1980 Reading Festivals, a DVD of promo videos, TV performances and an “official bootleg” of a concert taped at Washington’s Capital Center in Washington and a vinyl EP reproducing Snakebite in its entirety. A 90-page(!) book of liner notes and rare photos is also included.

A November 7 release date is slated for the U.K., but pre-order links have not been prepared yet. You can, however, view the full track list beyond the jump.

Whitesnake, Box O’ Snakes: The Sunburst Years (EMI U.K., 2011)

Disc 1: Trouble (originally released as United Artists/Sunburst UA-LA937-H (U.S.)/EMI International INS 3022 (U.K.), 1978)

  1. Take Me with You
  2. Love to Keep You Warm
  3. Lie Down (A Modern Love Song)
  4. Day Tripper
  5. Nighthawk (Vampire Blues)
  6. The Time is Right for Love
  7. Trouble
  8. Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick
  9. Free Flight
  10. Don’t Mess with Me

Disc 2: Live at Hammersmith (originally released as Sunburst/Poldyor MPF 1288 (JP), 1980)

  1. Come On
  2. Might Just Take Your Life
  3. Lie Down
  4. Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City
  5. Trouble
  6. Mistreated

Above tracks recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London – 11/23/1978.

Disc 3: Lovehunter (originally released as United Artists/Sunburst LT-981 (U.S.)/UAG-30264 (U.K.), 1979)

  1. Long Way from Home
  2. Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
  3. Help Me Thro’ the Day
  4. Medicine Man
  5. You ‘n’ Me
  6. Mean Business
  7. Love Hunter
  8. Outlaw
  9. Rock ‘N’ Roll Women
  10. We Wish You Well

Disc 4: Ready An’ Willing (originally released as Mirage/Sunburst WTG-19276 (U.S.)/United Artists UAG-30302 (U.K.), 1980)

  1. Fool for Your Loving
  2. Sweet Talker
  3. Ready An’ Willing
  4. Carry Your Load
  5. Blindman
  6. Ain’t Gonna Cry No More
  7. Love Man
  8. Black and Blue
  9. She’s a Woman

Disc 5: Live…in the Heart of the City (originally released as Mirage/Sunburst WTG-19292 (U.S.)/United Artists SNAKE 1 (U.K.), 1980)

  1. Come On
  2. Sweet Talker
  3. Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
  4. Love Hunter
  5. Fool for Your Loving
  6. Ain’t Gonna Cry No More
  7. Ready an’ Willing
  8. Take Me with You

Above tracks recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London – 6/23 and 6/24/1980. Original pressing included a second LP featuring the contents of Live at Hammersmith (Disc 2 in above set).

Disc 6: Come An’ Get It (originally released as Mirage/Sunburst WTG-16043 (U.S.)/Liberty LBG-30327 (U.K.), 1981)

  1. Come An’ Get It
  2. Hot Stuff
  3. Don’t Break My Heart Again
  4. Lonely Days, Lonely Nights
  5. Wine, Women An’ Song
  6. Child of Babylon
  7. Would I Lie to You
  8. Girl
  9. Hit An’ Run
  10. Till the Day I Die

Disc 7: Saints & Sinners (originally released as Geffen GHS-24173 (U.S.)/Liberty LBG-30354 (U.K.), 1982)

  1. Young Blood
  2. Rough An’ Ready
  3. Bloody Luxury
  4. Victim of Love
  5. Crying in the Rain
  6. Here I Go Again
  7. Love An’ Affection
  8. Rock An’ Roll Angels
  9. Dancing Girls
  10. Saints An’ Sinners

Disc 8: Live at Reading Rock 1979

  1. Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
  2. Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City
  3. Steal Away
  4. Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick
  5. Mistreated/Soldier of Fortune
  6. Love Hunter
  7. Breakdown

Tracks 2 and 5-7 previously released on the expanded edition of Ready An’ Willing (EMI 09463 59692 2 1 (U.K.), 2006). All other tracks previously unreleased.

Disc 8: Live at Reading Rock 1980

  1. Sweet Talker
  2. Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
  3. Ain’t Gonna Cry No More
  4. Love Hunter
  5. Mistreated/Soldier of Fortune
  6. Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City
  7. Fool for Your Loving

Disc 9: DVD

  • Promo videos 1978-1982
  • TV performances
  • Official Bootleg: Live @ The Capital Centre, Washington, USA 1980

Vinyl EP: Snakebite (originally released as Sunburst INEP 751 (U.K.), 1978)

  1. Bloody Mary
  2. Steal Away
  3. Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City
  4. Come On

Written by Mike Duquette

September 22, 2011 at 11:51

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