Released: 2013, Frontiers Records
It wasn’t that long ago (2011) that Whitesnake issued their last live album, LIVE AT DONNINGTON 1990; a show that featured the band in the waning days of their mega-popularity. After a successful run through Japan last year, the band has seen fit to release another live disc, featuring a more up to date set list.
I’ll say it upfront, although it’s shorter than the 1990 show; MADE IN JAPAN is a superior album. Despite his age, Coverdale is as powerful a vocalist as he ever was and Aldrich and Beach are easily a match for any guitar tandem the band has ever had – “Six String Showdown” is ample evidence of this, even if I can’t stand recorded guitar solos. Although it draws heavily from the self-titled 1987 album, it features four songs from the band’s last two albums (three from the excellent FOREVERMORE), all of which are excellent tracks. Of course, you know the band is going to play the expected hits, but hearing them dig out the energetic “Give Me All Your Love Tonight” was a treat. All told, it’s a slightly predictable, but still incendiary show from a group of seasoned veterans.
As an added bonus, the release includes a second disc that documents the band’s sound check for the show. It’s a rare window into the workings of a machine the size of Whitesnake, as you can hear the uncut calls from Coverdale to the soundmen to adjust the mix, the band discussing what songs to play, and just generally goofing off. It obviously pales in comparison to the real show, but is an entertaining listen all the same.
Add it all up and MADE IN JAPAN delivers 20 entertaining live cuts from one of the best, hardest working bands around, making it an obvious must-buy for Whitesnake fans.