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Whitesnake - 1980 Ready An' Willing

ARTIST: Whitesnake
ALBUM: Ready An' Willing
LABEL: Mirage
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1994, EMI, CDEMS 1526 * 2006, EMI, 359 6922 (bonus tracks, remastered)


LINEUP: David Coverdale - vocals * Micky Moody - guitars * Bernie Marsden - guitars * Jon Lord - keyboards * Neil Murray - bass * Ian Paice - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fool For Your Loving * 02 Sweet Talker * 03 Ready And Willing * 04 Carry Your Load * 05 Blindman * 06 Ain't Gonna Cry No More * 07 Love Man * 08 Black And Blue * 09 She's A Woman


Like a few other old timers, I think I preferred the late 70's/early 80's edition of this band. The 'flash harry' sound witnessed on '1987' was good for what it was, but a far cry from the seminal days of Whitesnake when David Coverdale's mantra was 'wine women and song', the latter more of a blues-based variety. Coverdale of course was involved with the Mk 2 and 3 versions of Deep Purple, but when Ian Paice and Jon Lord folded the band in 1976, Coverdale went off to a solo career. His first solo album 'White Snake' was recorded during mid to late 1976 and released in February 1977. Coverdale called it a low key affair and co-wrote the album with guitarist Micky Moody. After his second solo LP 'Northwinds', Coverdale turned the solo gig into a full band situation, releasing 'Snakebite' and 'Trouble' (1978) and 'Lovehunter' (1979) before this one.. 1980's excellent 'Ready And Willing'. I recall during my high school years giving this album repeat listens, though none of my friends took to the album quite like I did. The line-up for this album is one of the best assembled for 1980, the players all have a history before and after, so the resulting quality of the material is first class.

The Songs
'Fool For Your Loving' opens the album is a trademark Whitesnake tune among the band's overall discography, the song released as a single before the album's late May 1980 release, making it to #13 in the UK charts during April 1980. The other stand-out is the title-track 'Ready And Willing' with its 'sweet satisfaction to soothe my soul' chorus rolling through the 3 min 44s playing time. 'Carry Your Load' takes up residence at the house of Bad Company, while 'Blindman' is a near perfect ballad in a similar to some of Triumph's material, the synth work from Lord giving it an extra layer of melody. 'Ain't Gonna Cry No More' takes an age to move out of the acoustic introduction but is typical bruising blues-based rock, so too 'Black And Blue' while 'Love Man' is a true-blues traditional workout. Adding a dose of rock/funk to the mix is the closer 'She's A Woman', an excitable tune for the best part. The keyboard solo from Lord and the mid-section melodic bridge/solo is fantastic.

In Summary
'Ready And Willing' was the lit fuse that would spark Whitesnake's popularity into the rest of the 80's, though the sound here would disappear when Coverdale revamped the style to melodic hard rock in 1987. Further on in 1980 Whitesnake would release 'Live In The Heart Of The City' which went to #5 in the UK album charts, plus a bunch of other pre '1987' LP's which are reviewed elsewhere here at GDM.

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#1 | trillion1999 on October 14 2011 23:52:29
I think Sweet Talker is very underrated.A gem
#2 | reyno-roxx on July 17 2013 18:28:32
Still my favourite Whitesnake album. Real Whitesnake, way before all the Tawny Kitaen video bollocks of the late 80s.

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