Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

David Coverdale – The Legend That Is The Most Broken-Hearted Singer?

Popular Rock Star lore would say that in order to create you need to have lived. You need to have experienced love. You need to have experienced heartbreak. You need to have experienced highs and lows, good times and bad times.

Certain artists deal with certain issues. Motley Crue have always been known for their tongue n cheek lyrics around sex, drugs and just having a good ol’ time.

Skid Row focused on sex and relationships on their first album, however two songs from it, “Youth Gone Wild” and “18 and Life” focused more on social issues, which in turn was taken up a notch with the “Slave To The Grind” album.

Machine Head lyrics focus on social issues and government/religious corruption.

David Coverdale on the other hand is all about love. His song writing family tree is a list of a person that has been broken-hearted a lot of times in his quest to find love.

He’s been “Mistreated”, “Time and Again”. He’s been “Looking For Love”, “Time and Again”. He has been looking for a “Love to Keep Him(You) Warm” because “The Time Is Right for Love”.

He asked the “Queen of Hearts” to “Say You Love Me”. Realising too late that the “Kitten Got Claws” and she became a “Lady Double Dealer” on her way to being an ex-wife.

Suddenly “Love Don’t Mean a Thing”.

He became a “Drifter”.

A “Victim Of Love”.

A “Love Hunter”.

A “Love Man”.

A “Slave”.

A “Love Child” calling out “I Need Love”.

An “Outlaw” riding into town and spending “Slow and Easy” good times with the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Women”. Promising to himself that he “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More” as he “Slides It In”.

He became a “Blindman” because there “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” for a Rock N Roll singer.

However he was still “Ready and Willing” to “Cry for Love” once again. “Ready and Willing” to go back on “Living on Love” because he was “Hungry For Love” and he wanted to “Do It Right (With The One You Love)” as “Love Ain’t No Stranger” to him.

But love left him “Crying In The Rain” again. Even when he begged for “Love An Affection”, even when he begged “Don’t Break My Heart Again” he still had to pick up the pieces and start all over again.

“Here I Go Again” he said to himself after the break up of his marriage.

He joined the “Bad Boys”, “All In the Name of Love” gang. He was “Guilty of Love” with that “Slip Of The Tongue”. Then that “Restless Heart” started “Crying” for a “Precious Love” again and it came knocking on his door.

“Is This Love” he asked himself. He told her that she is “Gonna Break His Heart Again”. But she whispered back “Give Me All Your Love”. She told him that he is “All That She Wants, All That She Needs”.

He just asked her to “Love And Treat Him Right” because “The Deeper The Love”, the stronger the devotion.

And then as his Eighties career came to end, those “Woman Trouble Blues” came back again. Every woman wants the spotlight. And then she was gone (“Now You’re Gone”). He asked her to “Take Him Back Again.”

“Too Many Tears” had been shed. He did it “All For Love” but love didn’t set him free again. He was “Crying In The Rain” once more.

But once a fool is always “A Fool In Love” and with time he found another to “Lay Down Her Love”.

Coverdale built a career spanning 40 years because he experienced life and he wrote those experiences into his songs. People always connect with that.

That is what got John Kalodner interested and that connection gave birth to a whole new era of Whitesnake from which they are still doing victory laps from.

There is an unwritten rule that says in order to survive in the music business, one must change with the times. Someone forgot to tell David Coverdale. The evolution of Whitesnake has never strayed too far from the blues medium. Even with the 1987 album, it was still rooted in Classic Rock and as we all know, Classic Rock is rooted in the blues/folk movements.

At the height of his fame, he disbanded Whitesnake.

Then when his contemporaries delivered grungier sounding albums, Coverdale stuck to his guns and delivered two blues rock albums with “Restless Heart” and “Into The Light”.

David Coverdale ignored every passing fad and fancy and still managed to assemble a cast of musicians to produce some of the most enduring hit records/songs of the Eighties era. Some might say that he glammed it up in the mid Eighties. However the musical currents that existed underneath the image were greater than the lipstick and teased hair.

A to Z of Making It, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Song Needs To Be A Song First – Words of Wisdom from Zoltan Bathory

“Every one of us can play. We are technical players. When it comes to songs, there’s a difference between just shredding and showing of or writing songs. That’s a different talent. First and foremost, the song has to be a song then you start to think about yeah, let’s add a guitar solo.”

(Zoltan Bathory from Five Finger Death Punch in a recent interview with Loudwire.)

I remember towards the end of the Eighties, hard rock and glam rock bands are getting signed up left, right and centre by all the record labels. The greedy labels over saturated the market with diluted quality. They got talented musicians and sold them the dream of fame and fortune. Once they had their signature on paper, they told them to go and write songs like Cherry Pie.

Have you read or heard what Jani Lane (RIP) said about Cherry Pie. He wishes he never wrote the song. The album was done, it was going to be called Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The label wanted a hit song or they wouldn’t release the album. Jani had two options, tell the label to go F themselves and by doing that he knew that his songs will never be heard or he could comply with their request, write them a sugar pop song and get the album out.  We all know how the story goes?

Writing songs and playing technical are two different things and it’s good to see Zoltan make that distinction.

Would people still be interested in Dream Theater if they just played technical passages, without having a real song as the springboard. Pull Me Under is the song that you can say broke Dream Theater to the masses. It is the most simplest Dream Theater song to learn and play, however it was written by musicians who have great technical ability. The second track, Another Day is another Dream Theater  song that is simple to play and again it is from the same well. Of course Images and Words has Learning To Live, Metropolis, Take The Time and Under A Glass Moon and the reason why those songs have become cult songs in the progressive genre, is because they are songs first and technical masterpieces second.  The bottom line is, you need a great foundation.

When Ozzy relaunched his career with the Blizzard Of Ozz band (that then became the Ozzy band when the record was released), it was on the back of great songs and great technical guitar playing from Randy Rhoads. A simple catchy AC/DC style song like Flying High Again, had a dazzling tapped lead break. The Crazy Train solo is one of those songs within a song guitar leads, however who would have cared if it was there, if the song it was on is terrible.

The bottom line for both Dream Theater and Ozzy Osbourne is; if you take away the progressive instrumental breaks and guitar leads from the songs that we love, you still have a great song and that is the essence to everything.

When the Whitesnake album exploded in 1987, it was on the back of great songs and great guitar playing from John Sykes. Listen to his lead break on Crying In The Rain. John Kalodner, the A&R rep that signed Whitesnake to Geffen, knew that was a great song. It just need to be re-done in a way that it could get massive exposure. The song was a song already as it already did the rounds on the Saints and Sinners album from 1982 and by adding the one minute plus tour de force lead break by Sykes to it, it made the song even more dazzling and a product of the times. However, as I mentioned above, if you take away the lead break, you still have a great song.