Well, this is controversial (Whitesnake 1987, Sykes, Vandenberg, Huff etc)

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KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1330
edited June 13 in Music
I was sent this by a mate but it appears to be old.

http://www.melodicrock.com/phorum52/read.php?1,1021126,1021126

Mmm, it could be true, and a bit harsh by Olsen but I don't know what to make of it as I hear Syke's sound and style on '1987' and to me, it's reminiscent of that which was on Thin Lizzy's 'Thunder & Lightning' album, but who knows??? Now, I'm a massive Dann Huff fan, be it Giant or any of his other session work, but to me, his sound and style are not coming through on this stuff.

I've always enjoyed 'Sykes's playing' on this album and so I hope it's BS. Oh, and there's some Vai content here as well.








 www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
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  • welshboyowelshboyo Frets: 908
    hmm, yeah, heard this before too.

    I wonder if Huff was brought in to tighten up the rhythm parts and Sykes's solo's were kept - so in effect Vandenberg/Campbell were the ones replaced by Huff?

    I like Sykes, I like him a lot actually and Is This Love off '87 to me is classic Sykes and nobody else. But I can't help agreeing with the whole out of tune comments - Sykes with his massive vibrato and what is appears to be a harmoniser over  the top to widen things could get very out of tune very quickly!!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30852
    Considering that album contains some of the worst guitar sounds ever recorded, I'm surprised anyone wants to take any 'credit' for it...

    Controversial enough? :)
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • horsehorse Frets: 487
    I remember getting the first blue murder album and thinking how much it sounded like 1987, so I dont know if the story is a little exaggerated maybe?
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15255
    The story has been doing the rounds in various forms for years. Vandenberg has stated that he did have a hand injury and that to say otherwise if just BS. Sykes and Coverdale argued as Sykes claimed Coverdale couldn't sing the songs he'd written in the studio properly. Coverdale also claims he wrote the guitar parts which Sykes says is more BS. Sykes was fired so he went to confront Coverdale who he said 'ran away and hid' ... I'd take the story that Sykes couldn't play with a pinch of salt. Maybe the session guy added some parts to complete the record after Skyes had gone. From what Sykes siad there was friction in the studio between the band and Coverdale so he fired them all.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4226
    edited June 13

    I think we probably need to know a bit more about Keith Olsen.

    If he was one of those clichéd 1980s producers with a Miami Vice wardrobe, coke on the mixing desk and hookers all over the control room - with the band picking up the tab - then he is probably full of shit.  Or at least blowing a couple of minor incidents totally out of proportion based on hazy memories.  He might just be a guy who likes to spin a yarn.

    I remember reading interviews with Vandenberg where he talked at great length about his hand/wrist injury and the treatment he'd been through.  A lot of trouble to go to if it was all bullshit.

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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 10078
    horse said:
    I remember getting the first blue murder album and thinking how much it sounded like 1987, so I dont know if the story is a little exaggerated maybe?
    A fine album! I bought that when it came out - on vinyl though so I haven't played it for decades. 
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1639
    Sykes didn't have too bad a tone here ;)

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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 4979
    There were some issues with recording that album for sure 
    Sykes cut all his tracks with a harmoniser/chorus effect on the guitar , so when Coverdale came to sing he couldn't reliably pitch against the guitar as it wavered so much . 
    Coverdale lost a lot of his confidence as a result  and Olsen was v harsh on Coverdale over his ability to deliver the goods (Another reason that DC was upset at not using Martin Birch who had always made old Cov feel at home, but John Kalodner was ruling the roost and making way too many decisions). The whole album was delayed by Coverdale losing his voice, and whether that was coke use, rhinoplastry, new teeth (in the American chiclet style) or other issues , some of which may be psychological.
    Didn't help that Sykes fell out with Coverdale , and Sykes did have quite an ego too to go with his guitar hero status.

     All producers seem to have their pet session guys they want to use at the first sign of things getting too tough, and John Kalodner is always a bit trigger happy to bring in outside help  at the drop of a hat ...especially as Whitesnake were hugely in debt to Geffen by this time and it seemed like the album would never get released.

    As far as I know Dan Huff got brought in to do the radio edit version of Here I go again , and maybe a few overdubs here and there by the time relations with Sykes were all but burnt out. But Sykes style is imprinted all over that album (even if he did borrow much of it from Jimmy Page)

    Slip of the Tongue
    There were later claims that Vandenberg could only write or play in one key and the resultant songs sounded flat or lacking, which is why they brought in Vai and claimed that Adrian had injured himself . 
    Frankly Vai's guitar tone and playing style made that album almost unlistenable to me as an old school Whitesnake fan.
    I saw Vandenberg with his own band in '82 or '83 and they were great, and Coverdale obsessed about having him in the band for years before he actually joined. (Mind you he wanted Michael Schenker too)

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  • peteripeteri Frets: 696
    Agree with Jon above, I was a serious Whitesnake fan growing up - but find slip of the tongue dreadful. 

    Last time I saw them was the tour with Vivian and Adrian - both could certainly play alright then, they were amazing

    Coverdale had the voice alright, but good grief the blusher, tan and teeth were not a good look
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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 4979
    Just found this this from another contributor

    Yeah... that's Keith Olsen covering for his buddy Coverdale and trying to minimize Sykes' contributions. Keith doesn't mention the reason Sykes had no interest in working more on Here I Go Again was 1.It wasn't one of his songs and he felt he had already organized a pretty good updated arrangement (the album version that starts with the keyboard intro) compared to the original version on Saints and Sinners and 2. he had already been FIRED from the band weeks earlier. Sykes did go back and finish his solos on the other songs on the album after he was fired. 

    Sykes worked with Mike Frazier and Mike Stone, Olsen wasn't even really involved until later. Then Keith came in and thought they needed another pop version of HereI Go Again --which Dann did as John had no interest.

    I obviously wasn't there when they were recording that album and I don't know about the harmonizer comment--but I worked closely with Sykes from 1998 until 2011 and I spent many hours running his Pro Tools rig while he put down demos and to say Sykes would let out of tune guitars get kept on a track is laughable. The guy has unbelievable ears. 

    To say Huff contributed guitars on Whitesnake (other than the radio version of Here I Go Again) is curious.. Why did the guitars on the first Blue Murder record sound the same as Whitesnake -- and Giant (which came out around the same time as Blue Murder), sounds nothing like either of the other two?

    Sykes and Huff are friends BTW and they share funny stories about people they both worked with. Also, an exchange from back in the day from Dann Huff after listening to the raw tracks for Whitesnake 87 told to me by a staff member at Sound City studio.
    Coverdale:"Dann, would you be interested in joining the band?"
    Huff: "What you need is to get John Sykes back."

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4226
    Slip of the Tongue
    Frankly Vai's guitar tone and playing style made that album almost unlistenable to me as an old school Whitesnake fan.

    peteri said:
    Agree with Jon above, I was a serious Whitesnake fan growing up - but find slip of the tongue dreadful. 

    Come on guys, what are you talking about, Vai was "weaving sonic tapestries from hell" on that album. 

    Old Cov said so.  With his new teeth, which can't have been easy.


    I confess, I've never even listened to it.  When I read those interviews at the time I though uh oh, this is going to be horse shit.  I like what Vai did with Alcatrazz and DLR - and before that with FZ - but it was blindingly obvious he'd be a bad fit with Whitesnake.

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  • westwest Frets: 219

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  • Moe_ZambeekMoe_Zambeek Frets: 2192
    edited June 14
    Are there guitars on 1987? I recall that as being one of the most disappointingly wishy washy albums I bought back in my metal youth. Probably 4 listens max :)

    I wonder if I still have it...probably on cassette right enough:
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4226
    edited June 14
    west said:

    Long time since I heard that!  I have those first three albums on vinyl and never got them on CD.

    I remember those slightly awkward English lyrics.... But gosh, it still sounds big and powerful.  That's a pleasant surprise.
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  • westwest Frets: 219
    it seemed apropriate for the thread lol , old adrian dosn't sound too shabby either ...
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