Hard to believe that Sail Away is the first ever biography (to my knowledge anyway) of the long, illustrious career of British hard rock legends Whitesnake, but in the hands of veteran rock/metal author Martin Popoff, David Coverdale & Co. are given royal treatment. As is his usual formula, Popoff starts off in the early days, in this instance Coverdale's days with Deep Purple (Mk III/IV), his first two solo albums, and then the formation of the official Whitesnake band. Each chapter look at each album release, and goes pretty in-depth, not only providing Popoff's views on the record itself and specific songs, but with commentary from current and former band members collected from the many interviews the author has conducted over the years. Coverdale's quotes as always are especially enjoyable & witty, but included also are plenty of recollections from Micky Moody, Bernie Marsden, Neil Murray, Vivian Campbell, Adrian Vandenberg, and many other people associated with the band.
For long time fans, it's great to read along to detailed info on classic (and criminally underrated) albums such as Ready an' Willing, Come an' Get It, Lovehunter, Trouble, and Saints & Sinners, but for the casual fan, plenty of space is given to the breakout years with albums Slide It In and Whitesnake (1987), the albums that rocketed the band to superstar status. The behind the scenes battles between Coverdale and guitarist John Sykes makes for a bit of intriguing hard rock dirty laundry, as does the opinions of many associated with the band in regards to Vandenberg's mysterious 'hand injuries' just prior to the recording of the album Slip of the Tongue in the late '80s. While some might feel cheated at the lack of space given to the bands more recent output, the author states that that portion of their history might be best left for another day, and with the band seemingly still with plenty left in the gas tank, hopefully we'll see a part two of this story somewhere down the road. For now, enjoy this fun and insightful look at one of the best bluesy hard rock & metal bands of the last 35 years.
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