"This is music of another place and time, before MTV mattered. David Coverdale's Whitesnake rose from the ashes of Deep Purple in the late '70s, the singer taking his love of blues and R&B and welding it to traditional hard rock in a defiant kiss-off to punk, disco, and New Wave."Snakebite" is one of their earliest efforts, actually an amalgamtion between a 4-track EP released and 1978 and 4 of the best tracks from Coverdale's solo album "Northwinds." The tracks show Coverdale at his vocal best and loosest, a sense of fun alternating with genuine pathos.1. Come On--slower than the familiar live version, but still a keeper. Sets the tone for much Whitesnake to come.2. Bloody Mary--a piano driven boogie tune, almost like Elf in a way, but with rather ribald lyrics to boot. "Bloody Mary" is not a drink made with vodka and V-8 but instead a woman who likes to have sex.3. Ain't No Love In The Heart of The City--Coverdale puts much "heart" into this rendition of the minor Bobby "Blue" Bland classic. The minor key guitar figure fits in well with the well-tempered vocalisms.4. Steal Away--slide guitar dominates this borderline camp tune. 5. Keep On Giving Me Love--this tune defies categorization. Not quite rock, not quite funk, not pop...a new genre is born, but never really expanded upon. One of the five best tunes Coverdale has ever sung. 6. Queen of Hearts--excellent ballad, with effective dynamics. 7. Only My Soul--the second best song on the album (after Keep On Giving Me Love). Coverdale sings of children who are lost but searching.8. Breakdown--uptempo, tough rock with classical solos in it (perhaps the most Deep Purple-like tune found here). And this makes sense, for the lyrics concern the final breakup of Deep Purple in 1976. All in all, a worthy little gem to add to your CD collection."
This is a very good Rock album!
email@example.com | Rio de Janeiro | 07/03/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you dig Classic Rock but always thought that Whitesnake was too bubble-gum metal for you, then this is the right album to listen to and have a better opinion of the band.SNAKEBITE is probably the least comercially sucessful album of Coverdale's band, but for me it is the most charming. It includes 8 good songs. Only the 4 first songs were actually performed by Whitesnake, the band that included the former Purple Jon Lord and the guitarrist Bernie Marsden. The last four songs belong to Coverdale's second solo album, NORTH WINDS, recorded some months earlier, and probably were included because: 1) they fit in the context; 2) they were the best material Coverdale had to offer. Produced by Roger Glover and with the precious help of Micky Moody on guitar, the final half of SNAKEBITE is the best and most mature music Coverdale has ever sung.This is a 1977 rock album, so don't expect any metal guitar virtuosism or high-pitched over-the-top screaming. SNAKEBITE is a collection of good and honest songs. There are some good rock'n'roll ("Come On", "Bloody Mary"), a funky gem ("Keep on giving me love"), the definitive Micky Moody's slide guitar work ("Steal Away") and a hard rock that, if recorded during the Deep Purple era, would be considered a classic: "Breakdown".Two ballads show that Coverdale can be a sensible song writer, as well as a great singer: "Only My Soul" and "Queen of Hearts". The arrangements are terrific, mainly in "Queen...", that begins smooth but ends with all the Rock and R&B excitement a good long-haired British band could offer 25 years ago.Classic Rock music fans that pay attention to this overlooked album may have a pleasant surprise!"
Coverdale Stretching His Musical Legs Here
firstname.lastname@example.org | 06/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After his stint in Deep Purple, Coverdale went on to produce this album. The latter half of the album is produced by Roger Glover. Not surprisingly, "Snakebite" has a Purple quality to it, however, it is more bluesy than Purple's traditional sound. Overall, it's a good album; I can't think of a song that I don't like. Coverdale, at times, seems to imitate Robert Plant (something that becomes more obvious in later albums). This is especially true in "Steal Away," which never ceases to remind me of Led Zeppelin's "How Many More Times," lyrically speaking, of course. However, this doesn't detract from the song.This album appeals to me, not only because the songs are good, but because we see a different Coverdale here, one less concerned with makeup and Jaguars. As Coverdale says in the cd insert, this is his first solo production following the "twilight zone" of Purple's (temporary) demise. This album was born in the late 70's, when the musical tide was changing, and here we have an artist determined to keep true to his bluesy-rock roots. Give it a listen; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised."
PB000001 | Belgium | 01/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In reply to some earlier reviews, actually Snakebite DID come out (at least in Europe) in the late seventies/early eighties as a full album, exactly as it is presented here on CD. It contained the original four-song Snakebite EP plus four of the best songs from Coverdale's solo album Northwinds.
Snakebite is different from Whitesnake's other work, because it is mostly a mixture of Southern Rock and Deep Purple-style early Metal, while later Whitesnake is more blues rock/boogie influenced and even later Whitesnake is pop metal/hair metal oriented.
So this is really an unique effort. It is true that half of the tracks here you already get on Northwinds, and the other half you can get as bonus tracks on the Trouble CD. But if you are only going to buy one early Whitesnake album, you should definitely make it this one. As a collection, this is way better than Northwinds or Trouble, and it is a superb album in its own right, not just a loose amalgamation of songs.
The heart of this album is formed by three fantastic mid-tempo steamrollers of early metal ("Come On", "Keep On Giving Me Love", and "Steal Away") that gracefully avoid the hard rock cliches (because they weren't invented yet!), and three equally fantastic heartfelt ballads (the awesome power ballad "Queen of Hearts", and the classics "Only My Soul" and "Ain't No Love (In the Heart of the City)").
If they had added a few more songs of this high standard instead of the less convincing "Bloody Mary" and "Breakdown", then Snakebite would have been one of the all-time masterpieces of metal, on a par with, let's say, Sad Wings of Destiny (Judas Priest) or Iron Maiden's debut album. As it is now, I would say it's in the same league as classic-but-not-perfect early metal albums like Toys in the Attic (Aerosmith) or Virgin Killer (Scorpions). Don't get me wrong, that's extremely good company to be in, and it makes Snakebite just as good as Whitesnake's later top albums, Saints & Sinners and Slide it in. So this IS highly recommended indeed!"
It's rhythm & blues - not heavy metal
L. B. Ivarsson | Rock City | 04/01/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When Deep Purple came to an end, David Coverdale began a solo career that later developed into Whitesnake. "Snakebite" is the third release from Coverdale and the first one under the Whitesnake banner. You can say that this album continues where Deep Purple's "Come taste the band" left off, and the songs are in the same musical vein. I would not say that this release is world class, but it sure has its good moments, especially in the slow "Only my soul", which perhaps is the most beautiful song ever from Coverdale - alongside with "Soldier of fortune". The guys are doing a great job in the cover "Ain't no love in the heart of the city", and they surely blast away in the closing "Breakdown". The overall approach is a blend of traditional rock `n' roll and rhythm & blues. Fans of the later heavy metal direction ("1987" and "Slip if the tongue") might be a bit disappointed in this album `cos it ain't heavy metal at all."