Whitesnake! David Coverdale! The man with a golden voice, a lion’s mane, and a perpetual boner dished out another solid heap of jacked-up rhythm and blues with Saints & Sinners. This record came out before Coverdale jumped on the commercial metal gravy train. Saints & Sinners was all about swagger and groove.
Coverdale continued his trademark aversion to the full spelling of the conjunction “and” with this album. Here are four of the song titles: Rough An’ Ready, Love An’ Affection, Rock An’ Roll Angels, and Saints An’ Sinners. (Oddly, the album’s title uses the “&” thingy.) Why do I mention this? I don’t know… I just don’t know.
You know what’s cool? The Whitesnake logo. It’s really just one long, white, snake. Nice! Oh wait… they dotted the “i” and crossed the “t” with unattached bits of snake. So it’s not perfect, but still cool.
Saints & Sinners is a pretty darn good rock and roll album. There are a couple of rather ordinary tracks (most have the song titles repeated ad nauseam for the chorus), but there are some strong cuts including the album opener Young Blood, the title track, and Rock An’ Roll Angels (where Jon Lord tickles the ivories with aplomb). Saints & Sinners also contains the original versions of Crying In The Rain and Here I Go Again; two tracks made famous when they were re-recorded for Whitesnake’s 1987 self-titled smash. Here I Go Again is, of course, a masterpiece. The original is much more subdued and bare-boned than the juiced up later version. The original also has a slightly slower tempo and the lyric goes “like a hobo I was born to walk alone” instead of “like a drifter I was born to walk alone”. Great, great song.
Another standout cut is the deep track Love An’ Affection. This tight little rocker has some clever lyrics. One of my favorite double entendres ever is this line: “nobody had to tell ya how to make a man’s heart bleed, your momma always knew you were born to succeed”. If you’re not picking up what Coverdale was laying down, re-read the lyric but instead of the word “succeed”, say it as “suck seed”. He He. My score: A-