Original Whitesnake Bassist Says David Coverdale’s Solo Albums “Were Much More American R&B”

Original Whitesnake Bassist Says David Coverdale's Solo Albums "Were Much More American R&B"
Neil Murray claims David Coverdale’s solo albums were like R&B.

The original Whitesnake bassist Neil Murray has appeared on Rolling Stone to mention his tenure with the band, also commenting on the band’s frontman David Coverdale‘s solo records.

Neil Murray had joined Whitesnake for the first time in 1978. Following a 4-year tenure with them, Murray had announced he parted ways with Whitesnake. After one year, the bassist rejoined the band for a 3-year career. In 1986, the musician left the band once again.

David Coverdale has been a member of the rock band Whitesnake since 1978, the year he founded the band. Before his career with his band, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976. Throughout his solo career, Coverdale released three solo albums.

Recently, the bassist made an appearance to talk about his tenure with Whitesnake. Commenting on David Coverdale‘s departure from Purple due to his searching for more blues-rock direction, he said that his solo albums were like R&B.

“Yeah. His solo albums ‘White Snake’ and ‘Northwinds’ were much more American R&B – bluesy, funky, laid-back, much less heavy than Purple,” he says.

“That’s definitely where he was coming from at that time, and Micky Moody was a very versatile and very American-style guitarist.

“He played slide guitar and a bit of country, a bit of folk, all sorts mixed into one. Bernie [Marsden, guitar] was more of a straight bluesy rock guitarist. But the combination was really good between the two of them.

“At that time, David would have said that he much more enjoyed Bernie and Micky’s style of playing than, for example, Ritchie Blackmore’s.”

The Bassist Mentions The First Whitesnake Album

Elsewhere in the interview, the musician was asked what it was like recording the debut album with Whitesnake at the time. When he asked whether it’s a positive experience, the bassist detailed his opinion on the album.

“Oh, yeah,” he reveals. “It’s tricky listening back now, in a sense, because we were bringing in a lot of that sort of jazz-fusion influence.

“There’s a lot of songs that are too fast or too complicated compared to what Whitesnake became even a couple of albums later. It seems a little but unformed, but very enthusiastic.

“It can’t be stressed enough how much fun that band was from the late ’70s to the early ’80s, and how democratic and egalitarian it was.

“We were all just mates together, really. It wasn’t David and a bunch of backing musicians. It was very much a creation of the six guys in the band and their individual personalities.”

The Bassist Comments How Coverdale Was Criticized On Stage

Later then, the bassist has also commented on David Coverdale and his lyrics. When the interviewer said, “More to the point, the band and David’s lyrics and how he was onstage were getting criticized a lot,” the bassist expressed the thing David took as a red rag to a bull.

“The rock press was very much post-punk, ‘Let’s not be demeaning to women’ kind of thing,” he continued. “David almost took that as a red rag to a bull. ‘OK, I’m going to do it even more because this is not to be taken seriously. This is how we are. Deal with it.’

“It was still his band… He would still have the final say, particularly when he was writing all the lyrics. That would be how the band was seen, whereas, for example, someone like me doesn’t listen to the lyrics a great deal.

“I don’t go for artists who are very simplistic musically and all their focus is in their brilliant lyrics. That’s my failing. But the opposite can apply. If you pay too much attention to Whitesnake’s lyrics and ignore the music, that’s slightly missing the point.”

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