Heaviest Moments in Heavy Metal #1327

Whitesnake – Still of the Night.

Was listening to the 1987 album on the bus this morning. Surely this track, and its super-cheesy video featuring Tawny Kitaen, epitomizes 80’s hair metal like no other. Still of the Night is an absolutely awesome song with a serpentine Zepplinesque main riff and that stupendously heavy part in the middle. The song (and the album) features John Sykes on guitar (curiously he isn’t in the video) and ranks as some of the greatest heavy metal guitar playing of all time.

Since it would be illegal for me to post the sound clip from the song, I’m directing you towards YouTube where you can see a video illegally posted by somebody else; let them take the copyright heat. Check out the video below – the ‘heaviest moment’ I’m talking about occurs from about 3’55” after Coverdale sings “Ooh Baby, ooh Baby, AAAAHHHH!!!”

still

Here’s my effort at the guitar tab for it:

stilltab

This excerpt from John’s own site:

“Coverdale and Sykes wrote these nine songs together in a small village in the south of France, in what Coverdale has described as a week-long period. Various studios were used on both sides of the Atlantic. Sykes and Murray demo’d new songs in Blackpool, England, before the bulk of the recording was done in Vancouver, Los Angeles and London. Of these songs, one (‘You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again’) was left off the original album release in the US (although it appears on the UK CD version and the 1994 Greatest Hits CD), and the eight new compositions were accompanied on the record by new versions of ‘Crying in the Rain’ (featuring the excellent guitar solo that Sykes had been playing at Whitesnake gigs in ‘84 and ’85) and ‘Here I Go Again’, the one track on which Sykes does not play lead guitar. I would really love to see a classic albums-type documentary made on this record, but given the ill-feeling between the main protagonists (although Sykes and Coverdale have since had some cordial exchanges), I doubt it will happen. The famous A&R man John Kalodner, who oversaw the release of 1987 describes Sykes and Coverdale as a dream team, and like many fans, Kalodner still harbours a wish to see the two men record and play together once more. Whether or not that would be feasible (personal differences aside), given DC’s now sadly deteriorating vocal abilities, is a moot point. Coverdale’s and Sykes’s voices gel so well on the 1987 songs – at times it is almost as if they are duetting. Why was it decided to record in this fashion, and considering the doctoring of some of Sykes’s other contributions to the record (eg. the guitar solos are often obscured in the mix, part concealing them with keyboards and so on – just think what that middle section and guitar breakdown in ‘Still of the Night’ would sound like with quieter keyboards, although it still sounds fantastic as it is), why was this aspect retained? There has been an unofficial remastered version of the album, and to an extent this improved on the original sound. Hopefully one day we will be allowed an honest remastered version of ‘1987’, one that does full credit to the guitars. Many critics of the album will say that ‘Still of the Night’ is too derivative of Led Zeppelin. True, it is reminiscent of ‘Black Dog’, but did Led Zeppelin ever record such an electrifyingly exciting song? – I don’t think so. I’m sorry, but for me, and I suspect others who were first discovering hard rock in the mid to late 1980s, Whitesnake’s ‘1987’ was, is, and will always be a top 5 all-time album. The guitar sound which Sykes hit on for this album (assisted by future Metallica and Mötley Crüe producer Bob Rock) is not replicated by anyone anywhere else.”

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3 Responses to “Heaviest Moments in Heavy Metal #1327”

  1. […] – not songs) in heavy metal with transcriptions of my own of those particular parts. Two so far: Heaviest Moments in Heavy Metal #1327 Gitbuddy’s Guitar Blog Heaviest moments in Heavy Metal #2314 – Sepultura – Mass Hypnosis Gitbuddy’s Guitar Blog […]

  2. Whitesnake’s original guitarist is Steve Vai. Whitesnake is one of the greatest bands ever !

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