Whitesnake – Starkers In Tokyo (1997, EMI Records – UK Import)
1. “Sailing Ships” … 4:37
2. “Too Many Tears” … 4:13
3. “The Deeper The Love” … 4:09
4. “Love Ain’t No Stranger” … 3:15
5. “Can’t Go On” … 3:50
6. “Give Me All Your Love” … 3:21
7. “Don’t Fade Away” … 4:26
8. “Is This Love” … 3:09
9. “Here I Go Again” … 4:46
10. “Soldier of Fortune” … 4:22
David Coverdale – Vocals
Adrian Vandenberg – Guitar
Producer: David Coverdale
Starkers In Tokyo is a really cool live acoustic album that was recorded on July 5th, 1997 in Tokyo, Japan at an EMI Japan studio. It’s a very intimate setting with a small, restrained crowd (Coverdale cracks a few jokes about the reserved crowd and reveals himself to have a weird sense of humor).
This special show was put on at the request of EMI Japan in an attempt to help promote the Restless Heart album so it’s no surprise that three songs from the set list are from that album. Also, there are two songs from Slip of the Tongue. All five of those songs were written by Coverdale & Vandenberg. I’m surprised David didn’t go for some earlier Whitesnake material for this acoustic setting but I’m sure the Vandenberg factor played a role in that. Apparently, David hadn’t totally disowned the group’s late ’80s work just yet and was content to fill this album with ballads.
The album is really good, I’ve given this one multiple spins since winning it. It’s no secret that Coverdale is one of my favorite rock vocalists of all-time and this album is a great example of why. If it was anyone else singing these songs, it wouldn’t be half as good and that’s not a knock on the songs, it’s praise for Coverdale. And while I think Slip of the Tongue is just maybe the weakest Whitesnake album, “Sailing Ships” and “The Deeper The Love” come off really good in an acoustic setting. In fact, every song here does except “Here I Go Again”, which just doesn’t sound right without the bombastic production behind it.
It’s not the set list I would have chosen but this is another great entry into the Whitesnake discography.
Highlights: “Sailing Ships”, “Too Many Tears”, “The Deeper The Love”, “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, “Can’t Go On”, “Don’t Fade Away”