The Deep Purple Song David Coverdale Had To Alter To Fit Whitesnake’s Sound
David Coverdale is a rock singer mostly known for his work with the band Whitesnake. Prior to his tenure in Whitesnake, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple between the years 1973 and 1976. Following his departure from the band, he decided to pursue a solo career and formed Whitesnake in 1978.
Deep Purple released their first record with Coverdale titled ‘Burn’ in February 1974. After the release of ‘Stormbringer’ and ‘Come Taste The Band,’ the band’s popularity gradually declined. So, in March 1976, David Coverdale resigned from the band, and Deep Purple broke up in July 1976. Two years later, in 1978, Coverdale decided to form Whitesnake and has continued making music with the band.
Although he decided to follow his own career path with Whitesnake, Coverdale still wanted to use some of Deep Purple’s material in the band. To do it, he had to alter one of the songs to make it more suitable for Whitesnake’s sound. Let’s see which Deep Purple song that was.
David Coverdale Changed Deep Purple’s ‘Burn’ To Make It Suitable For Whitesnake’s Sound
Deep Purple released their eighth studio album ‘Burn’ in February 1974. The album marked the first Deep Purple album to feature David Coverdale on vocals and Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals. Moreover, the song ‘Burn’ also appeared on this album, and it has been covered by Coverdale during performances after his departure from the band in 1976.
Apart from many other artists who covered ‘Burn,’ Whitesnake also recorded a cover version of the song on their 2015 album ‘The Purple Album.’ The twelfth studio album of the band, ‘The Purple Album’ features remakes of songs from Deep Purple’s Mark III and Mark IV lineups, the time when Coverdale was a member of the band.
In the video shared by Whitesnake TV on YouTube, David Coverdale revealed the problems Whitesnake faced when recording ‘Burn.’ He said that ‘Burn’ is the best rock opener or closer song which immediately caught the listener’s attention. Coverdale then talked about the recording process of the song and said his musicians stayed faithful to Deep Purple’s efforts.
Following that, David Coverdale revealed their problem while playing ‘Burn’ was that Whitesnake is a two-guitar band while Deep Purple had two front-line soloists with Jon Lord on keyboards and Ritchie Blackmore on guitar. The musician said he worked with Reb Beach to alter the song while trying to keep it within the context of the 1970s.
In Whitesnake TV’s YouTube video, David Coverdale said the following about ‘Burn’:
“‘Burn’ is the best rock opener or closer you can imagine! That immediately caught people’s attention. I was such a new kid on the block – I’d written like six different lyrics and laid them out on the piano; I’d been up all night, I think it was Montreux, Switzerland…
And when I came in the studio the next day or whatever, they were all standing around, and of course, Ritchie Blackmore’s favorite was the sci-fi lyric. One version was called ‘The Road.’ You know… ‘Take me down… the roooooadddddd…’, which always amused Jon Lord for years after, bless his heart.
I couldn’t come up with anything for the sequence which became ‘You know we had no time…’, which is so Glenn Hughes, he did a beautiful job on that. All soloists, Paice drives it… insane. So to go back and revisit stuff… certain things are etched in stone. You have to be faithful, and my musicians understood that.
One of the problems we always have playing ‘Burn’ as Whitesnake is that Purple only had two front-line soloists with Jon on keyboards and Ritchie on guitar. And of course, Whitesnake’s a two-guitar band. So I’d sent Reb Beach a rough idea of what I thought it should be, trying to keep it within the context of the ’70s so it didn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
This was a sequence for Reb and he came up with a far superior sequence. And then ultimately Joel Hoekstra joined in 2014 and Reb generously moved that over to Joel. I love the new version of ‘Burn.’“
Below, you can check out Whitesnake’s rendition of ‘Burn’ and Whitesnake TV’s interview with David Coverdale.