Whitesnake‘s first studio album featuring newly appointed guitarist Joel Hoekstra of Night Ranger and Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame may not be the full-length offering of original material that some were expecting, however ‘The Purple Album’ does exceed at offering high velocity takes on songs from David Coverdale‘s time as the lead vocalist for Deep Purple more than four decades ago.
The band’s rendition of “Lay Down, Stay Down” is no exception, and is propelled by a grooving rhythm section and elaborate arpeggios courtesy of Hoekstra and Winger‘s Reb Beach. As lead vocalist David Coverdale previously explained, the intention behind ‘The Purple Album’ was to pay homage to the body of work that launched his musical career.
“Everyone did their homework, and every performance is done respectfully in honor of [Deep Purple’s] musicians,” Coverdale told Billboard.com. “Though I focused on the twin-guitar attack of Whitesnake, we had a guest keyboard player because a huge part of the Deep Purple sound was Jon Lord playing that amazing Hammond organ.”
He continued: “There were respectful nods to the original musicians throughout the album, and it has come out delightfully. It’s a tribute to Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Ritchie Blackmore, who gave me my break in the first place. I’d never even made a record when I joined Deep Purple, and my first record went double gold, which was early platinum. They didn’t even have platinum records back in those days!”
In our exclusive interview with Hoekstra, he shared a similar standpoint regarding the intention behind the new Whitesnake album. “The thing is there’s been much made of whether or not it’s an original album, but coming from a player’s perspective if you’re not really in on the writing anyway, then to me it’s just you’re playing a great song,” he explained.
“These are songs that David wrote and it’s an opportunity to rework them drastically and put our stamp on them, so I don’t feel that it’s necessarily a… we weren’t instructed to re-record covers (laughing) note-for-note or anything of that nature.
“It was really like, ‘Look, I want to do these songs that I did a long time ago.’ That’s what David put forward to us and said, ‘I want you to put your stamp on them and do your thing with them.’ What guitar player wouldn’t want to do that with these great songs? So it ended up being great fun.”