The decision to revisit a collection of material from David Coverdale‘s early career as a member of Deep Purple four decades ago was considered surprising by some longtime listeners of Whitesnake, however there’s no point in arguing with the choice performance found on the band’s new music video for “Soldier of Fortune.”
The ‘Stormbringer’ blues rock ballad has cultivated a strong cult following since the song’s original release more than forty years ago through appearances on numerous ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation albums, in addition to cover versions from heavy metal bands such as Opeth and Black Majesty, however Whitesnake’s new rendition may even come close to overpowering the original – not in terms of sheer force, but rather the actual musical arrangements.
Fueled by the melodic acoustic guitar work of Winger‘s Reb Beach and newly appointed member Joel Hoekstra from Night Ranger and Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame, Whitesnake’s take on “Soldier of Fortune” begins with a slight homage to “Is This Love?” before progressing into a melancholic jam session highlighted by Coverdale’s brooding lower register.
As Joel Hoekstra stated in our exclusive interview, it was never the band’s intention to try and outdo the original Deep Purple renditions, but rather provide a new spin on the songs while also keeping an apparent tie to the indigenous version.
“I think I spent like a month just spinning the original songs, listening to them, because I didn’t want to necessarily just ignore that, if that makes sense. I wanted to absorb the vibe,” he explained.
“I transcribed everything Ritchie Blackmore did, basically, and his parts, etc., and then as we got into the recording end of it, I think I spent maybe two weeks just coming up with ideas. I tried to get multiple ideas for each song, and then I went in and worked for – I think around eight or nine days on tracking and stuff.”
Whitesnake’s version of “Soldier of Fortune” will appear on the band’s upcoming twelfth studio album ‘The Purple Album,’ due for release in Europe on May 15 and in North America on May 19.