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The tape or not the tape?

In a recent interview to the Spanish The Metal Circus, Joe Lynn Turner (among other less gregarious things) took a pot shot at Coverdale:

…recently I heard on the Internet that David Coverdale was using all kinds of tapes. Well, I was in Finland [in June 2008] with Graham Bonnet and we were on the same festival [Sauna Open Air] as Whitesnake, and I couldn’t believe he was using these tapes — for lead singing! Not just backgrounds, but lead! And I was… My mouth was open. I was like, ‘What the fuck, David?! You can’t do this. You look so stupid, so foolish.’ And everyone is complaining about this. No, I’m singing live. This is what you get; that’s it. . . I’m not trying to talk shit… This is true. Everybody sees this. . . I couldn’t believe it, because he [David] was always one of my favorite singers. To use tapes for a lead vocal… I can understand backgrounds if the [rest of the bandmembers] don’t sing. But for lead?! You’ve gotta be kidding!

You can listen to the interview here.

Coverdale was quick to respond to this in no nonsense terms:

I have no idea what the hell the daft bugger’s talking about.

I do not, have not and will not use tapes of my voice to mime in concert. My band and I perform and sing live in concert. Yeah… we’re that fucking good! What a total prick.

We had these rumours in Germany last year while we were on tour with Alice Cooper and we actually had a journo [Frank Thiessis] sit out at the front-of-house mix to verify the rumours were unfounded.

You can read both Coverdale’s response and Frank Thiessis’s story from the German edition of Metal Hammer in Geoff Barton’s blog at Classic Rock Magazine.

Now, I’m not a big fan of either JLT or the hairspray incarnation of Whitesnake, but let’s try to dig down to the truth here.

The arguments that Coverdale is miming to a vocal soundtrack basically boil down to the fact that vocals can be heard even when his microphone is away from his head “down at the waist level”, as can be seen on numerous videos from the last year tour:

The above video is from the Sauna Open Air festival in Finland that JLT refers to.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what’s happening with David on the current tour. This better quality video of Lay Down Your Love is from Frankfurt, November 28, 2008:

First of all, nobody argues that David’s voice is, ahem, not what it used to be. As you can see and hear, he makes a heavy use of backing vocalists. In fact, there are 4 back vocalists on stage (two guitar players, bass player and keyboard player). And then there were reports from last year that there are two more backing vocalists behind the curtains. That’s a grand total of 6 throats helping out Coverdale during the show.

Second, Whitesnake’s Front Of The House sound engineer Bradley Johnson explains the audible vocals when David’s mic is far from the sweet spot:

I work extremely hard to accommodate David’s mic technique. I endeavour to make every syllable and nuance of his vocal heard no matter how far the microphone strays from the sweet spot. Getting a vocal mic audible over a juggernaut guitar rig when it is three feet from a singers mouth is no small task… Some nights I win, some nights i do not… As far as running tracks live… ludicrous.

David has always sung this way. His microphone has an extremely high input level, which makes it possible that the voice is still heard even from a huge distance.

I have my finger on the gain control during the whole show to make David’s vocals sound as constantly as possible.

David used this very unorthodox mic technique for a very long time. Look at this video from 1997:
I think nobody would argue that Coverdale was miming at this acoustic show, yet his voice is crystal clear even with the mic far away. (And if you’re a fan of the bluesy side of Coverdale’s singing and still don’t own the Starkers In Tokyo DVD, run and get it now.)

Last but not least, our own man Svante (and he’s a sound engineer himself) was working at the Sweden Rock Festival last year, had a chance to inspect Whitesnake’s sound setup and to monitor their sound feed during the show. To cut a long story short, he had found absolutely nothing suspicious.

When faced with a choice to believe either JLT or Svante, I choose Svante any day 😉

Thanks to Blabbermouth, monstersandcritics.de and Classic Rock for the info, and to all the uploaders for the video material.

64 Comments to “The tape or not the tape?”:

  1. 1
    Marcelo Soares says:

    I’d choose Svante any day too!

  2. 2
    Fernando says:

    This is really weird. JLT making depreciative comments about David Coverdale´s singing sounds like a chicken making fun of the flight of an eagle. Joe lost an excellent opportunity to shut his mouth up (thinking it over, he loses opportunities to shut it up night after night).

  3. 3
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    In fear of the Moderators and those whom will tattle to them, I won’t even begin to express my feelings on the issue of JLT and his ‘Alligator Mouth, overloading his Humming Bird A-Hole’, except for the fact that at least whatever DC is doing while performing, he does a great show, sounds great (if one doesn’t compare notes) and doesn’t come across like a little cross dresser on stage…..

    “oh the pain and pressure of being stifled……..”.

    Nuff said on this topic for me……


  4. 4
    cp says:

    Whether he’s miming or not, I’ve listened to David since the Cal Jam broadcast, and I can’t even recognize his voice.As shot Gillan is, at least he still SOUNDS like Ian Gillan.This is flat horrible to me.

  5. 5
    Nick Green says:

    JLT once pissed me right off, no not by being a crap singer but by saying when he joined DP in ’91 that he didnt want to sing other’s drivvle! Closely followed by saying Ian Gillan is a great artist! Well JLT you couldn’t lace IG’s shoes and you slagging of David C proves that you go to any low life lengths to gain column inches.
    A good freind of mine said he went to Hameo to see DP during the JLT year and apart from getting thrown out for chanting, “There’s only one Ian Gillan” saw the look of “What the Fuck am i doing here” on Jon Lord’s face as he attempted the first few bars of Child in Time, YES, The first few bars!!!!

    All the best


  6. 6
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Time to bash JLT again?

    Again referring to things like someone s appearance which have nothing to do with the issue…..

    Some people never learn.

    If you say I will not even begin to express feelings why you still do…..?

  7. 7
    Stefan says:

    David´s voice was shot to hell on both occasions I saw them live in Copenhagen last year, but it was without any doubt his own voice and live!

    I´ve always considered JLT a fair enough singer and he´s done a decent job both solo and in Rainbow,but this cheap shot at DC is just a low blow(no pun intended)!

    He´s probably a envious little primadonna, who thinks he deserves the right to be in the hard rock premier league! With his CV who can blame him:Rainbow,solo albums,countless naff tribute albums,live shows with 90% Rainbow songs and last but not least….another bloody tribute act OTR! Hit the road Joe….come back when you have something interesting to offer, like 90% of your own material would be a start! That would certainly get my respect! ROCK ON!

  8. 8
    DW says:

    Joe Lynn Turner is trying to get attention to promote his purple rain project. This argument is beneath coverdale. Funny how Joe Lynn Turner has been covering MKIII material like Burn and Stormbringer forever, singing coverdale’s melodies and lyrics and now he treats him like this, what a total prick indeed.

  9. 9
    Crimson Ghost says:

    I can’t see why on earth they shut things down and then entice madness such as this and expect people to keep a lid on things. It almost deserves no replies whatsoever. This is bogus.(arguing is even mentioned in the bloody post)

  10. 10
    daviep79 says:

    For Someone who once claimed he would not sing someone elses “dribble”,JLT has made a pretty good living singing somebody elses “dribble”. Can’t understand the shot at DC. Voice or no voice,That was a low blow. I enjoy all the versions of Deep Purple. DC has a good thing still going with WS, Jlt with OTR, Why the slam JLT?

  11. 11
    elprupdeep says:

    this is only show business.but in two years time we won’t hear anything anymore. sorry but David is done I mean he is finished. he will never be able to do what Ian do ,touring all over the world like DP do.
    use to be a great fan but like I said before David is just the shadow of himself. long live DP.

  12. 12
    Sami says:

    This really is weird : I was at the Sauna Open Air-gig, and both JLT % Graham Bonnet did a very convincing job, while DC sounded really hoarse and had trouble reaching the higher notes. That said I find these ‘accusations’ of miming highly unbelievable…has JLT lost the plot completely, go and figure.

    Must get through The Starkers dvd again as soon as possible, awesome performance!

    Have a great weekend everyone, cheers

  13. 13
    kraatzy says:

    Oh my god…

    Is THIS the next scandal after “The one and only” 😉 MILLI VANILLI ???

    What a shame – what a desaster – if it is true … please: Mr. D.C., stay at home !

    That’s one of the greatest possible FRAUD in the buiseness …

    But this has another side, because if he has problems with his voice based of a cold or a chill or anything like that, I could nearly understand the using of a tape, if the only other way will be the canceling of the current tour.

    But if I pay for a Live-Concert-Ticket, I will hear him L I V E and not ALIVE !

    LLR’nR -kraatzy-

  14. 14
    kraatzy says:

    …and for the completness:

    Look at very past videos with D.C. and everybody can ask himself the question again:

    1.) at California Jam 1974:

    2.) at Rock in Rio 1985:

    3.) at St.Petersburg 1994:

    4.) at São Paulo 2005

    He always use the microphone very close to his face/mouth … BUT in 2008:

    at: Germany, Erfurt, Nov.2008

    at: Finland, Helsinki, 12.12.2008

    there are the same conspicuousness !!!!

    D.C. where is your voice ???

    I don’t want to think about that …

  15. 15
    Ptr says:

    I have to admit one thing – I really dont know what´s the truth. But I think that there is one thing that should be said – JLT didn´t say that DC is miming… He said that DC use tapes for lead vocal – that´s two different things – how about Child In Time in 80s – 90s? We are moving in two extremes – live performance or whole playback, but that can be a mixture of that – he can sing whole song live with some support of “backing tape”.

  16. 16
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @14 It’s not as easy as comparing videos with 35 years between them. There has been a lot of development in the audio business since then.

  17. 17
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Well, maybe it was very friendly of JLT to speak out but there seems to be a reason to speculate in my opinion.

    Maybe I m wrong, people here seem to be convinced that there is a explanation for the strange occurrings we are now talking, ahem, about.

    Btw, Stefan, if you list JLTs efforts please be precise.
    You forgot his grand album with Rising Force called ODYSSEY
    3 albums by Mothers Army.
    Several great tracks on Brazen Abbot albums
    1 Deep Purple CD and tour

    And there is more

    You may not like it all but to say he only made crap and tribute sessions is beyond the truth.

    HIS VOICE was not always what it had been before either but he recovered during the years.

    I know he s not of the stature of people Gillan and DC but putting him away time and time again like this is the complete opposite.

    Well, maybe , according to some people here I think, we should make ranks and everyone below a certain level we are allowed to put down in a very disrespectful way?

    I know what I have said about Steve but I do not think it is the same as a lot of insults going on about JLT or Ritchie.

    Not to forget the mindless hammering between people here on board.

    I must admit I break my own policy here and there not to react and act again and again where it has been proven there s no ending .
    I apologise .

    After all……

    It makes me sad to see legends fall apart and stretching the borders of their appearance.

    Where should one stop and retire?

    I do not support all kinds of tricks like tapes.

  18. 18
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I forgot to put in the word NOT

  19. 19
    Aleх says:

    In any case, I think that David should stop with this Whitesanake. It’s a finished project.

  20. 20
    John Bartone says:

    JLT has said some ignorant things in the past, especially about Ian, but I can’t see him making this up.. This really doesn’t surprise me in the least..I certainly wouldn’t put it past David Coverversion.. Without his little stint in d.p. he’d be nothing!! And we all know it!!

  21. 21
    Stefan says:


    My thoughts exactly………..!

  22. 22
    Eirik Solum says:

    People belive its tape when its actually the back up singers singing Davids lines. That it. And the reason they sing his lines its because he cant pull it off live anymore… But the shows are still very entertaining!:-)

  23. 23
    T says:

    The first video is suspect, not for the microphone positioning but for synchronization. The timing seems a bit off. However, since the quality of video and audio is poor, it remains inconclusive. Some a/v recording devices create this effect.

    The second video is more clear, but one needs to keep in mind that microphone distancing is a common vocal technique used to control sibiliance, fricatives, and dynamics. Keeping the mic at a constant short distance and screaming into it can cause problems. Note that in the final “scream,” he drops the microphone back to compensate for the increase vocal volume. That’s normal. This video proves nothing.

    The acoustic video shows Coverdale’s adam’s apple moving. In a low-volume setting, this would be difficult to fake. During a high-volume show, a singer could mime to a tape while actually singing, giving the appearance of singing. I agree that the vocal in this video is legit, and Coverdale did a great job.

    The sound engineer would have an obvious bias and does not make a credible witness; however, with a lack of reason to doubt his word, there is no justification simply to write him off.

    We are dealing with aging singers. The fact that their voices are not what they were at 22 years old is obvious. Since the aging process is natural in the cycle of life, these artists should be forgiven for a certain amount of deterioration. In short, they just can’t help it. I would be surprised if no gimmicks of any kind were used to help them out. If they are using some kind ot techniques to mask the effects of age, my response is a big, “So what?”

    As for Joe Lynn Turner, it doesn’t matter what comment he makes on any subject, he is going to be the object of ridicule by those who will find something not to like about him. He could say the sky is blue and some people would fine reason to make a sarcastic comment. If Gillan had made this same observation, these same commentators would be more likely to forgive and forget.

    Turner’s observations need to be taken in context. He reacted to what he heard regarding this issue, then to what he saw (or thought he saw) as a professioanl. If Coverdale were faking more than singing (notice the subjunctive), it would be a great shock.

    As for me, I wouldn’t have said anything. But everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  24. 24
    Sami says:

    Priest : you made some good, valid points, Cheers.

    This whole ‘episode’ reminds me of Steve Augeri’s(ex-Journey) so called lip-synching…don’t think
    that the truth will ever be known. Anyways, I’m not planning to go and see DC’s Whitesnake again : entertaining as it was, still highly disappointing vocally.

    Now back to my book and maybe a few more beers…I like to say goodnight with the title of a Butthole Surfers-album : The Hole Truth, and Nothing Butt….Arf Arf Arf.

  25. 25
    Stefan says:


    I mentioned just some examples of JLT´s work through the years! The thing is….I actually likes his solo work, but thinks it´s a shame he has no confidence in his own material!

    Like any artist, he should take pride in his own work and try it out live, instead of dwelling on past glory as a hired gun and chicken out and play it safe!ROCK ON!

  26. 26
    blackadder says:

    don’t tell that ws are finished..they had a hit album(no 5 at charts)..dp have to reach top 10 since 1987 with house of blue light…gillan and dp are finished after richie left the band

  27. 27
    Bo says:

    Far to many people (me to) have seen David microhpone on a far to lonf distance to his mounth and still the voice came out. I’m sure that he is not singing as he used to. And he is not the only one. Ask Michael Jackson. Sing old Whitesnake and stop NOW this silly “kind of” Whitesnake you are touring with these daus. It is GAR FAR FAR nelow the old days Whitesnake, and it fis your voice much better.
    I like Joe both as a person and as a singer, but this was not clever.

  28. 28
    marcinn says:

    Undoutbedly David has some problems with his voice nowadays. I saw him last December and was watching him closely. I’m sure he didn’t mime to the songs, he sung them; though sometimes the backing singers were more audible than he was. If he uses some aid for his voice, I’m fine with it. He doesn’t mime to the tape. Screams he did in Here I Go Again or Burn just proved that, and yes, he was holding the mic away from his head and was still pretty audible; though not as he was holding it very close to his mouth.

    Having said that, I really enjoyed the show and had a balst and was rewarded by David with a cup of Scotch & Coke after the show. Great experience!

    I am just grateful I can still witness FABULOUS bands from 1970’s (as much as I adore the ‘classic’ period in Whitesnake’s case); people whose input to the development of music has not yet been properly estimated over the years…

  29. 29
    sharnmes says:

    the thing to listen out for with pre recorded vocals is do the vocals sound perfect?nobody would make a ropey backing track.the above clips prove to me david is singing live with the backing singers hiting the high notes.his voice is shot in the high register but still good for blues

  30. 30
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 25

    Even more than in OTR I m interested witnessing a live show by Brazen Abbot

    I still do not own the dvd they made a few years again, incl BA and Rainbow stuff

    I can really relate to the way Nicolo Kotchef writes but sometimes I lack the subtlety in his live playing
    Espescially when people old RB stuff you kinda expect the same level.

    But on the whole I would always buy a ticket

    Cant understand why a tour never really happened over here.

    Nicolo, come on!!!

  31. 31
    Sadams Bottom says:

    David Coverdale does not mime when performing live.

    What he does do, however (and I saw this myself from the front at two concerts last year) is “mouth” the words on choruses when the rest of the band are singing. I guess he does this to rest his voice and you can see it on numerous You Tube clips. I think all this has started because since 2008 his vocal performance has been very poor (it has degraded since 2003) and he obviously uses the band to back him up and cover the issues more than ever. Be logical about it, if he was miming to a live vocal it would sound much better than it does.

    I see David has now attacked JLT several times over this (and fair enough) but he does not address his own vocal shortcomings, which has led to this situation.

    I believe this will be the last Snake tour for a while and that’s a good thing.

  32. 32
    DW says:

    One good thing about JLT making this accusation is that even if DC had ever used a tape than he’ll never do it again after this public blame game.

  33. 33
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Blame it on the night
    Blame it on the love we had

    Blame it on the night
    Blame it on the love we shared

    Cause lovin you feels so goooooood!!!

    That song by FANDANGO always makes me smile

  34. 34
    Maybe I'm A Leo says:

    David Coverdale needs to retire. JLT needs to shut up, and Ian Gillan needs to continue singing as the best lead singer in rock since 1969. Long live Deep Purple, Whitesnake rest in piece.

  35. 35
    sammy says:

    No matter if DC is using tapes or not, JLT should never had said that. It’s not professional to make such accusations about fellow singers.

  36. 36
    moe says:

    DC should step back a little, too many shows within a year for his age!

  37. 37
    Stefan says:


    You´re probably quite right there DW!

  38. 38
    solitair says:

    If JLT lost his voice TOTALLY he could not bother anyone with anything anymore.

  39. 39
    Raven says:

    >>> Aleх says: In any case, I think that David should stop with this Whitesanake. It’s a finished project.

    I’m not mad for WS (while I *love* DP new and old) but this is plain rubbish. Their last CD, “Good To Be Bad” (quite a good one, or at least not worse then what they did in past), charted 7 in UK and 62 in US so I can’t see how they can qualify for “finished project”. DP had their last top 10 album in 1985, so let’s be serious. I can understand that you personally don’t like WS, but obviously a reasonable number of people still do, therefore wtf?

  40. 40
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    It’s all rather simple and even beyond anything that really matters. I saw them in South Florida a few years back and made the observation then, that he relies heavily on the backing vocalists and even the crowd as much as possible. Big Deal. It’s what he has to do these days in his present state, fronting a well known band that HE is totally responsible for. Without him is would not be Whitesnake. He IS Whitesnake. He surrounds himself with great musicians that along with him, play some great classic songs from a great era in music history. He put out an album which sounded great and did well in the charts. Just because he isn’t a carbon copy of his Prime Time doesn’t really matter does it? With help from the band and the sound man, they get the job done and it’s really nothing to go insane about to the point of total ridicule.

    You want the exact album version of Whitesnake songs at a show? Why waste your money on tickets. Plug in a CD. You want a slam bang rock and roll experience, with a different variation to what was recorded originally? GO TO THE SHOW….

    JLT should only worry about his own Tribute Band and nobody else’s….but Girls will be Girls…..


  41. 41
    cp says:

    From what I’m getting from watching several videos is David is being shadowed by the background vocals, he’s got at least 4 on stage, and he’s lipping while working the audience much like a guitar player stops playing to work the crowd,the background vox covering his spots. He’s too flat in places to be syncing, but if I was just looking casually, I might think he was.Obviously David’s having real problems, but at the same time, the real question is “Is the audience happy?”.As long as they are, what’s wrong with it?

  42. 42
    Jeffs says:

    No 31, I think you are right…DC is saving his voice for the high notes in the lead lines. Singing your luings out at the top of your range in vocal multi-harmonied choruses when you are close to 60 is going to A. Leave you with less chance of making the big notes in the lead lines and B. push the voice too hard which could result in a strained voice for the rest of the tour.

    DC is all about tone anyway…It’s not the vocal olympics. He is a baritone singing way beyond a natural baritones range and as many have pointed out that will take its toll eventually.

    On a personal note: I met JLT when he had just joined Rainbow, I was playing the Marquee club in Wardour Street that night and was surprised and pleased to see him there! He was a lively and entertaininig character and I like most of his work with Rainbow however, even then he was disrespectful to the previous Rainbow singers and one or two other succesful rock acts at the time…I remember feeling at the time that despite the fact that he’d praised the performance of my band to my face that night, I felt he may have said otherwise in private…

  43. 43
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:


    That is exactly the JLT point. He is totally disingenuous. You also hit the DC nail on the head. Though we all know his best efforts were earlier on in the Whitesnake existence, he hit his hay day in the 80’s with the Hairband era of Whitesnake and tries to maintain that time as his present status, due to not being confident that his roots will do the job. His original Bluesy Whitesnake wasn’t World Renound and he is playing to the period that broke ground worldwide. Unfortunately it totally makes sense based on ticket sales and what the Masses want to hear. He broke away from Purple and maintains his persistence that Whitesnake a separate and well deserved sustained entity. Unlike JLT whom to this day lives off his constant Purple connection as most whores do from their pimps……

    Scrutinize DC all you want. He Has His OWN Band and still RUNS it.

    JLT?…..nuff said…


  44. 44
    Steve says:

    Glenn Hughes blows them all away. Period! Singing just as well as he did in 1974.

  45. 45
    Steve says:

    You guys know nothing about mic technique, vocal technique or live singing in general. These are not tapes. If they were the singing would be much better. He could be using a condenser mic with an expensive pre and compressor, and if that’s the case it’s easily possible that he could hold that mic a couple of feet away and still get a strong sound because that’s how those mics work.

    Besides… tapes??? This is 2008. They wouldn’t be using tapes anyway. They would be using computers to play back the singing. Also, his singing and strained, and out of tune. Why would they record that to a “tape” and play it back?. All of this makes no sense and it’s not true. To any singer, it’s obvious that’s DC singing live, just not very good.

    One last thing. Age has nothing to do with it. Gillan and Coverdale have lost their voice because of improper vocal technique. Opera singers sing well way into their later lives. Glenn Hughes still sings perfectly because he sings with good vocal technique.

  46. 46
    Sadams Bottom says:

    Well Steve (44 and 45), to be realistic Glenn’s voice has also changed since his young days and he sings differently now. I would also say his voice has slightly degraded but not as much as DC’s. I also think the reference to tape is just a reference… of course they mean on computer, CD or whatever these days. It’s just descriptive.

    I can’t answer about the vocal technique thing but it is true that DC has spent too much time screaming and he’s now reaping the benefits I guess.

  47. 47
    Dennis Hanna says:

    Sometimes I feel I’m repeating myself in these pages, but here I go again. I’m afraid Old Father Time waits for no one – not even Ian Gillan and David Coverdale – so any criticism about vocal performances should take this fact into consideration. The male voice drops in pitch quite dramatically after the age of thirty-five or so and this means that a performer who could belt out high-pitched notes at twenty-five will undoubtedly struggle as he gets older. So what should an older singer do? Hang up their mike stand for good?

    On the subject of “technical enhancement”, I think we should note that any voice put through a microphone and amplifier is by definition enhanced. Add to this the plethora of technical jiggery pokery on offer to the modern professional performer and you can assume that no one gives a truly pure performance anymore. And don’t forget that singers are not immune to coughs and colds and the odd soar throat. But so long as the show is good old rock and roll, who cares? If you don’t like what’s on offer then don’t go to the show.

    You-tube videos are hardly a fair gauge of a vocalist ability and the reason that David is often seen singing whilst the mike is away from his mouth could simply be that the audio and vision are not synched correctly.

    A long time ago my granny told me that if I couldn’t think of anything nice to say about someone then I shouldn’t say anything at all. On this basis I’ll say nothing about JLT.

  48. 48
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 47

    Well, I DO care and lots of others

    Why should we not speak out?

    Where are the days DC said, quote, that he was tired of singing machine gun music and screaming all the time after Deep Purple?

    His strenght lies not in the screaming or high pitching but in the low registre

    It might be commercialy logic to act like this but its a damn shame and waste we are being deprived of this God like voice of him, once so manifested in the early days.

    David wake up and prove everyone you can still give us THAT TONE.

  49. 49
    Fernando says:

    Well, Jocelynn Turner managed to get a lot of attention based on his awkward comments. Someone listed here a bounch of “great” works he has made, The Mothers of Something , the beloved Slaves and Masters, and etecetera, well, in the end, he is touring small venues with a cover version of Rainbow (he could have Ritchie´s son, mother and father, without him will always be a cover version), with half of the set list consisting on tunes written by his predecessors in the original band. It is really sad to need this kind of artifice to make the first pages.

  50. 50
    Jeffs says:

    Steve 44 and 45.

    You miss a very important point here…Glenn Hughes is a tenor, and a high tenor at that (certainly in his young days) he has never needed to push his voice throughout a song constantly and then all night and then all tour etc. etc. Rock audiences prefer high voices and this is easier and more natural if you are a tenor…Gillan and Coverdale have natural baritone or low (heldon) tenor voices, which make their achievements as young men even more extraordinary. You should know this with your self professed knowledge of vocalists. This however takes nothing away from Glenn, he was and still is as you rightly imply a great, great singer. It’s just an explanation of why his voice has deteriorated less.

    Also Your reference to opera singers is irrelevant, Rock singers rely on producing excitement, emotion, individuality and are naturally evolved…which great rock singer ever had a single singing lesson? let alone a lifetime of them (opera singers)… The voice would obviously last longer if they had been trained, but would the likes of Child in time evolved had Gillan looked at the maths and decided he would lose his range a little in his 50’s should he attempt such and extraordinary vocal? Opera singers and rock singers are chalk and cheese in terms of approach, lifestyle, performance and workrate.

  51. 51
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    So, to get back on TOPIC here…..

    Everyone is on the JLT bandwagon, as lone scrutinizers of various Deep Purple and Purple related singers and the quality by which they sing…or scream (totally different things, thank you).

    Hmmmmm. How many of you sing or have sung in a band in front of an audience that paid to see you sing?…

    Just what I thought…..Now, of those that have done so, how many have done it for 40 years…..

    That narrows it down….

    If Screaming is what makes you all giggly inside, I suggest getting married. You will hear enough of that to get you through….he he he.

    Gillan and Coverdale do a great job overall, SINGING. Give them a friggin’ Break! They have carried the Torch and done it well. Hard Rock and the Music we all love is teetering on the edge of extinction. Give credit where it is due……

    No Tights, No Pointy Hats, No Point Shoes, No Lutes……just Pure Rock at it’s finest. Especially in these days…..

    PURPLE and those who do it justice, (even OTR) RULE!!!!


  52. 52
    Dave T says:

    I had a conversation with Ronnie James Dio a few years ago about what it was like to tour with Purple during his Elf days. He made the comment to me then that DC used to push himself so hard that he would often be off the side of the stage coughing up blood. You have to admire his effort but sadly his voice is now paying the price for that!

  53. 53
    Steve says:

    Jeff 50. You’re right. Absolutely. Hughes is a tenor and Coverdale is a baritone. Gillan is a bari/tenor. But that is my point. Hughes not only sings in the range he is given but like an opera singer, he sings using correct breathing and resonance. Coverdale tries to scream and sing high using his throat and it’s ruined his voice. Same with Gillan. There is no difference in a rock singer who sings properly and an opera singer who sings properly – they both breathe right, use their chest and head voice right and use vowel sounds and resonance properly. I disagree with you that rock and opera singers are that different, other than training and screaming. I have read of opera singers who performed and partied like rock stars. Granted, they don’t scream. But, there is a way to scream properly. Hughes does it. Dio does it. Coverdale doesn’t. Gillan kind of did it right but yeah, he put a lot into it.

    You’re also right about 70 – 73 Gillan. He was ruining his voice be he gave us some of the best rock vocal performances of all time.

  54. 54
    Hugitoviana says:

    Or Look him in this vid from 2005

    I know it’s not sync but look the distanceof the mic and his head while he screams (or not) Buuuuuuuurrnnnnnnn!

  55. 55
    Crazy Horst says:

    AHH, playing the old binary black and white feud again.

    Let me be impartial and bad to both sides.

    What was JLT’s point in mentioning that. Did the interviewer ask him concretely about Mr. Coverdale’s singing or were these remarks just as unasked for as his permanent references to his own greatness.
    JLT seems to be ready to do anything to get attention. So I would be inclined to believe that he just recycled those longexisting rumours to draw some attention to his own – as always in his opinion – undervalued performance. (“See, Im the only hardworking honest musician in the rock world blablarantrant)

    However, JLT is not the only one with a bloated ego who disses his colleagues to elevate himself. DC’s comments on “Company of Snakes” were just in the same league.

    I think what started the rumours about DC being a fake was his live DVD from 2006 which sounded light years better than the performances of that year.
    It’s not what you see but what you hear. I can’t recognize his voice on “Burn” at all – it rather sounds like Steve Lee from Gotthard. “Still Of the Night” on the other hand sounds so exactly like the 1987 version, including groans and adlibbed parts, that it can’t possibly be any other vocal than just that. And if one of those things would still be possible if not probable both can’t go together. You can’t change your voice beyond recognition in one song and sound exactly like 1987 in another song.

  56. 56
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Well, I DO sound exactly like in 1987

    Someone told that it is a case of Dorian disease

  57. 57
    John Broadfoot says:

    I’m on Joe Lynn’s side with this one. Coverdale should be singing blues and soul rock in his natural register, not straining himself to sing latter-day Poser Snake stuff. Wether it’s backing tapes or backing singers, it’s still David struggling and needing a lot of support. I noticed certain singers get better with time – Like Hughes and Turner, so Coverdale should get his act together.

  58. 58
    Crimson Ghost says:

    The Horst must be crazy!

    The audience shot bootleg DVD proves Coverdale was all the way live on every track at the Hammy that night. The overdubbs are abundant for sure, but they were mostly in the visual department and all done after the fact. I can’t believe anyone thinks they filmed that show and faked one second of it. The production is smoke and mirrors but done brilliantly and can really trick the melon. Close your eyes btw and you might notice a more consistent vocal performance, as it’s the visuals that tend to arrive you at your extreme.

    Research often satisfies the curiosity!

  59. 59
    Crazy Horst says:

    Ah that might be another explanation.
    DC having his face age instead of his voice.
    (Sorry, thats very nasty, but watching him singing these days makes me feel sick just as it makes me feel sad and pitiful to see IG struggling through his sets)

  60. 60
    BlackSparrow says:

    did you ever expect JLT to ever say anything intelligent? and as far as comparing the vocals of say hughes to say coverdale then and now well obviously hughes has more left in the tank than dc but remember dc is a lead vocalist and glenn did a lot of backing vocals along side of that funky blues music that made brother stevie wonder happy and ritchie and myself cringe in disbelief even to this day I will take coverdale over hughes and way much over turner If you try to hit those high notes the way coverdale does on still of the night there is going to be blood every now and then and if u try to scream like gillan did on you make me nervous you are never going to hit those high notes again but you have gone where no man has ever gone before and where no man may ever go again this side of priceline and boston legal now I think some of you should seriously consider putting the coverdale page cd in the player and listen to what real singing this side of edgar winter is.

  61. 61
    BlackSparrow says:

    oh and by the way HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our dear brother IAN GILLAN have a few drinks but make sure you dont get TRASHED again. better let tony iommi do the driving next time around may I remind you glenn I said next time around not this time around LOL

  62. 62
    Bill The Wizard Pierce says:

    Where do I start? 1st Tracy hit it on the head! He’s not 25 anymore, he is now 59 yrs old. He still delivers the goods,as does Ian, These men have been rocking for f—— years! These men are the true vocalists for our wonderful Purple, David has sang like that for years, when he hits those high notes most of the time it works, sometimes not, but he does have a very impressive array of background vocalists, Aldrich and Beach and Drury, are all good singers, David picks musicians first for their virtuosity, songwriting skills and vocal strength, I remember Moody and Marsden were decent enough singers in their time as well! Poor ole Joe just has to slag somebody, but he actually picked the wrong dude this time! I do wish he would include some lower register song ie The River Song-Blindman etc, But he writes songss that are quite hard to sing, being a vocalist well ex vocalist, just try to sing Lay Down your Love Still of the Night, Slow n Easy, Shake my Tree, it takes a great deal of compression to do these songs, and Coverdale does pretty darn good with them! Next question? Rock On ladies and Gentlemen

  63. 63
    Debbie S. says:

    DAVID COVERDALE IS A FREAKIN GOD!!! He has had 40 plus years of success and continues to get out there and entertain…Who cares if he does not “scream” like he could 20 years ago…..He continues to ENTERTAIN……and that is what WE… the fans… want to see…We do not attend his concerts to tear apart his vocal abilities….It doesnt take a rocket scientist to understand that 40 plus years of singing would naturally put wear and tear on ones voice……
    DC is the real deal, and has class…..and thats something that cannot be “faked.”

  64. 64
    ivan may says:

    So what if David Coverdale has damaged his voice from years of screaming? Coverdale was a very heavy smoker in the Seventies and Eighties, and that probably didn’t help with his throat problems. Ian was also a heavy smoker, and Glenn was a drug user and smoker too. You can tell that Glenn’s voice on Seventh Star was getting deeper due to his drugs and alcohol he was consuming during that time. I often wonder if this is why Whitesnake recently cancelled a lot of their tour dates due to Coverdale’s sinus infections.

    Plus, you have to remember, David Coverdale is 70 years old now. How many 70 year olds do you know who still sing like their Seventies and Eighties heyday?
    Maybe Whitesnake should retire already, but at least they’re still touring the nostalgia circuit alongside the likes of Heart and Styx. At least Ann Wilson and Dennis DeYoung can still sing like their Seventies heyday.

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