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Manic Eden Album Review: While Whitesnake was on a break, Manic Eden came out to play

30 years ago, members of Whitesnake came together to form Manic Eden.

They released one high-octane album, which will be reissued and released on vinyl for the first time.


The year was 1993 and Whitesnake was on a hiatus. David Coverdale was working on an album with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Adrian Vandenberg (Guitar/Keys), Rudy Sarzo (Bass) and Tommy Aldridge (Drums) decided to put a band together.

Rock was massive in the 80s, but by the early 90s the scuzzy guitars and shoe gazing of grunge were waking over. Adrian Vandenberg wanted to return to his youth and influences to create a more organic sound: raw, spontaneous and mixed in a way that was not overcooked. They recruited Little Caesar's Ron Young for the vocals and headed into the studio for two weeks and recorded the record 70s style.

Given the bold records of the 80s and the more indie approach of grunge, the record slots in the middle of both. The influences of Hendrix, Free and Cream are writ large everywhere from Young's vocal phrasing to Vandenberg's guitar work.

The album struggled to gain radio play at the time because of the era and was pretty much ignored at the time, partly because it lacked the big chorus spark that would take them into the mainstream. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the album aims to keep it real rather than strut its stuff overtly (we'll leave that to Mr Coverdale.) Despite not making waves, it's still one of Vandenber's proudest musical moments and does boast some stand-out rock numbers like 'Gime A Shot' and 'When the Hammer Comes Down' alongside ballads 'Ride the Storm' and 'Dark Shade of Grey'.

In many ways, the album was very much ahead of its time and has more in common stylistically with rock music today than thirty years ago. Give it a spin, it's a pleasant surprise, it's just a shame that the band only made one album before moving on to other projects.




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