Single of the Week: David Coverdale – The Last Note of Freedom (12″ Single)

I’m delving into the world of the single! I’ll buy a 7”, 12” or CD single every week and post my findings here. Who knows what musical discoveries will be made?

Drive through the smoke, Cole!
Drive through the smoke, Cole!

At the risk of triggering a sense of Déjà vu in returning readers, this week’s Single of the Week is… David Coverdale’s Last Note of Freedom! A song so good I bought it twice.

Back in November I found the 7” single of this track and after posting about it, I had a conversation with LeBrain (probably the longest discussion anyone has had about this track, ever!) where we uncovered many facts about this excellent song. This week I’ve picked up the 12” version for £1.50 at Record Fayre.

The appeal of the 12” is that it’s the original version of the track that was produced by Trevor Horn. The 7” single featured a sparser remix by some guy called Chris Lord-Alge. Although the sleeve of the 7” credits Chris with the remix, this same version of Last Note of Freedom appears on a compilation called Whitesnake Gold where the remix is credited to Tom Lord-Alge. It turns out the Lord-Alges have founded something of a production dynasty! There’s a Chris, Tom and the lesser-spotted Jeff.  No doubt, this vexing question of who really remixed this song still causes drama in the Lord-Alge household. I imagine their mother is always having to separate them.

The B-Side on both versions is Hans Zimmer’s Car Building (only worthwhile for its reprised guitar part from the A-Side). The 12” has the bonus of Terry Reid’s so-so cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s Gimmie Some Lovin’. Terry Reid was famously offered a spot in Jimmy Page’s New Yardbirds but was busy, suggesting Robert Plant for the spot instead. You know how that worked out.

As far as the mixes go, I think both are great. Trevor Horn’s is more dramatic with an extended intro and outro, ethnic backing vocals, more strings and more guitar overdubs. The 7” remix is stripped down and moodier. I think the remix version would be more at home on the Whitesnake albums of the period. Mixes aside though, it’s a superb song and it’s great to have both versions.

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30 thoughts on “Single of the Week: David Coverdale – The Last Note of Freedom (12″ Single)”

  1. You did it again. One more item I’d love to own. This is a treasure! All I have is the Days of Thunder soundtrack, and the Gold CD

    One note about Christ Lord-Alge: I know he did the remix of Now You’re Gone by Whitesnake. And I believe he also did some engineering for Steve Vai on Passion and Warfare. I recall Mr. Vai said that Lord-Alge had a way of recording the cymbals that made them sound like “they had air in them”.

    I wish I had a record shop nearby that had as many great scores as you’ve had. I really am jealous. And the prices? I think I would pay a lot more for this in Toronto.

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    1. Cool facts about Christ(?!) Lord-Alge. That’s a nice quote from Vai. And that Now Your Gone remix was credited to Tom on Whitesnake Gold too wasn’t it?

      I’ve been crazily lucky with my finds so far… I think it’s only a matter of time until they start to dry up. I just got another good find today though…

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      1. We had this discussion about Chris/Tom, and yes I think on Gold it was credited to Tom, which I know is wrong, from the Vai interview, and the original single that I have.

        If they start to dry up, it’s only because you pillaged everything good!

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      2. Yeah, that’s true! I think I’ve got a good shop rotation system going so by the time I get back round to other stores they’ll hopefully have some new stuff back in! And there are other shops in Glasgow that I haven’t even visited in ages, not to mention occasional Record Fairs. I should be able to keep this up for a while I think.

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      3. Actually, today’s “good find” turned out to be not very exciting after all! Never mind, you win some you lose some. It didn’t exactly break the bank and it might be a nice change of pace for the series to have a disappointing purchase for once! It had to happen sooner or later…

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      4. Yeah, as soon as you colour the vinyl, collectors like me salivate! I saw Dream Theater is doing a coloured vinyl Images and Words, count on that to sell out completely.

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      5. It’s a really hard decision. I’d always rather have the CD if I’m not sure. There’s been a few things I’ve bought on vinyl and then wished I hadn’t bothered so I’m always quite cautious about buying new vinyl. Second hand not so much if it’s cheap or rare.

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      6. For me, for sound quality and ripping and permanence, I prefer CD. But when I really love an album and want to hear the ultimate in rock experience, I buy vinyl, especially 180 gram vinyl.

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      7. That’s my thinking too, I restrict my vinyl buying to the real gems. The bands where i don’t mind owning multiple versions. Unless the vinyl edition is just better in some way, bonus tracks or whatever.

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      8. Yes, exclusives notwithstanding!

        You know what also pisses me off? Buying a vinyl exclusive, only for it to be reissued on CD shortly after. I’m looking at YOU, Chickenfoot.

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  2. “It turns out the Lord-Alges have founded something of a production dynasty! There’s a Chris, Tom and the lesser-spotted Jeff. No doubt, this vexing question of who really remixed this song still causes drama in the Lord-Alge household. I imagine their mother is always having to separate them.”

    That’s a fine bit of writing, right there. Very evocative.

    I did have a flash of deja vu when I saw this post, but I know that deja vu means we’ve seen the same cat twice, it’s a glitch in the matrix, and it is time to jack back out RIGHT NOW!

    What did you mean when you said “ethnic backing vocals.” Lots of ethnicities out there!

    As for the single itself, it’s a collector’s thing – and you’re the collector. One mix versus another, etc. If you’re happy, it’s all good.

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    1. Aargh I can’t remember what colour pill I’m supposed to take!

      Glad you like the Lord-Alge saga… it’s got the makings of a good period drama right there! Someone give Colin Firth a call!

      The ethnic vocals are, I’m guessing, African? Lot’s of “Ay-yo”‘s. Mike?

      It’s a cool thing to own and I TOTALLY love the song so the more versions i have the better. It’s awesome.

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      1. I always wondered what would happen if you took both pills. Would they negate each other? Or is that the secret to finding Valhalla and only the people cool enough to think of taking both pills simultaneously get in?

        Colin Firth is too busy doing yoga, at the moment.

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