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?
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.