Bernie Marsden / Working Man A Testament To A Musical Legend

Much loved and much missed, Bernie Marsden had a five-decade career that saw him play with some of the very best around, his tone and feel unique. With a short-lived stint with UFO and a stellar one with Whitesnake, he made a name for himself through years of devotion to his craft, his phenomenal songwriting skills and playing his calling cards.

Bernie Marsden – Working Man (Conquest Music)

Release Date: 24 November 2023

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Easy going, charming and with an endless wealth of stories, Bernie was more focussed on his playing than presenting himself to be the axe slinging guitar hero, clad in spandex and with an ego the size of a planet. His passion was music, and he mentored many musicians whilst holding down a successful solo career.

As happy playing a pub or club as he was festival and arena stages, his love of blues shone through. Every fibre of his being was somehow transferred through his strings to his amp and out into the world. 

Bernie Marsden - Working Man
Bernie Marsden – Working Man

Finished before his untimely passing on 24 August 2023, Working Man stands proud as his last recorded work, this new album a testament to the man and his talent. Free of the need to fill it with flash fretwork, this is a tasteful and tasty blend of material that puts the song front and centre rather than something solely created to carry the guitar.

Considering how modest the man himself was, the wry Being Famous that kicks off the album is a delight on many levels. Its bluesy, ballsy strut combines swagger and observational lyrics. Things switch to something a little more mellow in Midtown. Filled with great vocals and a style that bridges the gap between Country and laid-back AOR, the production is sparkling. Throughout, the playing is masterful, the touch exquisite as it ranges from the delicate up to the bristling as the shimmering Longtime gives way to the rocking Invisible.

Able to knock out anthems such as Here I Go Again, Bernie’s knack for sprinkling magic informs the songs here. The whole is sometimes a bittersweet listening experience as loss is balanced by legacy. 

Bernie Marsden - Working Man
Bernie Marsden – Working Man

Having had the mighty larynx of David Coverdale beside him for the Whitesnake years, it wasn’t often that his singing voice was heard, but thankfully, his solo material revealed just how good his vocal chops were, and here he shines. There’s a richness here that sells the stories, the emotions invested in them carried over by both his voice and licks as things unfold. 

Sometimes, though, Working Man strips things back to let everything breathe. His guitar, The Beast, gets a more prominent role on joyful and atmospheric instrumentals Steelhouse Mountain and The Pearl. 

There’s plenty for the fans of Bernie’s rockier side, though. The dirty riffing of Bad Reputation and the blue-collar, Springsteen-ish heft of the title track finds the guitarist letting loose. 

Arguably, the album is at its finest when the more pensive and emotionally studied side comes out, and it’s hard to beat the shimmering soul on numbers like Savannah and You Know.

With an incredible back catalogue that’s the envy of many, Working Man certainly leaves things on a high. The craft and lifelong dedication to his art is Bernie’s legacy.

Thank you for the music, Mr Marsden.

Bernie Marsden, Working Man, can be pre-ordered from here, where there is a chance to win one of 5 special lithographic prints hand-signed by Bernie. Each order will also include an exclusive free Collectors Card. 

Bernie Marsden – Working Man 
Limited Edition Double CD

Disc One
1          Being Famous
2          Midtown
3          Longtime
4          Invisible
5          Son I’ve Never Known
6          Steelhouse Mountain
7          Working Man
8          Valentine’s Day
9          Savannah
10       Bad Reputation
11       You Know
12       The Pearl
 
Disc Two (Bonus Disc)
1          Look At Me Now
2          Midnight Believer
3          Who’s Fooling Who
4          Just Don’t Have The Time
5          Foolish Day
6          Here I Go Again
7          Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City
8          Til The Day I Die
9          Time Is Right For Love
10       Come On In My Kitchen
 
Limited Edition Double LP
Side A 
1          Being Famous
2          Midtown
3          Longtime
4          Invisible
5          Son I’ve Never Known
6          Steelhouse Mountain
Side B 
1          Working Man
2          Valentine’s Day
3          Savannah
4          Bad Reputation
5          You Know
6          The Pearl
 
Bonus LP
Side C 
1          Look At Me Now
2          Midnight Believer
3          Who’s Fooling Who
4          Just Don’t Have The Time
5          Foolish Day
Side D 
1          Here I Go Again
2          Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City
3          Til The Day I Die
4          Time Is Right For Love
5          Come On In My Kitchen

Sleeve Notes

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